How to choose aluminum surface treatment process?

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There are a variety of aluminum surface treatments you can apply to your aluminum profile depending on what the extrusions end use is going to be.  

Anodizing

Anodizing aluminium is an electro-chemical process that provides a stronger, corrosion resistant surface and preserves a ‘Good as new’ appearance. The electrolytic anodizing process produces a protective oxide film around the aluminium that doesn’t flake off or peel away.

The most common form of anodized aluminium is translucent, but you can achieve a variety of colours through different anodising processes.

Anodizing is one of the most widely used surface treatments and can help achieve the following;

· Abrasion Resistant Surface

· Base for other Applications

· Corrosion Resistant

· Decoration

· Dirt Repellent

· Electrically Insulated

· Lasting Colour

· Maintain ‘As New’ Appearance

· Sheen

There are different types of anodizing:

Bright Anodizing

Also known as ‘Bright Dipping’, bright anodising is a pre-process used to brighten aluminium prior to it being anodised. This pre-treatment enhances the aluminium’s reflective and shiny appearance but does not remove any scratches or lines on the alloy.

Bright anodising is a chemical treatment which produces an extremely high sheen on aluminium which makes it a perfect finish for where a bright surface is required.

Colour Anodizing

Coloured surfaces can be produced on your part by inserting pigments of dye into the pores that form across your profile during the anodising process. This results in the aluminium being anodised in colour.

There are a wide variety of colours your part can be anodised in from light to dark and applied to a number of surfaces from matte to brushed, etc.

Understanding whether your part is going to be exposed to UV and whether it needs UV resistance is something which should also be considered before selecting your surface finish. Also, the colour appearance will vary depending on your selected alloy.

Types of colour anodising;

· Electrolytic Colouring

· Spray / Dip Colouring

Hard Anodizing

Hard anodising is carried out using the same method as regular anodising using sulphuric acid but at a lower temperature.

Typically applied to parts which are going to undergo a lot of stress and need a higher wear, corrosion and electrical resistance.

It’s crucial that the right alloy is selected when choosing this surface treatment.

Hard anodised coatings usually add a layer of thickness between 30 – 75 microns depending on the end use of your application. 100 microns can be achieved but doesn’t necessarily mean that it will improve the functionality performance of the hard-anodised coating.

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Aluminum Laser carving

Laser carving is a kind of aluminum alloy surface treatment process, based on numerical control technology and laser as the processing medium, the processed material is instantly melted or vaporized under laser irradiation to produce physical modification, so as to achieve the processing purpose.

The characteristics of laser processing: no contact with the surface of the material, unaffected by mechanical movement, the surface will not deform, and generally does not need to be fixed; it is not affected by the elasticity and flexibility of the material, and it is convenient to process soft materials; high processing accuracy, fast speed, and application The field is wide.

Mobile phone aluminum alloy laser engraving is the use of lasers to engrave text, symbols or pictures on the phone shell or cover. The characters or pictures engraved by this technology have no nicks, the surface of the object is still smooth, and the writing will not wear out.

laser carving

Aluminum polishing

Aluminum polishing is the process of creating a smooth and shiny surface by rubbing it or by applying a chemical treatment, leaving a clean surface with a significant specular reflection (still limited by the index of refraction of the material according to the Fresnel equations). In some materials (such as metals, glasses, black or transparent stones), polishing is also able to reduce diffuse reflection to minimal values.

Aluminum sandblasting

 Aluminum sandblasting is to obtain the surface of the film decoration or the subtle reflective surface to meet the special design needs such as soft gloss, and at the same time can make the combination of the printing material and the substrate more reliable during screen printing. Sandblasting is mainly carried out in a professional sandblasting machine. According to the requirements of the thickness of the sand surface, an appropriate number of quartz sand is selected and sprayed into an appropriate sand surface.


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