What is Anodizing?
Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts.
The process is called anodizing because the part to be treated forms the anode electrode of an electrolytic cell. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear and provides better adhesion for paint primers and glues than bare metal does. Anodic films can also be used for several cosmetic effects, either with thick porous coatings that can absorb dyes or with thin transparent coatings that add reflected light wave interference effects.
Anodizing is also used to prevent galling of threaded components and to make dielectric films for electrolytic capacitors. Anodic films are most commonly applied to protect aluminium alloys, although processes also exists for titanium, zinc, magnesium, niobium, zirconium, hafnium, and tantalum. Iron or carbon steel metal exfoliates when oxidized under neutral or alkaline micro-electrolytic conditions; i.e., the iron oxide (actually ferric hydroxide or hydrated iron oxide, also known as rust) forms by anoxic anodic pits and large cathodic surface, these pits concentrate anions such as sulfate and chloride accelerating the underlying metal to corrosion. Carbon flakes or nodules in iron or steel with high carbon content (high-carbon steel, cast iron) may cause an electrolytic potential and interfere with coating or plating. Ferrous metals are commonly anodized electrolytically in nitric acid or by treatment with red fuming nitric acid to form hard black Iron(II,III) oxide. This oxide remains conformal even when plated on wiring and the wiring is bent.
Anodizing changes the microscopic texture of the surface and the crystal structure of the metal near the surface. Thick coatings are normally porous, so a sealing process is often needed to achieve corrosion resistance. Anodized aluminium surfaces, for example, are harder than aluminium but have low to moderate wear resistance that can be improved with increasing thickness or by applying suitable sealing substances. Anodic films are generally much stronger and more adherent than most types of paint and metal plating, but also more brittle. This makes them less likely to crack and peel from ageing and wear, but more susceptible to cracking from thermal stress.
Wide variety of gloss and color alternatives available and unlike other finishes, anodizing allows the aluminum to maintain its metallic appearance.
Long life span as anodic layer is very hard, and finish does not wear off as it is part of the metal itself.
Provides a lower cost alternative in both application and long-term maintenance compared to painting or other finishing applications.
- EASE OF MAINTENANCE
Easy to clean with use of mild soap or abrasive cleaners without leaving scars or wear. Finish also resistant to staining.
- COLOR STABILITY
Exterior anodized coatings are very stable against ultraviolet rays and will not chip or peel. It is also easy to repeat the color of the finish.