Compared to other metals used across different industries around the world, when you extrude aluminum alloys to create parts, components, and products, they rarely need any special type of finishing. The reason for this is that the surface quality and appearance of aluminum industry solutions is naturally very appealing. In fact, aluminum even has a natural oxide layer that provides resistance to corrosion. For most industries and situations, additional aluminum coating solutions are not needed unless it is to enhance the appearance or other values of the finished product.
Top Reasons to Use Aluminum Finishing Treatments
The three primary types of aluminum coating solutions used for standard and custom aluminum extrusions in industry include anodizing, powder-coating, and painting aluminum products, parts, and components. While these options certainly work to improve the natural corrosion-resistance of the oxide layer formed by the aluminum itself, there are additional benefits. There is an unlimited array of colors that can be used when you add finishing treatments to your aluminum extrusions. Whether the goal is to brand an item with a company’s colors or to use color as part of the finished design, clients can create custom colors with our technicians at Silver City Aluminum.
In addition to color, aluminum coating solutions can add texture to improve the usability of the finished product. Finishing can also provide a better resistance to wear by increasing hardness or by improving the overall surface structure. Reflectivity can be enhanced or reduced, depending on the needs of the client. Aluminum finishing treatments can even be used to provide electrical insulation for the benefit of the industry in which it will be used. Extrusions are used for a wide range of applications that may not require additional coating solutions. However, if a situation calls for extra protection, function, or a specific quality to be embedded in the aluminum material itself through finishing solutions, it can be achieved successfully.
Anodizing Aluminum Materials
This particular process is used to increase the natural oxide layer of the aluminum. It can also be used to simply increase the thickness of the oxide film to provide better resistance to corrosion or to provide a coating that is electrically insulated. Some industries use anodizing to provide protection from abrasion or to reduce slipping for increased safety. While anodizing can serve as a base coat that can be used to apply other decorative or functional applications, it can also be a decorative solution when it includes colors or gloss finishing.
The thickness of the layer used in anodizing will determine the level of protection that is provided. Clients can choose from a simple protective layer for indoor-only use, outdoor applications, stressful environments, or even severe situations where abrasion and corrosion are a concern. At Silver City Aluminum, both short and long pieces can be used with these aluminum coating solutions, either in big or small runs after the fabrication process is complete. Clients choose from a wide array of options, including the popular clear anodizing and black, color, or multi-color anodizing applications. Custom anodizing finishes are also available upon request.
Powder-Coating Aluminum Extrusions
A powder coating is applied to the aluminum surface and is then cured with the use of solvents. A nearly limitless selection of colors is available, and the process is highly repeatable for accurate results. Surfaces that are powder-coated can be used indoors and outdoors, as they will have an excellent resistance to both UV rays and corrosion. Durability is increased with powder-coated surfaces, and the coating itself has no risk of running or blistering, as is sometimes seen in other aluminum coating solutions. The thickness of the powder-coating that is used when you extrude aluminum alloys depends on the tolerances and dimensions of the profile itself.
At Silver City Aluminum, we work with several different powder coaters and anodizers to provide the aesthetic look and functional finish that our clients require. The lead time depends on the size and profile of the piece, as well as the powder-coating and anodizing solutions that are used to complete the process. For detailed information on the powder-coating options available for finishing and aluminum coating solutions, contact our team of technicians direct for a professional consultation.
Painting Aluminum Products
Another popular process at Silver City Aluminum is painting aluminum products. Compared to other aluminum coating solutions, painting requires a variety of pre-treatment phases to ensure top-rated adhesion and consistent color applications. Our paint line runs nearly non-stop, which includes a pre-treat finish in four stages, including an etch, clean wash, neutralizing wash, and a standard pre-wash. Once that is complete, we apply the Polycron application to further help the paint to properly adhere to the aluminum industry solutions.
We use a vertical electrostatic Polycron line that can handle items up to twenty-one feet in length. All of the parts are washed, chemically prepped, dried, and then painted to ensure top quality adhesion and a smooth surface. We apply our paint at approximately 2ml’s wet in thickness, consistently monitoring the parts throughout the process. After painting, the materials are then cured through baking in one of our custom ovens. Each item is then taken off the line one at a time by hand so it can be inspected by our trained technicians for optimal quality control.
Aluminum Coating Solutions for Extrusion
Interested in learning more about our options for aluminum finishing and coating? Contact our team at Silver City Aluminum by calling 508-542-7200. Whether you are interested in anodizing, powder-coating, or painting aluminum products, we can help you find the standard or custom aluminum coating solutions that are right for you and your project.