Since first being widely used in the 1920s, aluminium has been lauded for its benefits, which include being lightweight, strong, flexible and durable. The technology has since progressed in leaps and bounds, particularly in the area of finishes. One of the most important developments was the process to anodise aluminium, which involves converting the metal surface into aluminium oxide.
This electrochemical process acts to toughen and thicken the protective oxide that occurs naturally. Depending on the exact process used, the resulting finish can be one of the hardest substances in the world (second only to diamond). It is safe for the environment, as the process can occur naturally and provides benefits such as durability, resistance to corrosion, and a long-lasting finish.
Durable and easy to maintain
Products with an anodised finish tend to have a longer lifespan. The process does not scar or mark easily and the finish can be easily restored by rinsing or cleaning gently with mild soap and water. In the case of stubborn deposits, a mildly abrasive cleaner can be used to restore items to their original finish. These qualities mean anodising a product can save money by requiring less maintenance and lasting for a long time.
An anodised finish will allow the aluminium to retain a metallic appearance. There are a large number of available colours and gloss finishes with this process and rarely an unwanted variation of colour. Aluminium finished in this way can be made to look like stainless steel, pewter, copper, polished brass or brushed bronze. An anodised finish on the exterior of an item remains stable to ultraviolet rays. It will not peel or chip and can be repeated with ease.
Health and safety
No harmful by-products are produced in this process and it is non-hazardous, as it can occur naturally. There is no harm to health when anodising. It is one of the most environmentally-friendly processes, so regularly conforms to changing government regulations. An anodised finish is stable chemically, non-toxic, will be unable to decompose, and is heat resistant to the same melting point as aluminium.
Anodisation is a great choice for longer-term value. It has a relatively low finishing cost in initial production and, as discussed above, has lower ongoing maintenance costs. This is a smart way to get the look and durability required.