Anodising protects the underlying aluminium parts from corrosion but proper handling and care is required to get the best performance from an anodised coating.
Any surface contamination can accelerate corrosion so it is important to keep anodised parts clean and dry. Crevices are frequently a site for corrosion as moisture and contamination can collect in these locations – consider during the design stage whether such features can be eliminated.
Items which have suffered damage to the anodised coating through accident, improper maintenance or wear-and-tear in service, can often be refurbished.
Keeping Parts Dry
Ensure parts do not get damp in storage. When flat parts are stacked in direct contact with each other, capillary action draws and holds moisture from the atmosphere when it condenses, so avoid storing parts in damp atmospheres or subjecting them to large temperature variations.
Keeping Parts Clean
Aluminium oxide is amphoteric in nature, meaning it can react as either an acid or a base. Therefore, any cleaning products used on anodised surfaces need to have a pH between 5 and 8 so that they do not react chemically with the coating. Cleaning products should also be be free of fluorides, chlorides, or sulphates and should be rinsed from surfaces as soon as possible. Stubborn contamination can usually be removed using a non-scratch cleaning pad and water only, working in the direction of material grain if there is one. To remove oil, wax, polish, or other similar materials, acetone or an equivalent solvent is recommended. Take care to ensure that you work safely with solvents and follow product instructions. Always test new cleaning products or techniques in an inconspicuous area first!
Sunlight and fluorescent bulbs are common sources of UV light, which can cause the dyes used in coloured anodising to degrade and the colour to fade with prolonged exposure. UV light will not cause damage to the anodised coating but the breakdown of the dye pigments may cause a cosmetic issue.
More Info and Specialist Advice
Please email us if you would like advice on cleaning and looking after anodised surfaces. This page just gives general suggestions and our specialists will be able to provide more in-depth information.
This page is provided for information only, it should not be considered advice and we cannot accept any responsibility or liability for your use of the information on this page. The information on this page is used and relied on at your own risk and you bear the sole responsibility for any outcomes. E&OE.