Anodized Aluminum in the Automotive Market
The automotive market is the fastest growing market for aluminum and ProTech Metal Anodizing offers a wide spectrum of products and services for the unique needs of this market .
A combination of using multiple types of material in constructing today’s vehicles, the need to reduce vehicle weight, the push for alternative materials for health and environmental reasons, the rise in electrified powertrains, and electric battery platforms have all driven aluminum’s increased usage in this sector. Aluminum is certainly the metal of choice for the electric car market and the versatility that anodized aluminum presents overall has proven it to be a very viable, if not better, solution for automotive manufacturing.
Strength, Durability, Light Weight
Automakers are turning to aluminum because of its many advantages: strength, durability, light weight, recyclability, and versatility that can be obtained through surface treatment. New environmental policies all over the world encourage car manufacturers to reduce fuel consumption and emission through weight savings and attempt to improve safety and performance. The durability and strength of anodized metal then provides an all-in-one solution.
Automakers use aluminum for applications that include wheels, frames, cylinder heads, wheels, gear box housings, pistons, anti-lock brake components, transmission parts, radiators and bumpers to name but a few — the possibilities are nearly limitless. The lightweight characteristic also saves on transportation costs.
With the increased use of aluminum, anodizing has also significantly increased in automotive applications. An anodized finish is the only one in the metals industry that satisfies each one of the factors that must be considered when selecting a high- performance automotive finish:
Reduced finishing costs and lower vehicle maintenance costs increase long term value for vehicles
Anodizing is harder and more resistant to scratches and abrasions than paint. Anodized metal is long wearing and saves costs over the lifetime of a vehicle through ease of maintenance.
Ultraviolet rays and adverse conditions do not affect exterior anodic coatings and they do not chip, peel, or flake.
Anodized finishes are limitless. Common automotive anodized finishes include:
- Bright dip, often mistaken for “chrome” trim by the consumer
- Interference coloring, providing colors that are impervious to ultraviolet light
- Standard clear anodizing
- Finishes formulated for adhesion
- Anodizing can be used to match stainless steel and does not show fingerprints
- Hard coat, for abrasion resistance under the hood
Anodizing enables a countless combination of gloss, texture, and color variations. Aluminum maintains its metallic appearance with anodizing and gives a deeper, richer metallic look than is possible with organic coatings.
Health and Safety
Human health and environmental concerns are at the forefront of industry. Anodized aluminum presents the optimal solution that addresses the issues of concern. It is fully recyclable and has low impact on the environmental. The process of anodizing is a safe process that is not harmful to workers when performed with proper ventilation and following established procedures. The anodized finish itself is chemically stable, nontoxic; and can be recycled along with its aluminum substrate. Since the anodizing process is a result of a naturally occurring oxide process, it is relatively less hazardous than other types of metal treatment processes. Most anodizing is performed without generation of hazardous waste.
Anodizing can accommodate and align with the needs of large-scale manufacturing operations. ProTech Anodizing works efficiently and has the capacity for a throughput of millions of parts per year which can serve the finishing process needs of automotive manufacturing customers.
Ease of Maintenance
Some of the desirable properties of anodized metal for visible finished pieces is that it does not show fingerprints, it can easily be cleaned, the oxide layer does not peel off, and it is durable and difficult to scratch. This is especially beneficial during the manufacturing process with fabrication, handling, installation, and in the end, cleaning.
Contact us today to spec your needs or quote your job! Call (260) 894-4011 or click here to fill out our online form.