Aluminum is one of the most commonly used metals in our society. It is an abundant element in the earth’s crust. Aluminum is found in clays and various mineral forms extracted from bauxite ore using an electrolysis process. It is commonly used in both structural and architectural building applications. A fantastic material that can be cast, rolled or machined into virtually any shape.
Aluminum is also extremely weather-resistant because of a naturally occurring reaction to oxygen that forms a non-porous oxide surface layer. This layer protects the material from rust and corrosion. Aluminum can also be anodized where the oxide layer is electrochemically controlled to add a satin appearance or add color dyes to further enhance the appearance and durability of the aluminum. Satin Clear aluminum anodizing is one of the most popular finishes for aluminum extrusions produced for many industries where aesthetics, durability, and ease of maintenance are required.
What is Anodizing?
Anodizing is an electrochemical process that increases the translucent thickness of a passive, naturally occurring, protective aluminum oxide surface film. The aluminum oxide is not applied to the surface like paint or plating, but it’s part of the surface structure so it cannot chip or peel.
The anodizing process starts by immersing the aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the medium. A cathode is mounted to the inside of the anodizing tank, the aluminum acts as an anode so that oxygen ions are released from the electrolyte to combine with the aluminum atoms at the surface of the part being anodized. The oxide layer is electrochemically grown on the aluminum surface in a highly controlled oxidation which is anodizing.
What is Satin Clear Aluminum Anodizing?
Satin Clear aluminum anodizing finish is one of the most popular surfaces for many aluminum applications. The look of aluminum right after the extrusion process is a naturally occurring oxidation producing a finish often called Mill Finish. The naturally occurring oxidation protects the aluminum surface with an oxide layer that can be further enhanced with anodizing. The chemical solution used to anodize the aluminum involves acids that wash and clean the material. The end result of the anodizing process is that the clear satin aluminum will have a thicker layer of oxide that creates an extremely consistent satin luster like appearance.
What is the Difference between a Polished or Brushed then Anodized Finish?
Polishing is a separate mechanical process which is performed prior to the electrolyte bath of the anodizing. The polished shiny appearance on the surface of aluminum is created by buffing or mechanically polishing of the aluminum surface. Polishing the surface will remove minor scratches, die lines, and marks that can be present on the aluminum surface. It will also brighten the aluminum and can provide a mirror-like finish. Anodizing the surface will protect the bright polished appearance with a clear or even a colored finish.
Brushing is also a separate mechanical process that is performed prior to the anodizing process. The aluminum material is passed under an abrasive belt to give a coarse, directional and uniform appearance. After the brushing process is performed the material can then be anodized in clear finishes or color finishes to the desired result.
What are the Benefits of Anodizing Aluminum?
Anodized finishes have made aluminum on of the most respected and most used materials in producing consumer, industrial and commercial products. Anodizing provides an attractive, low maintenance, highly durable and long-lasting material for use in exteriors, roofs, curtain walls, trims, windows, and doors. Not only can aluminum anodizing be done in a clear satin finish, but the process can be done to create an assortment of different looking colors and shades.
- Does not chalk, chip, peel or fade.
- Highlights the natural beauty of aluminum.
- Unaffected by ultraviolet rays.
- Adding color is easy and increases color stability.
- Eliminates tarnishing.
- No additional protective layers needed.
Eagle Mouldings offers a variety of aluminum finishes and aluminum finishing options allowing you to perfectly customize your project. Our anodized aluminum finishes come in a variety of anodized aluminum colors. We provide several standard finishes as well as many other customized anodized finishes to help create the exact look you need. Contact our Customer Service Team for more information about our satin aluminum anodizing services at 1-800-888-2044.