Four Finishes for Your Aluminium Extrusions

Aluminium extrusions are guaranteed to be a great addition to or component of your project. Aluminium offers many advantages such as being relatively cheap, easy to maintain and very hard to damage. Not only is aluminium eco-friendly but it is also versatile. Once you have your aluminium extrusions you will have to decide the type of finish you will want on them. Enter Edmo, a one stop shop for all your aluminium needs. They will tell you that the type of finish you choose will depend on the amount of corrosive resistance you desire and how much you want to change the appearance of the aluminium.

Pre-Treatment

Pre-treatment happens before painting or powder coating your aluminium extrusions. During pre-treatment, all oils, dirt and grease are removed from the aluminium’s surface. Pre-treatment is typically done to improve the metal’s adhesion. There are two types of pre-treatment coatings: chrome conversion coatings and chrome free coatings.

Chrome conversion coating converts the aluminium’s surface into an inert form which leads to the production of a hazardous substance called hexavalent chromium. Chrome free coating was developed to counter the hazards associated with chrome coatings. Pre-treatment include a multitude of steps and being thorough is the major determinant to success.

Powder Coating

The process of applying electro-statically charged paint in powder form onto aluminium is called powder coating. Contrary to liquid paint, powder coating does not need a solvent. Therefore, it is paramount that the metal is properly pre-treated. Powder coating is thick and creates strong bonds to the aluminium underneath meaning it is not easily eroded.

It also gives you the option of having a myriad of beautiful and bright colours to apply onto your aluminium extrusions. Powder coating is environmentally friendly because it does not contain harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) since no solvents are required. Moreover, waste from powder coating can be collected and be reused.

Anodising

When aluminium is exposed to oxygen in any form, it will start generating a protective layer of aluminium oxide. Anodising is a process by which manufacturers take advantage of this natural phenomenon. They pass the metal through a solution that accelerates the production of aluminium oxide until there is a thick protective layer around the metal. Anodising has many advantages including making the metal very resistant to corrosion of any kind. It also makes the aluminium’s surface porous which enables it to gracefully take many colours and make it quite versatile.

Liquid Paint

Using liquid paint as a finishing technique has a variety of advantages. First and foremost, it offers the broadest range of colours of any other finishing process. Given the versatility of aluminium, this quality makes it the most popular finishing technique. Moreover, painting is the preferred finishing method when you have a small batch of aluminium extrusions since you can get very specific colours depending on your needs.

On the other hand, liquid paint has been proven to contain volatile organic compounds which are not only harmful to the environment but also to the person using the paint. Also, liquid paint generates more waste than other finishing method which is not cost effective.