Aluminium finishes: the steps to protect against wear
Surface finishes have allowed aluminium to become one of the most commonly used materials in some specific sectors such as construction and some industrial sectors. They are still extremely important today: here's all the aluminium finishes provided by Minifaber.
Aluminium and its alloys are versatile, lightweight and economic materials but, on the other hand, they are highly vulnerable to scratches and wear: to poor surface hardness leads to fast oxidation and corrosion. This is why it is important to accurately finish aluminium.
Aluminium hardness is not the only goal.
Aluminium finishes: dual purpose
There are two reasons for aluminium finishes:
- Some make it more resistant to wear and corrosion
- Others improve the aspect, optimising the aesthetics.
At Minifaber we provide aluminium finishes for both purposes and briefly describe them in this article.
Aluminium finishes to improve resistance
There are various types of aluminium finishes aimed to improve corrosion resistance and durability; Minifaber can provide the following:
- Anodising (anodic oxidation): a galvanising product where a layer of aluminium oxide is produced on the metallic surface. This layer products the lower ones, preventing corrosive agents from penetrating the metal core.
- Shot peening: a cold and forceful jet of shots launched on the part surface deforms it (millimetric intensity). Deformation increases tensile strength.
- Electro-polishing: it is a reverse galvanising process because instead of creating a new layer, the top most layer is removed, the first to be attacked. Aluminium is thus more resistant to corrosion but also abrasion, easier to maintain and more hygienic.
- Painting: applying a coat of epoxy resin or acrylic paint increases corrosion resistance.
- Galvanising and nickel-plating: the highest resistance is obtained in the first case by a zinc bath, in the second with a nickel bath.
Decorative aluminium finishes
Not just practicality we said: some aluminium finishes are designed to improve the aspect, making the item more attractive, with sparkling and shiny surfaces.
- Polishing: this gives aluminium a shiny and smooth appearance, especially suited for some applications (interior design, home appliances, automotive, etc.)
- Chrome-plating: the aluminium item is submerged in an electrolytic bath that prevents passivation (top layer corrosion) and protects metal against substances found in the air. In this case, practicality and decoration go hand in hand because this guarantees an excellent part finish.
- Sanding: similar to shot peening, but with a jet of sand and air. The goal is to smooth ruined surfaces, removing residue, impurities or encrustations and smoothing undesired corners.
Do you need help understanding which aluminium finishes are best for your product? Contact us: we'll provide all the information you need.