Anodized Aluminum: The Durable and Beautiful Choice for Architectural Applications

By Steven F. Soderberg, Corporate Marketing & Sales Manager

In our latest vodcast, Kevin Darcy, Manager of New Product Development at Lorin Industries, Inc., discusses how anodized aluminum can aid in quality control for architectural applications. In the interview, Kevin highlights the strength, durability, aesthetics, and environmental impact of anodized aluminum. Here are a few key takeaways from the interview:

Anodized Aluminum Improves Strength and Durability

Unlike applied coatings that are either rolled or sprayed on, Lorin’s anodized aluminum includes an aluminum oxide layer grown from the aluminum in an electro-chemical process, bonding the aluminum and the aluminum oxide at the molecular level.  Aluminum oxide has the same chemical make up as sapphire, a mineral with a hardness second only to diamond. This creates a surface finish that is tougher, more resistant to wear and tear, and will not chalk, chip, flake, or peel in comparison to coatings, such as paint.

The Aesthetics of Anodized Aluminum

The continuous coil anodizing process is what makes anodized aluminum durable as well as beautiful. When making the material, a coil of aluminum is unwound and pulled through a series of tanks ensuring that every square inch of the aluminum spends the same amount of time in each step of the process. This is unlike batch anodizing, in which each part or rack of parts is individually dipped in each tank, resulting in the bottom of each part or rack spending more time in each step of the process. The inconsistent dipping times create uneven anodic layer thicknesses and colors, producing an irregular product. Unlike natural metals, the continuous coil anodized material will not result in unpredictable patina. The material is also easier to clean and requires cleanings at only half the frequency that paint warranties require. This means that your Lorin anodized finish will look beautiful for longer, while saving you money by avoiding costly cleanings and repairs.

Environmental Impact

In addition to being beautiful and strong, coil anodized aluminum is eco-friendly. The manufacturing process begins with aluminum, one of the most recyclable and renewable metals. Additionally, Lorin’s anodization process has no hazardous by-products and lacks VOCs or off-gassing. The material complies with ROHS standards, and there are no red list items in anodized aluminum.