Finishes and other aluminum surface treatments aren’t always just for show. While there are some parts and components that we manufacture for clients that require a bit of polish and aesthetic appeal, other customers choose to add finishing solutions for other reasons. Custom aluminum extrusions can be designed to help reduce corrosion even more than the protective oxide layer that natural forms on its surface. However, for items that will be used in a harsh environment, such as marine or industrial conditions, additional protection may be required. At Silver City Aluminum, we offer our customers powder-coating and anodizing, as well as painting services, that are designed to exceed the industry standard in quality and performance.
One of the clear advantages of using aluminum surface treatments it that they can help the aluminum product, part or component to be able to do more. Depending on the use and application of the finished product, treatments like powder-coating and painting can increase the potential for durability and longevity. Finishing can enhance the appearance of an aluminum product, changing its color, adding texture, and making it more useful. It can also alter the surface hardness and ability to resist abrasives, protecting from corrosion, chemicals, and environmental hazards.
While there are many different types of treatments used with standard and custom aluminum extrusions, the most widely used include anodizing, powder-paint, and liquid paint, all of which are available at Silver City Aluminum. While there are other surface finishes that can be used, they are not as common because they are not as beneficial. However, the natural surface layer of aluminum alloy is often sufficient in some situations, so additional aluminum surface treatments may not be needed. The oxide layer actually “heals itself” if the metal is cut into or if damage is done to it in any way.
What’s the Difference?
When comparing the three types of treatments available for finishing at Silver City Aluminum, it is important to determine which method and product would work best for your unique situation. If you aren’t sure, our team of engineers and technicians can help you to make an informed decision. Below is a brief overview of each type. If you have additional questions or would like to learn more about each finishing option, just contact our team direct by calling the Taunton, Massachusetts location.
- Powder-Paint – Establishes a film that is designed to meet the client’s performance criteria. An excellent choice for environmentally-conscious projects where VOCs would not be permitted for use, powder-paint does not contain VOCs. The powder is applied as a solid, and the particles are fused to form the remaining film. Our team works with several different powder coaters and anodizers to provide our customers with the look and function that they require.
- Anodizing – An electrochemical process is used to provide additional durability to the aluminum. An unlimited array of colors can be used during this process to better meet the needs of the client. Long or short pieces can receive this application at Silver City Aluminum, and we can also do small or big runs, depending on your needs. Choose from clear anodizing, black anodizing, custom color and multi-color anodizing finishes by request.
- Liquid Paint – A uniform thickness of liquid paint is applied to the part, product, or component, according to the client’s specifications. While liquid paints do contain VOCs, they are driven off during the final baking process. Our paint line runs nearly non-stop, as it is our most popular method of finishing at Silver City Aluminum. Our team strives for perfection to achieve a consistent color application and top-rated adhesion. Our pre-treat process is a four-stage pre-wash system which includes an etch, clean wash, neutralizing wash, and a standard pre-wash to guarantee excellent adhesion for long-lasting results. We use a Polycron application after the pre-wash at approximately 2ml’s wet in thickness. All parts are constantly monitored and checked by our staff for quality and consistency.
Advantages of Using Aluminum
When it comes time to choose the materials that you will use for your project, make sure to consider all of the advantages of using aluminum. Not only is it cost-effective, friendly to the environment, and boasts an insane strength-to-weight ratio, but it is also able to be shaped into just about any shape and size using standard, and custom extrusion dies. When you include all of the options for aluminum surface treatments, you get the opportunity to customize the look, feel, function, and durability of the product that you create. If you are interested in learning more about our standard and custom aluminum extrusions or would like to discuss the advantages of using aluminum for your industry, give us a call at 508-542-7200 and speak with one of our knowledgeable and experienced engineers.