Thanks to the electrochemical process called anodizing, metals can be converted into durable and corrosion-resistant surfaces that have helped transform the world of usable metals, especially titanium, aluminum, and magnesium. Here are some fun facts about anodizing.
Over 130 years ago, a French and American team of scientists invented the anodizing tank and the process that is used today. They used aluminum, and the procedure quickly became a popular part of the world’s industrial revolution.
Anodization puts a film about .0006 inches thick on an item. Yes, that is extremely thin, but it is very protective because it is very hard. The film will resist scratches, looks great, and resists corrosion for at least 10 years.
Anodizing is a form of electro-plating; that means it utilizes electricity to set a layer of oxidized metal down onto the original item. The coating is considered protective and electrically inert.
You may not think about metals having pores like your skin, but they do. That is why when a surface that has been anodized is colored with dye, a protective sealer application is used to close the pores. Once the holes are closed, the item is considered fade resistant for five years. A bonus to using the dye on anodized items is that the dye moves all the way through with the process and makes sure the color will not rub off or chip.
If an item is not sealed, the anodized surface makes an excellent base for paint because the porous surface makes for a perfect area for dry-lube painting, silk-screening, and powder-coating. This technique can lend itself into the creation of many beautiful and unique items.
Sometimes compared to ceramic, an anodizing film can crack if machined. Fragile to bending, the items should be formed prior to being electroplated.
Now you know a few more facts about anodizing. The process is an amazing addition to any product, whether you want to use anodizing for decorative goods or as a protective coating.