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Anodizing of the CT&J Plate

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The 5083 Cast Tool & Jig Plate is designed to respond well to bright dip anodizing, a process which enhances both the aesthetic appeal and durability of an aluminum product.

What Is Anodizing?

Anodizing is a form of electrolytic passivation which adds an additional layer of oxide on the surface layer of the metal. There are several different ways that material can be anodized, though it is most commonly done by using sulfuric acid to create a thick oxide layer. The additional layer helps the product to resist wear-and-tear more easily as well as corrosion and decay, especially from other chemical sources.

Chemicals Used In Anodizing

Rather than polishing the alloy or plating the material, bright dipping uses chemicals to produce a variety of colors in aluminum. The most commonly used chemicals in bright dipping are phosphoric and nitric acid.

Other chemicals limit nitrogen oxide fumes, which enhance the ability of the chemical bath to change the color of the metal. The chemical bath evens out the microscopic roughness of the product, which gives it a smoother appearance and feel.

Anodizing Features

This process is a fraction of the cost that polishing would be and does not leave surface deposits on the material. Because of the 5083’s make up, it will produce brighter and more vivid colors. Any alloys used for this process must be free of scratches or other blemishes.

This makes the 5083 an excellent choice because of its machine precision finishing, minimal internal stresses, and flatness tolerances. After the bright dip is finished, the plate will be highly reflective and suitable for most cosmetic applications.

While the bright dip process enhances the visual appeal of the product, the anodizing helps make the material more durable and corrosion resistant. While pure aluminum is highly resistant to corrosion, aluminum alloys can be more susceptible to decay over time.

Anodizing 5083 Aluminum Alloy

5083 is an aluminum alloy with magnesium and is well-known for being resistant to corrosion and is notable for its use in underwater industrial settings. 5083 is one of the strongest aluminum alloy products, as magnesium is the only element that can be mixed with aluminum to improve strength. Alloying aluminum with magnesium has the added benefit of not chemically interfering with the brightening process because of the chemical similarities between magnesium and aluminum.

5083 also responds well to the anodizing process. Because the bright dip process produces a relatively thin oxide coat of a few micrometers, it will not substantially effect the surface of the material. Users should be aware that the coating will crack if exposed to temperatures above 80 Celsius, and because of their low thermal conductivity, anodized products do not respond well to welding.

Summary

The end result of bright dip anodizing is a product which has both a colorful luster and considerable durability. The most common use of bright dipped 5000 series aluminum is in decorative trim for cars, where it will not corrode but needs to maintain a polished appearance. For cosmetic aluminum products, this is the superior process, and the 5083 product is one of the best choices for the bright dip anodizing.

Clinton is one largest distributors of aluminum mold plate in the US and carries the following CT&J plates, which are both modified 5083 aluminum alloys:

Call us at 800-826-3370 to learn more or to speak with sales.

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