Anodisation is so called because electrical anodes are used as a part of the process. Essentially, the anodising process can be thought of as creating a layer on the outer surface of a metal by manipulating its normal oxidisation process, something that occurs quite naturally. With anodisation, electrolytic passivity is utilised in order to make the outer layer of a metal product more resistant to wear and tear. When something is anodised, only the outside section of it is subject to this treatment and the rest of the material remains intact with all of the properties it had before processing. As such, it is often used as a way of finishing a material as well as protecting it. In addition, various finishing options are possible with anodisation. What are they?
Primers are not used within the anodising process itself. Nonetheless, anodisation makes it much more convenient to apply primers to metalwork. In fact, both paint primers and glues can be more easily applied to a metal material if it has been anodised. This means that a range of colourful finishes can be added to the metal being worked on later on in its manufacturing process. Basically, this comes about because anodisation creates a crystal structure on the surface of the metal with a greater surface area that makes primers of all types stick on with greater efficiency.
Dyes are now frequently used by anodisation companies to create colours and hues within the outer surface of the metal itself. This is commonly carried out with products that are made out of aluminium because this metal's porous surface is particularly good at accepting dyes. A number of different dyes are possible using a process of anodisation although the finished colours are subject to the type of metal that is being worked on. Occasionally, anodised metals are subject to splash effects using dyes where darker colours are applied over the top of lighter ones.
Anodised metals can be printed on, as well. In some cases, even complex photographs can be reproduced on metals by using digital printing techniques whilst anodising. Colour dyes are applied during the anodising procedure much like a silkscreen printing process. Bear in mind that printing on anodised metalwork needs to be sealed immediately after processing in order to prevent the dyes used from bleeding. This sort of printing process is widely used for making marks on architectural products made from metal, such as handrails.