Analyzing Anodizing: Hard Coat vs. Clear

Metal finishes and platings are our specialty here at Electroplate-Rite. Our vast capabilities include anodizing services, which differ from normal plating services. Anodizing is more of a heavy oxidation of water and sulphuric acid, which is applied with a negative/positive charge (as opposed to plating, which is a positive/negative charge). When is anodizing a better choice? This process can only be used on aluminum, so the higher grades of aluminum will anodize better than lower grades. Essentially, we take components and dip them in our plating baths/tanks, and the anodized coatings will actually attach to the pores Hard coat and clear anodizingof the aluminum.

Specifically, we utilize two different anodizing processes to plate parts and components for automotive, aerospace, electronics, and military applications – hard coat anodizing and clear anodizing. What are the differences?

Hard Coat Anodizing: Since this is typically a smoother, harder coating, it is most applicable on machine parts that need to meet specific requirements, such as wire resistance, abrasion resistance and friction resistance. These coatings are applied in thicknesses ranging from .001-.003 in. and they are only found as a black hard coat.

Clear anodizing: Clear anodizing, which is more of a heavy oxide coating, is usually .0002-.0006 in. of coating. Since clear anodizing is utilized for stopping corrosion on aluminum, it is recommended for parts in either inside or outside environments, especially in the medical field and architectural applications. Generally speaking, clear anodizing is the more popular choice because colored dyes can be added once the coating is complete.

Have you decided if anodizing is the right coating process for your needs? Let us help you decide which anodizing process will provide your parts with the correct coating!

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