Manufacturers use anodizing, which is an electromechanical process to gain many advantages. Anodizing not only improves the aesthetic of the external layer but also makes the device durable and corrosion-resistant. Why does anodizing matter for your custom metal parts? We will discuss that in this article.
Anodizing plays a vital role in sheet metal manufacturing. The process of anodizing is not a new concept – this method was invented hundred years ago. Anodizing is mostly used on aluminum, but some other metals can also be anodized, such as titanium.
Anodizing has many positive effects on the metal. Therefore, manufacturers use this process in many applications. The electronics industry largely depends on the anodizing process as electronic gadgets should have nice-looking finishing, be safe, and long-lasting. Apple, Samsung, and all other industry leaders use anodizing for their custom metal parts.
How does Anodizing work?
Anodizing makes the metal surface hard and corrosion-resistant. Aluminum is submerged into an acid electrolyte. This process makes the metal an anode (positive electrode), and then an electric current is passed through the liquid.
The electricity breaks the water of the solution. Oxygen is negatively charged, and therefore it is attracted by the anode, which is, in this case, the metal. When the outer surface of the metal reaches desired thickness, then the metal is removed from the submerged solution.
The temperature of the solution is thoroughly controlled while performing the operation. In a nutshell, anodizing is a process of oxidation using electricity and acid solution.
Why is Anodizing Important for Electronic parts?
Coloring Electronic Products
Coloring electronic products are the most important use of anodizing. After anodizing, the part becomes very porous, giving manufacturers great advantages over the final product.
In the anodizing process, the liquid can penetrate the surface of the metal. Therefore, manufacturers can use dyes that can penetrate the metal part and spread over the entire oxidized area. Usually, the layer is around twenty five microns.
Using this technique, coloring an aluminum part is better than painting because embedded dyes do not wash off the surface easily. As a result, manufacturers prefer this method for high-end electronic products to make them more attractive and durable.
Anodizing makes the final product corrosion resistant. Manufacturers prefer to use anodizing for electronics that are used in household works.
In addition, anodizing also makes the metal part wear-resistant. This is another vital advantage for both industrial and consumer electronics. There are different types of anodizing processes. Among them, Type III offers the best corrosion and wear resistance.
Safety is a big concern for every electronic product, and anodizing makes the outer layer an electrical insulator. This is a serious issue because aluminum is electronically conductive. So, that is not an ideal product to house daily usable products such as the external casing of a smartphone.
Using Type III anodizing, you can get a voltage breakdown of more than two thousand volts. As a result, the electric device becomes safer for users and also reduces any chance of electrical interference.
Besides, you can make the electric component partially conductive also. Manufacturers achieve this by applying masking on certain parts before they begin the anodizing process. If they can perfectly use the masking, only the unmasked area becomes anodized. That’s how they can achieve the design requirements of the electronics.
What are the advantages of Anodizing and Machining?
CNC machining is widely used to create custom metal parts. Manufacturers apply anodizing in the surface finishing of machined parts.
Aluminum is highly suited for CNC machining and anodizing. You can cut aluminum effortlessly, and anodizing custom metal parts is also easy. In a nutshell, both processes are highly suitable for aluminum.
Apple uses anodized aluminum in its Macbook and other handheld devices. And you can see the excellence of finishing and smooth, sleek design of their devices. Apple is conservative with colors, so you can not see the power of color created by anodizing.
Most other smartphones on the market from other large companies such as Samsung Oppo use the anodizing technique to apply color on the finished products. Most laptops you see on the market also use the same technique.
The smooth finishing gorgeous colors of modern-day laptops, smartphones, and many other smart devices are the result of using machining and anodizing methods.
In this digital era, we can not imagine the world without handheld electronic devices. Most of these electronic devices use aluminum to house the electronics. Anodizing process makes those devices aesthetic, corrosion and wear-resistant, and durable. That’s why anodizing is very important for modern-day custom metal parts.