Coatings Technology Blog

When Evaluating Anodizing, Keep Consistency In Mind

When you need an aluminum oxide finish to fortify metal components for long life, you’ll be faced with various anodizing processes to choose from. At first glance, they all promise protection from common threats and offer similar features and properties. However, not all anodizing processes are created equal, especially when it comes to consistency. When selecting an anodizing vendor, be sure to remember these basic attributes and properties:

  • Corrosion resistance. While there are several reasons to use anodizing, corrosion resistance is arguably at the top of the list. Anodization increases the natural oxide layer that’s already on the metal part, which changes the metal’s crystalline structure, effectively creating a seal which protects against corrosion and other hazards.
  • Wearability and hardness. Anodizing must resist abrasion and be able to stand up to vibrations that cause galling in sliding motion applications. The highest-quality coatings will achieve hardness levels comparable with case hardened steel or hard chrome plating.
  • Lubricity and release. The better the lubricity, the better its non-stick properties. This is especially important in food processing applications. To prevent stick-slips, look for coatings that feature a low coefficient of friction.
  • Compliance to standards. Be sure your anodizing satisfies both industry and environmental standards.

Process Variability Affects Quality

Perhaps the hardest part of choosing an anodizing process is finding a vendor that consistently produces a high-quality product. That’s because hard anodizing has no set variables regarding chemistry, temperature and amperage control. For instance, the percentage of acid in the process often fluctuates over time. And, temperatures can vary as much as 10 degrees during production. That means customers cannot be sure they’re getting the same hardness and corrosion resistance each time they purchase a particular coating.

General Magnaplate assures high-quality coatings every time by constantly managing key production parameters. For instance, its Tufram® coatings for aluminum are produced at approximately 30ºF. By automating processes and maintaining consistent temperatures, chemistries and amperages, General Magnaplate offers the hardness, reproducibility and consistent quality that customers can rely on to ensure their products are always protected. Tufram features and benefits include:

  • Excellent thermal conductivity for a ceramic material.
  • Surface hardness between Rc 40 and Rc 65.
  • Thickness range: 0.0004 to 0.003 inches.
  • Low coefficient of friction.
  • High dielectric strength.
  • Self-lubricating and non-wetting surface characteristics.
  • Compliance with industry standards, including:
    • AS9100:D.
    • USDA and FDA.
    • AMS 2469 and AMS 2482
    • Automotive end of vehicle life (ELV) initiatives.
    • ISO-certified.
    • REACH.

Seek Coatings That Exhibit Consistent Quality

When it comes to protecting your aluminum products, the anodizing coatings available are differentiated both by their properties and the company that stands behind the coating. General Magnaplate’s Tufram coatings for aluminum provide exceptional properties to set them apart from other anodizing services while boasting consistent quality so you can be sure your products always get the protection they demand.

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