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The History of Aluminum Anodizing A Brief Overview

The history of aluminum anodizing is relatively short compared to the history of other metals. The process was first developed in the 1940s, and since then, it has become one of the most common ways to color-coat aluminum. Now, many car manufacturers and aftermarket vendors offer anodized finishes for their customers. However, the process has its origins in the aviation industry. That’s because aerospace companies were the first to discover the processes of anodizing and electro-etching. Currently, this article will discuss the history of aluminum anodizing and its applications. 

The Basics of Aluminum Anodizing 

The basics of aluminum anodizing are simple. First, a flake or ribbon of aluminum is immersed in a bath of anodizing chemicals. This causes the aluminum to lose its oxides and become more porous to ultraviolet light. Once this is complete, the aluminum is rinsed in water, dried, and then anodized in a solution of electrical current. This causes the aluminum to generate oxygen ions. The anodizing process is completed when the aluminum appears dark gray or blue in color. 

The History of Aluminum Anodizing: From the 1940s to Today 

The history of aluminum anodizing goes back to the 1940s. During this time, aluminum was an important metal for aircraft and other applications. This is because it is lightweight, yet strong and lightweight. Aluminum also has high electrical conductivity, making it easy to use in today’s electronics. These qualities made aluminum an excellent choice for many applications, especially in aviation. One of the first uses of aluminum anodizing was for aircraft parts. However, the process has since been applied to other applications, such as automotive parts. 

How to Anodize Aluminum 

The first step to anodizing aluminum is to coat it in an oxide layer. This ensures that the aluminum does not corrode from exposure to oxygen. After the oxide layer is applied, the aluminum is rinsed off and then immersed in the anodizing solution. The anodizing solution consists of a strong acid, a strong alkali, and potassium ferricyanide. Potassium ferricyanide is used to redeposit the oxides on the aluminum. After this is complete, the aluminum is rinsed off, dried, and then anodized. Anodizing aluminum can be completed using either a manual or automated process. 

Aluminum Anodized coating: Pros and Cons 

Anodized aluminum is used in a wide array of applications. It is a common finish for automotive parts, such as car bumpers, fenders, and grills. It can also be used for architectural applications, such as light fixtures. Aluminum anodized finishes are popular for these applications for a number of reasons. Aluminum anodizing offers a durable finish that is resistant to corrosion and oxidation. It is also easy to maintain and clean. The light grey or blue color of anodized aluminum also makes it ideal for architectural applications. However, it is important to note that aluminum anodizing is not a durable finish. This means that the finish can be scratched during daily use.