Coil Anodized Aluminum Myths: Costs and Crazing

Busting myths about coil anodized aluminum

Now that we’ve debunked the most common myths about anodized aluminum’s colors, we’ll move onto a myth about another aesthetic concern – and a financial one. This blog is part of a series addressing myths about coil anodized aluminum so you have the information you need to reflect your vision with Lorin aluminum.

Myth: Formed parts must be batch anodized, or painted otherwise there will be unacceptable crazing on the parts.

Not true! Even in formed aluminum applications, coil anodized aluminum can be utilized with great success. Any material that is bent or stretched will have micro-fractures along the bend, also known as crazing, because nothing is infinitely flexible. Whether on painted, coated, or anodized aluminum, crazing occurs because the outer side of the bend is stretched more than the inner side. This crazing appears as a frosted effect.

While a bent anodized surface may exhibit visible crazing, it is often naturally obscured because of the way light reflects off a bend to create a brighter, frosted look.  In the hands of a skilled former, formed anodized parts can be made to look great, and don’t risk cracking and peeling that can spread or creep the way painted formed parts do.

Contrary to this common myth, continuous coil anodized aluminum is great even for formed aluminum applications.

Myth: Anodized aluminum is very expensive.

This is a myth and is certainly false. When each surface is viewed under an electron microscope, the surface of paint appears rough and sloppy compared to the anodic layer of anodized aluminum. The smoother surface of anodized aluminum helps it stay cleaner over time, because dirt, dust and other pollutant materials cannot get trapped on its surface to the same extent as paint. Unlike the dielectric surface of anodized aluminum, paint does nothing to inhibit the natural static electricity build up on the surface of metals.  This can increase the attraction of dust and dirt particles, as well as shock those who touch the surface. As a result, typical paint warranties for architectural building products require a cleaning of the panels on the building every year. Lorin anodized aluminum warranties, meanwhile, recommend cleaning only every other year, providing significant savings on cleaning costs over the life of the building.

Additionally, anodized aluminum can be cost-effective compared to other material choices. The cost of clear anodized, per square foot or meter, is comparable to a high quality PVDF paint. For a true bronze, copper, or zinc look, anodized aluminum may be slightly more expensive than paint, but it does not appear flat like paint, and is much more affordable than the natural metals it is replacing. As described above, it lowers cleaning costs over the lifetime of a building, and may provide savings by not requiring re-application like paint.

Check back to understand the environmental impact of producing and using coil anodized aluminum.

Read the rest of our Coil Anodized Aluminum Myths:
Environmental Responsibility 
Color and Finishes
Warranties and Coastal Applications