Anodizing is an electrochemical process that transforms a metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant anodized finish that prevents corrosion, enhances aesthetic qualities, resists scratching, and is one of the most durable surface treatments available. Aluminum is ideally suited to anodizing, which is accomplished by immersing the aluminum in an acidic electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the medium. The cathode is mounted inside the anodizing bath and the aluminum acts as an anode, allowing oxygen ions to be released from the electrolyte and bonded to the aluminum atoms on the surface of the part being anodized. This aluminum oxide is not applied to the surface like paint or electroplating, but is completely bonded to the aluminum substrate underneath and therefore does not chip or flake off, it has a highly ordered porous structure and can be subjected to secondary processes such as coloring and sealing.
The advantages of anodized aluminum
Anodized aluminum is suitable for engraving with CO2 lasers or fiber lasers as well as for engraving with mechanical engraving machines. Therefore, when engraving aluminum material on an engraving machine, anodizing is often required.
- Enhanced material durability The protective oxide layer on the anodized aluminum structure is corrosion-resistant and highly durable, enhancing mechanical properties and extending service life.
- Easy to maintain The protective layer enhances the durability of aluminum workpieces, minimizes the risk of wear, and reduces the need for frequent maintenance.
- Treated aluminum is more likely to change color. The porous surface of anodized aluminum is suitable for the application of paints and dyes to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the workpiece. Anodized aluminum can therefore be available in different colors and shades.
Using lasers to process anodized aluminum, the engraved finished product can be of almost photographic quality. Typical applications are data plates, advertising signs, and identification signs. With the help of anodized metal, diverse engravings are possible.