By Steven Soderberg, Lorin Industries, Inc.
There are many reasons why anodized aluminum is particularly well-suited for consumer appliance applications. Here are what I consider the top four features of anodized aluminum that make them such a good choice for appliances:
• Protective anodic layer
• Unique aesthetic qualities
• No plastic feel
• A dielectric layer - which means it does not transfer or build up electricity, so you will not be shocked when you touch it.
Consumer appliances really benefit from these features in many different ways. First of all is durability – As part of the corundum family of gemstones, aluminum oxide is like a sapphire, second only to diamonds in terms of hardness. And that hardness preserves the aluminum surface from corrosion, so it doesn’t chip, flake, or peel.
Next comes ease of use and maintenance – the tough anodic layer resists everything from corrosion to fingerprints and smudges. Whether it’s a large or a small in-home appliance, you will not need any special cleaning compounds.
One of the most important benefits is just pure aesthetics. The anodic layer of aluminum oxide is a translucent crystalline structure that enhances the natural metallic beauty of the aluminum beneath. For those looking for products with that stylish natural metals look, the material is available in a stainless steel, brass, gold, zinc, pewter, bronze, copper, and muntz look. And it won’t add the extra weight and hefty price tag that comes along with those metals.
Consistent appearance is another plus. With Lorin’s continuous coil process, every square inch or millimeter of the entire coil spends the same amount of time in each part of the process. And it also offers unmatched durability. The hardness of the anodic layer makes it very abrasion resistant, outperforming paint and some other metals in Tabor abrasion and pencil hardness tests, which means a more durable product with a better return on investment.
Compared to other materials used in consumer appliances, the material’s lower weight means fewer pounds of material are needed to make parts, saving money. And one final benefit – anodized aluminum is easier to handle than other metals, so there is less risk of injury and handling damage.