Custom Extrusion: How to Prevent Corrosion Through Design

prevent-corrosionCorrosion is the bane of any industry or project that is close to or is immersed in some way in water. Corrosion is something that occurs when materials degrade as a result of a reaction with the environment. When this happens, the material loses some of its physical properties, which can cause it to crack, shatter or fall part and break down. In many cases, this happens all of a sudden without any warning. Across many different industries, this can be a key factor in downtime and can become quite dangerous to those who rely on the parts or structure that has been affected. This is particularly true in the marine industry, where contact with water can become a real problem for many materials.

Advantages of Using Aluminum
A highly reactive material, aluminum forms its own natural layer of protection against corrosion. A thin, yet very dense, layer of oxide forms rapidly on the surface of aluminum to protect the underlying material. It is this presence of the oxide layer that has made aluminum a very popular material choice, particularly in industries where corrosion is a concern. While aluminum has its own built-in defense, there are still some specific environments where corrosion behavior may still occur without the benefit of custom aluminum coating solutions.

Aluminum also has a very low density with a very high strength-to-weight ratio, which makes it an ideal material choice of automotive pars, aircraft, high speed trains and marine equipment. It is also used in construction, particularly in areas where corrosion is a concern, such as offshore helicopter decks, bridges and other water locations. In addition to using custom aluminum coating solutions, such as anodizing, powder coating or painting, many manufacturers are now turning to the use of custom extrusion dies to help prevent corrosion through design. The ability to easily shape extruded aluminum and the great look and performance of this versatile material makes it the perfect choice for many industries.

Custom Aluminum Coating Solutions
Many clients choose to add secondary finishings to help create an additional protective coating or to create an aesthetic custom finish so the product will look a certain way. Silver City Aluminum does all of its custom extrusions, fabrication and finishing in-house to help reduce lead time and provide better quality control. To find out more about our one stop shop services, give us a call at 508-542-7200 and speak with our custom service staff or talk with one of our trained technicians to get a professional consultation regarding all of our available options.

  • ANODIZING – The process of anodizing involves to dyeing of pieces, either short or long. It can be applied in small run or big runs after the fabrication part of the process is complete. Silver City Aluminum offers the option of clear or black anodizing, as well as multi-color anodizing and custom anodizing finishes by request. These custom aluminum coating solutions help to provide an extra layer of protection from corrosion and damage to the finished aluminum extrusions.
  • POWDER COATING – Another special options available to clients for custom aluminum coating solutions, powder coating involves the use of a variety of powder coaters and anodizers to create a great-looking, long-lasting finish. This is another great example of how to prevent corrosion through design, either at the design of custom extrusion dies, the application of coating solutions or a combination of both. The lead time for extra finishing services will depend on the selections made and the part that is being finished.
  • PAINTING – The painting of the custom aluminum extrusions once they are finished with fabrication is a great way to increase durability and protect the finished surface. Some clients choose painting as a way of improving the aesthetic appearance, choosing a glossy or matte finish, while others choose painting as an option for custom aluminum coating solutions to add another layer of protection. Painting is more than just taking a can of paint and a brush and applying it to the extruded aluminum, as you will see in the next section below.

The Painting Process at Silver City Aluminum
One of the benefits of being a one stop shop extrusion, fabrication and finishing service is that we are able to provide our clients with options that let them benefit from all the advantages of using aluminum. From our design team that assists in the creation of custom extrusion dies that help prevent corrosion through design to our custom aluminum coating solutions, which include anodizing, powder coating and painting. Our paint line runs almost non-stop, as we work diligently to meet the requirements of each client we serve.

We can paint extruded aluminum items of up to twenty feet in length and begin the process with a pre-treat finish. We use a four-stage system that includes an etch, a clean wash, a neutralizing wash and then a standard pre-wash to guarantee the best-possible adhesion of the painting materials to the extruded aluminum pieces. Silver City Aluminum uses a vertical electrostatic polycron line to apply the paint at 2 ml’s wet in thickness. Each passing part is monitored and checked by our staff for the best quality results available and to ensure consistent color application. Once the paint has been applied, the extruded aluminum materials are then cured via a baking process in our custom ovens.

After curing, the parts are then taken off the line one at a time by hand so our team can inspect each and every piece before they are taken to the shipping department. The parts are inspected a second time after arriving at the shipping department to ensure quality results before anything is packed up for delivery. It is this attention to detail and commitment to quality control that puts Silver City Aluminum ahead of our competitors.

To find out more about our custom aluminum coating solutions or to learn how to create your own custom extrusion dies to prevent corrosion through design, give us a call at 508-542-7200. Our team will guide you through the entire process or, if you are experienced with aluminum extrusion, we will take your order and then do the rest. Our one stop shop helps us to fill each and every order to our high standards at the shortest lead times possible.