Whether you have been doing your research or have just been curious about anodizing, you’ve probably seen the term come up now and then. Anodizing is a process that gives aluminum a shiny protective layer. It’s almost as if it’s magic, right? Well, yes and no. There are many other materials with amazing properties that we take for granted every day. But, anodizing is something that sets it apart. It has a number of properties that make it so special. So, what makes aluminum anodizing so special?
Harder Than It Looks
Sure, it sounds awesome that aluminum is “anodized” to become harder than it looks. We’ve all heard the term “hard anodizing” before and wondered what it meant. So, how do they make it harder? Well, it actually has little to do with the process itself. It has more to do with what’s used to make it. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that involves anodizing aluminum with chemicals and electrolytes. That sounds messy and scary. But, the anodizing process is actually very safe. That’s where the electrolytes and acids come in. Electrolytes are salts that help to conduct electricity when they are dissolved in a liquid like vinegar. Electrolytes also help to keep the anodizing process clean, which helps to make the finished product harder. The acids are actually what make the aluminum look shiny and protect it from the elements. By dissolving the oxide that forms on the aluminum, the anodizing process creates a shiny protective layer.
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