Anodizing services for finishing aluminum alloys employ electrolytic oxidation of the aluminum surface to produce a protective oxide coating. The anodic coating consists of hydrated aluminum oxide. It is considered resistant to corrosion and abrasion. Conventional coatings are 0.1 to 1.0 mil thick and are mostly transparent, but may be colored. Anodizing services preserves the natural luster, and texture of the metal itself. An anodized coating is hard, durable, will never peel, and, under normal conditions, will never wear through. This category includes hard coat anodizing services.
Surface treatment services offered by providers of anodizing services include abrasive or blasting, buffing or polishing, electropolishing, and passivation. Abrasive blasting is the removal of all visible rust, mill scale, paint and contaminants by the use of power spraying or tumble chamber leaving the metal uniformly white or gray in appearance. Polishing, buffing, and belting processes are metal smoothing operations that change the surface appearance of the metal. These anodizing services can be for aesthetic and/or functional purposes. Electropolishing is often referred to as a "reverse plating" process. Electrochemical in nature, electropolishing uses a combination of rectified current and a blended chemical electrolyte bath to remove flaws from the surface of a metal part. The resultant surface is clean and bright. This feature helped coin the name: Electropolishing. Passivation removes "free iron" contamination left behind on the surface of stainless steel during machining and fabricating. These contaminants may drive premature corrosion and ultimately result in deterioration of the component if not removed. Passivation anodizing services also facilitates the formation of a thin, transparent oxide film that protects the stainless steel from corrosion. Choices for coatings include anodizing, ceramic coating, chemical finish, coil coating, galvanizing, hard coating, hardfacing, painting, powder coating, rubber or plastic, thin film coating, thermal spraying, and titanium nitride coating. Plating choices for anodizing services include brass, cadmium, chrome, copper, electroplating, gold, nickel, rhodium, silver, tin, zinc, and zinc dichromate.
Certifications and quality requirements met by providers of anodizing services include ISO 9002 and military specifications. ISO 9002 sets out the requirements for an organization whose business process range from production, installation and service but do not include design and development. Military finishes adhere to military specification requirements.
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