The goal of an exterior finish is to help the architect, designer and owner realize for what they want their building to look like. In this video series, we’ll highlight the many benefits of anodized aluminum. Let’s start by identifying some common misconceptions or myths about anodized aluminum. At Lorin, we can acknowledge that you may have experienced these issues with other anodizers, particularly with batch anodizers. Perhaps you were told falsities about anodized aluminum by representatives of coatings companies. However, these concerns can all be addressed when using Lorin continuous coil anodized aluminum.
Myth 1 – Anodized Aluminum is a Coating
Actually, anodizing is an electro-chemical process that grows the aluminum oxide layer from the base aluminum, bonding at the molecular level, so it cannot chalk, chip, flake or peel like a coating or paint. It is actually part of the aluminum, while coatings are a separate material either sprayed or roll coated onto the aluminum. Additionally, coatings often require a separate primer or adhesion promoter to help the material stick to the aluminum.
Fact 1: Aluminum Anodizing is not a Coating
Myth 2 – Anodized Aluminum doesn’t last as long and isn’t as durable as Coatings
Aluminum Oxide is part of the Corundum family of gemstones, like a sapphire, and is second only to diamonds in terms of hardness. The hardness of the anodic layer makes it very abrasion resistant, outperforming paint in Tabor abrasion and pencil hardness tests, which means a more durable product with a better Return on Investment.
Because paint is a coating that is either rolled or sprayed onto the base aluminum, it relies on the surface tension it creates with the metal, or a primer, for adhesion. This surface tension can break down over time, causing the paint to lose adhesion, leading to chalking, chipping, flaking and peeling. This loss of adhesion can creep over time, causing more and more of the surface area to lose its paint. This can lead to the replacement of the material, due to the high costs of repainting the original surface.
If the anodic layer is breached all the way to the raw aluminum underneath, the aluminum will self-heal by creating its own protective oxide layer, ensuring that the damage will not creep beyond the initial damage point. This mitigates the need for costly repairs.
The anodic layer is easy and safe to clean with solvents, which results in low building maintenance costs. Paint can easily be scratched or chipped. Damage to the painted surface can lead to corrosion under the paint, causing the damage to “creep” over time. This results in painted metal having higher maintenance costs than anodized aluminum.
Fact 2: Anodized aluminum is more durable and lasts longer than most Coatings
Watch the rest of our Anodized Aluminum vs Painted Aluminum Videos