All About Anodised Aluminium

Aluminium is a wonderfully versatile material, popular in a diverse variety of applications. When considering finishing options many product designers and specifiers choose anodising for its unique aesthetic appearance and protection qualities.

Unlike powder coating, which is applied to the surface of a product, the anodic film created during anodising becomes an inherent part of the aluminium offering potentially superior durability qualities without compromising the metallic appearance.

By submerging a profile, panel or component in a sulphuric acid-based solution & stimulating with an electric current it is possible to accelerate aluminium’s natural corrosive property in a controlled manner, forming a protective layer. The thickness of film built within the pore structure of the surface is measured in microns; as a general rule 5 microns is suitable for indoor applications, 15 for light external and up to 25 for external marine environments.

In addition to the “natural” or “silver” finish produced in this method, it is possible to introduce a secondary stage to colour the surface. This can be done in two ways; either by using a pigment to dye the material or by using an electrolyte. The major benefit of the electrolytic process is that the result is colourfast meaning that it can be used on external applications without suffering from fading when exposed to UV light.

A variety of polished techniques can also be applied to the aluminium prior to the anodising process to give an array of stunning bright & linished combination finishes. An example of this is Spa Aluminium’s “Stainless Steel Effect” which has proven very popular in a range of glazing, partitioning & balustrade applications, many contractors prefer using aluminium as it is more versatile to work with and lighter, the “stainless steel effect” finish enables them to compliment steel hinges, patch fittings etc with profiles.

Most architectural anodisers will offer a minimum 25-year guarantee on architectural standard work providing specified maintenance procedures are followed, affording architects & specifiers a comparable warranty to powder coated products.

Credit to: Spa Aluminium