By Steven Soderberg, Lorin Industries, Inc.
Lorin is pleased to highlight that its AlumaPlus® product meets longstanding and recent trends in the appliance industry, for the benefit of manufacturers and consumers. For years, in both consumer and commercial spaces, stainless steel has held sway as the material of choice for a large number of different appliance types. The look of stainless steel is often chosen for its sleek appearance and easy complementarity with almost any other finish color for walls, cabinets, and accents. It turns out, though, that stainless steel is not the only material capable of achieving this same sleek look and durable finish that blends well with most every other design element.
Into the fray of considerations of aesthetics, performance, durability, and cost come unique materials not traditionally used in appliance design. One such example is anodized aluminum, such as the brand name AlumaPlus® from Lorin Industries, Inc. AlumaPlus® replicates the exact look of stainless steel, including its brushed appearance. The material, thanks to its unique anodic layer that electro-chemically alters the surface of the metal to improve durability and performance, is similarly resistant to marking and degrading over time as stainless steel. Moreover, anodized aluminum options like AlumaPlus® are far less expensive than stainless steel. Additionally, the anodized aluminum material is lightweight and yet still strong enough to hold up as metal fascia for appliance applications.
From the perspective of consumers, anodized aluminum appliances, like those with fascia formed from Lorin’s AlumaPlus® material, have as distinctive a look as any other high end metal finish they would want to consider. The resulting products are durable, scratch resistant, and can be cleaned with warm water and soap instead of requiring harmful cleaning materials. Consumers benefit from having anodized aluminum on their appliances because the products have the same great look as other metals and excellent wear properties, but at a reduced cost. What’s more, a recent study from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers showed that consumers wish to continue cooking at home and using their major home appliances more, even after the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted. Appearance and costs are of greater concern than ever though, as people spend more of their time at home and respond to shifting economic demands.
Anodized aluminum is currently in use in coffee makers, refrigerators, commercial freezer cases, and more appliance applications from some of the industry’s leading companies. The reduced cost of anodized aluminum over stainless steel and natural metals, while retaining pleasing aesthetics, are particularly well suited to emerging industry trends, including those brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.