Entering a new era of the digital industry, creating high-quality, durable, and aesthetically pleasing metal parts is what cnc parts manufacturers pursue. For aluminum parts manufacturers, aluminum parts products must take into account both excellent mechanical properties and aesthetic design, so the aluminum anodizing process is a good choice for parts processing.
Because the metal parts are subjected to aluminum anodizing treatment, the oxide film formed on the surface of the aluminum parts has good protection, decoration, and other characteristics. Therefore, aluminum anodizing is widely used in aviation, electrical appliances, electronics, machinery manufacturing, and the light industry.
What are the benefits of aluminum anodizing? What are the uses of aluminum anodizing, anodizing treatment, and aluminum alloy anodizing? YIJIN Hardware is here to share.
What is Anodizing?
Anodic oxidation is the electrochemical oxidation of metals or alloys. Under the corresponding electrolyte and specific process conditions, aluminum and its alloys form an oxide film on the aluminum product (anode) due to the action of the applied current. Anodizing usually refers to sulfuric acid anodizing unless otherwise specified. Anodizing surface treatment technology is to overcome the defects of aluminum alloy surface hardness, wear resistance, etc., expand the scope of application, and prolong the service life of metal parts. It is also the most successful surface treatment technology at present.
What is Aluminum Anodizing?
Aluminum anodizing: A material protection technology in which an oxide film is formed on the surface of metal material in an electrolyte solution by applying an anode current. Also known as surface anodizing.
After the metal material or product is anodized on the surface, its corrosion resistance, hardness, wear resistance, insulation, and heat resistance are greatly improved. The most anodized metal material is aluminum. The anodization of aluminum is generally carried out in an acidic electrolyte, with aluminum as the anode.
During the electrolysis process, the anion of oxygen interacts with aluminum to produce an oxide film. This kind of film is not dense enough when it is first formed. Although it has a certain resistance, the negative oxygen ions in the electrolyte can still reach the surface of the aluminum and continue to form an oxide film. As the film thickness increases, the resistance also increases, and thus the electrolysis current decreases. At this time, the outer oxide film in contact with the electrolyte is chemically dissolved. When the rate of oxide formation on the aluminum surface is gradually balanced with the rate of chemical dissolution, the oxide film can reach the maximum thickness under this electrolytic parameter. The outer layer of the anodized film of aluminum is porous, and it is easy to absorb dyes and colored substances, so it can be dyed and improve its decoration. After the oxide film is sealed with hot water, high-temperature steam, or nickel salt, its corrosion resistance and wear resistance can be further improved.
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The Benefits of Anodizing Aluminum Parts
Anodized aluminum parts can improve the corrosion resistance of aluminum parts and prolong the service life of aluminum parts.
The most in-depth analysis of the benefits of anodized aluminum parts is their excellent corrosion resistance. Aluminum parts are easily affected by the natural climate, which can cause corrosion. Anodizing, on the other hand, creates a thick protective film on aluminum parts. This layer of oxide will effectively improve the corrosion resistance of aluminum parts. The aluminum anodizing process can increase the corrosion resistance, aesthetics, and durability of metal parts.
Anodizing aluminum used in natural environments today is higher than metal parts used in non-natural environments.
Anodized aluminum for improved wear resistance of aluminum parts.
Aluminum parts are particularly susceptible to scratches and wear, and anodized aluminum parts have a very hard surface, with an aluminum oxide film hardness up to HV300. The abrasion resistance is improved, and it is not easy to be scratched.
Anodized aluminum for improved performance and appearance of aluminum parts.
Regarding the aluminum anodizing process, the performance and appearance of processed aluminum parts are the focus of many customers. Aluminum anodizing can improve the appearance and performance of aluminum parts, and can make glue and paint primer surfaces have excellent adhesion. Of course, starting from the appearance of aluminum parts, aluminum anodizing technology will produce an anodized film on the surface of aluminum parts, making the painting more uniform and beautiful.
After the metal parts are subjected to aluminum anodizing, the quality of the external protective film can be judged by tests such as friction, electrical conductivity, and electric shock. At present, the process of the anodizing process still continues the tradition, including degreasing, water washing, anode reaction, water washing, sealing, and finally high-temperature baking.
Anodizing can be applied not only to aluminum but also to other metals such as zinc, magnesium, and titanium.
Anodized aluminum parts for easy recycling.
One thing that is really hard to know about the advantages of aluminum anodizing is that it is easy to recycle. Metal parts are regularly reported for loss, depreciation, and recycling, which are of great concern to parts manufacturers.
Aluminum Anodizing Process
Precautions for the Process of Aluminum Anodizing and Coloring
Anodizing coloring is one of the most common processes in aluminum oxidation treatment. It can bring excellent corrosion resistance and decoration to aluminum products. So what should be paid attention to in the process of aluminum anodizing coloring and before and after?
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①Do A Good Job of Cleaning After Coloring
If the surface of the aluminum parts is not cleaned, the residual color paste will affect the aluminum products.
②Pay Attention to Cleaning Before Coloring
Since the anodizing treatment tank needs to be fully cleaned after taking it out, especially the gaps in the aluminum parts. Otherwise, residual acid and alkali will gradually flow out in the coloring process, so that the pH of the coloring solvent exceeds the conventional category, and the color of the surface of the residual acid and alkali position is significantly different from that of the clean position, and even rust and oxidation will appear white.
③Aluminum Parts Can Not be Stacked During Coloring
During the coloring process, the aluminum parts cannot be superimposed and must be placed in parallel, otherwise, the yin and yang surfaces will be generated due to the occlusion of the superimposed position.
④Timely Coloring After Anodizing
Aluminum parts should be colored in time after anodizing; If the aluminum parts are exposed to the air for too long after anodizing, the film gap will become smaller, and it may be stained with dirt, resulting in inconvenient coloring. If the coloring tank is too small, the aluminum products to be colored should be immersed in a clean water body when coloring in batches.
In order to ensure that metal products can have better performance and appearance after anodization, users first need to do two things: washing and cleaning. This process scrubs the metal surfaces of dust, grime, and other residues before placing them in the electrolytic bath. The purpose of this practice is to add a conductive coating containing positive and negative ions to the metal.
Anodizing Production Process of Aluminum Parts
First of all, surface treatment and degreasing (aluminum and products, there will be dirt and defects on the surface to varying degrees. Therefore, before treatment, the surface should be cleaned as necessary to expose the pure metal matrix to facilitate smooth oxidation and coloring. In order to obtain an artificial film that is firmly bonded to the substrate, meets the requirements of color and thickness, and has the best corrosion resistance, wear resistance, weather resistance, and other good properties).
The second is the process of surface cleaning in sodium hydroxide solution. It is used as a supplementary treatment after degreasing by the degreasing method, so as to further clean up the oily dirt attached to the surface, which is conducive to the formation of the anode film and obtains a higher quality film layer.
Finally, a metal or alloy product is used as an anode, and an oxide film is formed on the surface by electrolysis.
Once anodizing begins, a positive charge is transferred to the aluminum, while a negative charge is applied to the electrode plates in the electrolytic solution. Normally, the current will force positive ions to be attracted to the negatively charged ground electrode plate, and negative ions will be attracted to the aluminum metal where the positive anode is located. Of course, there is only one purpose for this, and that is to ensure that the electrochemical reaction can open all the gaps on the surface of the aluminum metal, so as to ensure the safe leakage of + ions. This is like a uniform geometric pattern, the pores have penetrated into every substrate of the aluminum metal. At this time, the combination of negatively charged ions and the aluminum surface has formed a thick barrier layer. This phenomenon is called the surface layer in the process of aluminum anodization, and the purpose is also to ensure that the parts have corrosion resistance.
Types of Aluminum Anodizing
Anodized Type 1
This process is the simplest of the anodizing processes. The operator simply uses butyric acid to form a thin, stretchable anodized layer on the aluminum metal part.
Anodized Type II
The specific difference between anodizing type II and anodizing type I is that anodizing type II does not use butyric acid, but uses sulfuric acid to process metal parts to form a thicker protective film. This process will not only be superior to anodizing type 1 in corrosion resistance but also improve the aesthetics of the part surface.
Anodized Type III
Anodized Type III uses sulfuric acid as the surface treatment, and the process takes a long time, so it can increase the thickness of the oxide layer of the metal parts and achieve better corrosion resistance.
Anodized Type IV/Chemical Film
Anodizing type IV is also called chemical film or Alodine.
For parts manufacturers, sulfuric acid is generally used for anodizing. Part manufacturers can choose from different aluminum anodizing methods according to the wishes of their customers.
Applications of Aluminum Anodizing
Metal aluminum is a material that is often used in industrial production, daily life, public facilities, and aviation. Aluminum is strong, lightweight, and has good plasticity. After anodizing, aluminum metal parts can be widely used in various fields, such as aviation, consumer goods, sports equipment, electronic products, and large-scale amusement parks. At present, the hardness of metal parts that have undergone anodizing type III / anodizing type II operations can already meet the actual demands of different industries.
Anodizing technology is an important surface treatment process in the production of aluminum alloy parts. In recent years, with the development of modern industry, the improvement of people’s living standards, and the enhancement of environmental protection awareness, aluminum, and its alloys will play an increasingly important role in people’s daily production and life. Therefore, the requirements for the aluminum alloy anodizing process are getting higher and higher, and the functional requirements are becoming more and more diverse. In the production practice, it is necessary to observe, analyze and summarize many factors affecting the performance of the anodic oxide film for a long time, and master the method of improving the performance of the anodic oxide film, so as to provide a guarantee for obtaining satisfactory product quality.