What is Anodizing?

The metal and aluminum products that we use today are pretty nifty, but most of us don’t even take a second to think about how it was made or the processes that went into it to give it the color or smooth finish we enjoy holding. When it comes to plastic and metal fabrication, one of the processes used commonly is that of anodizing. Let’s learn more about what that process is and how it’s used.

What is Anodizing

What Is It?

Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the surface of metal parts. This thickness that is added during this process must be accounted for by the manufacturers as it will slightly affect the final size of the finished product. Anodizing happens in an anodizing tank which is usually made of special plastics. These plastics are unaffected by chemicals that allow for anodizing metal. 

Anodic films are often applied to aluminum alloys to protect and even by dyeing to change color. For example, aluminum carabiners are often anodized so that they appear to be in different colors and give them a different look. Dyeing is extremely common to give aluminum metals a different color which is common for cell phones, music players, cases, and more. 

Anodizing is also a pretty environmentally friendly process when it comes to finishing metals. The by-products typically only contain small amounts of heavy metals or volatile organic compounds. 

If you have products that are made of metal or aluminum, chances are they have gone through the anodizing process in order to color or give the metal a unique finish that feels good in your hand. So next time you pick up that every day object made of aluminum or metal, you’ll have a better understanding of what went into that process of making it so shiny and smooth.

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