WHAT IS ANODIZING?
Anodizing is a simple electrochemical process developed more than 50 years ago that forms a protective coating of aluminum oxide on the surface of the aluminum. The lifetime of the finish is proportional to the thickness of the anodic coating applied. Aluminum oxide is a hard, durable, weather resistant substance that protects the base metal. The coating may be colored by dyeing or may exhibit bronze tones through diffraction phenomena produced by the coating. The coating grows from the base aluminum metal by this electrochemical process. The coating is integral to the metal and cannot peel or flake. The structure of the coating is many small hexagonal pores, which are filled with a “seal” that hydrolyzes these pores to fill them with inert aluminum oxide.
ADVANTAGES OF ANODIZING
Anodizing is harder than powder coated surfaces. Anodizing is better for aluminum in high traffic areas where the coating is subject to physical abuse & abrasive cleaners.
Anodizing cannot peel off. The coating is actually part of the metal.
Anodizing gives aluminum a deeper, richer metallic appearance than is possible with powder coatings. This is because an anodized coating is translucent, and one can see the base metal underneath the coating. This translucence may contribute to color variation problems.
Anodizing is unaffected by sunlight.
DRAWBACKS OF ANODIZING
Anodizing which is less resistant to chemicals.
Anodizing is more expensive than powder coating.
Fewer color choices.
Weld joints are more noticeable. Grinding, polishing, & cleaning is not covered by material.