When it comes to creating truly custom aluminum products, it pays to think about how the finished product will look, feel and perform. By adding custom aluminum coating solutions to your custom aluminum extrusions, you can enhance the ability of the metal with regard to strength, corrosion resistance, durability and longevity. Anodizing aluminum is one of the ways to add a protective coating to your custom aluminum products which can help the final product to appear and behave in a certain way.
Silver City Aluminum offers a couple of beneficial secondary finishing solutions to the custom aluminum products that we create for our clients. These custom aluminum coating solutions add an aesthetic appeal to the finished products that many of our clients find really enhances the look and feel of the aluminum. Making your custom aluminum products more appealing to consumers is always a good thing and a great way to make your products stand out from the competition.
What is Anodizing Aluminum?
You may have heard the term before, but anodizing aluminum is a process that is used to create a surface layer of oxide on a metal by submerging it in a liquid electrolyte and then applying an electric current. The term “anodizing” is used because the metal forms an “anode” of the electric circuit. The type of metal used and the ultimate thickness of the coating can also affect the hardness, properties and corrosion resistance of the custom aluminum products. At Silver City we usually provide these custom aluminum coating solutions for two reasons: to enhance the appearance of the product or to make the product harder and increase corrosion resistance.
First the aluminum product is cleaned after the aluminum extrusion process. This removes any contaminants that might be on the surface. The custom aluminum products are then treated with an electric current that uses a cathode component. A layer of oxygen begins to form on the anode, while a layer of hydrogen forms on the cathode. Together, this creates a layer of oxide on the anode. With regard to corrosion resistance, it is this process of creating an oxide that adds a barrier to prevent oxidation on the finished aluminum products.
The custom aluminum coating solutions create a smooth and shiny appearance that is appreciated by many. However, the product isn’t really smooth. Under a microscope it is clear that the layer of coating has a network of tiny fissures that allow dye to penetrate beneath the surface of the metal so colors can be applied as part of the finishing process. The colors adhere to the custom aluminum products, resulting in a permanent, bright and glossy colored finish according to the needs and specifications of the client.
How Anodized Aluminum is Used
There are many different ways that custom aluminum products that have been anodized through custom aluminum coating solutions are used. Pots and pans, as well as other kitchen equipment, is ideal for this process of anodizing aluminum because of its corrosion resistance. It makes it very easy for kitchen staff and home users to keep the products clean. Another common use is for the casings of kitchen appliances, such as microwaves, stoves, ovens and refrigerators. In the home, these anodized custom aluminum products can also be used for vent covers, light fixtures, awnings and more.
Anodizing aluminum is also used in the art world. There are many indoor and outdoor pieces, sculptures and artistic custom aluminum products that are made better through the use of these custom aluminum coating solutions. The corrosion resistance offered is beneficial for outdoor sculptures and pieces, while the ability to add color, texture, gloss and shine to the aluminum materials is the primary motivation in anodizing aluminum for others.
Sports, medical, industrial, construction, manufacturing and other types of consumer or business related custom aluminum products are also used for a variety of different goals and purposes. There is no end to the way that aluminum can be used, especially when custom aluminum coating solutions are added to increase corrosion resistance by anodizing aluminum. Air, sea and land; in the home or at the office; in transportation or for stationary products, the uses for custom aluminum products are unlimited.
Custom Aluminum Coating Solutions at Silver City Aluminum
Our team of designers and technicians at Silver City Aluminum can help you choose the best coating solutions for your custom aluminum products. We offer powder coating and anodizing services to give our clients access to the aesthetic and property results that they desire. We do all of these solutions in-house at our local facility to help save our clients time and money versus sending their custom aluminum products out to a third party for finishing. Call Silver City Aluminum at 508-542-7200 to place an order for your custom aluminum products or to find out more about our custom aluminum coating solutions.