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2007 Anodizing Conference Abstracts
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A Definitive Discussion of the Bright Dip and Electropolish Processes
Melvin Todd, PCS Sales

This presentation is a comprehensive discussion of the bright dip and electro-polish processes. Each process will be outlined from a molecular standpoint. The key reactions, which govern each procedure will be outlined and evaluated. The advantages and disadvantages of each procedure will be discussed. In addition, this presentation will offer a comparison of the relative expense of employing each of these processes.


Adhesive Bonding
Birgit Kjærside Storm

The perfect bond between two aluminium parts is one in which the bond itself is stronger than the aluminium. Strong bonds may be made with structural adhesives such as epoxy, polyurethane, cyanoacrylate or a few other types. However, aluminium reacts with atmospheric contaminants and CO2, which yields a low surface tension, although aluminium itself will have a high surface tension. The low surface tension of the reacted surface yields inferior surface wetting, which results in relatively poor adhesion between the aluminium and the adhesive.

A good wetting is necessary to make a good bond. For this, a surface treatment such as anodizing may be appropriate. For obtaining the best adhesion on the anodized surface the adhesive step should be carried out before the sealing, immediately after the anodizing. Newly anodized aluminium supports a mechanical bonding in addition to the adhesion. The unsealed aluminium has reactive groups, which in some cases can react with reactive groups in the adhesive and can cause a chemical bonding as well.

The unsealed anodized aluminium can be treated with a primer, which can react with the active groups and can run into the pores and fill out the porosity. Applying the adhesive before the primer completely cures can create a chemical reaction between the primer and the adhesive, yielding a higher-strength bond.


Advancements in Anodizing – Improved Finish Properties through Electrolyte Modification
Jude Mary Runge, Ph.D., CompCote International

A new anodic oxidation process for aluminum and aluminum alloys was theorized, developed and patented which enables the formation of composite polymer-aluminum oxide finishes. Important to the process is the modification of the electrolyte to include electroactive monomer. The additive is actually made conductive through its introduction to the electrolyte. Because the anodization process and polymerization reactions are both oxidative, the reactions occur simultaneously during anodizing of the aluminum substrate, forming uniform, continuous finishes. Scientific characterization of the finishes determined the polymer is integrated and bound to the anodic oxide structure. Engineering characterization determined the composite finishes are more corrosion and wear resistant as well as more colorfast. In addition, the finish was found to offer actual bonding sites for subsequent polymer layers, giving better adhesion. Implementation, maintenance and waste treatment of the process, after several years in full scale production have shown the process is easy to handle, efficient and less expensive to operate than conventional hard anodizing processes.


Anodizing Pretreatment
Judith Pietschmann, Forschungsinstitut Edelmetalle & Metallchemie (FEM)

The presentation gives a short overview about anodizing as pretreatment before coating to promote corrosion resistance. Influence of bath conditions, production parameters, layer thickness, rinse conditions onto coating adhesion, and corrosion resistance. Presentation of laboratory test results and results from 10 years natural weathering on different test sides in Europe, and experience with this pretreatment in practice – production and application will be reviewed.
Automated Chemical Process Control
Todd Balisky, Liquid Analysis Systems, Inc.

The automation of chemical process control will be examined, including
  • The benefits of automating anodizing line chemical analysis, reporting, and replenishment
  • Techniques for automated sampling, analysis, and replenishment
  • Case examples of automation
  • Equipment display (after session).

Automation of Production Records
Eric Gatmaitan, SMConsulting LLC

A case study on how AACOA Anodizing automated their anodizing specifications, work orders, and production data collection will be presented. The software was designed, developed, and launched in three months by industrial engineers knowledgeable of the anodizing process.

The software provided production operators online access to work orders and capture production data electronically. With each work order, an operator can access work center specifications such as drawings, photo examples, racking information, tank settings, and packing instructions. The AACOA Anodizing Production Database enables staff members with novice Microsoft® Excel skills to retrieve data, conduct analysis, and generate reports.

The presentation includes a software demonstration showing the work order data interface & entry, receiving of customer-owned metal, racking, anodizing, packing, shipping and customer service work order status utility.


High-Frequency Bipolar Power Supply
Hiromichi Odajima, IDX Corporation

Based on the advanced power device, IDX Corporation succeeded in developing rectangular pulse wave, high frequency up to 15 kHz, bipolar power supply, which makes it possible to apply large current density without causing burning. Drastic improvements of production efficiency and surface quality have been achieved.


Innovation in Anodizing: The Line of the Future
Walter Dalla Barba, Italtecno

Anodizing is about 80 years old, just a lifetime, even if the real industrialization of the process started only after 1945. For the history of mankind it is not a very long time, but for technology it is a very, very long time. There have been some improvements in the last part of the 20th century, but many innovative processes have been studied and developed in this new millennium.

The main innovative technologies are in the area of automation, ecology, quality, productivity, cost reduction, and new finishes. Italtecno has studied “the ideal anodizing line of the future” where all these features are applied. Automatic racking and unracking, full automation of the process, new mechanical finishes, recovery of chemicals, anodizing with energy saving, new colors, room temperature nickel free sealing and finally a new concept of line anodizing, different from classical horizontal and vertical lines for profiles, will be presented. At the end of the line is an innovative zero-discharge system for the wastes that will be also described.

Each innovative technology could be implemented all together in new lines or as single steps in existing plants except (of course) the” new concept” line.


Legislative Trends
Charles T. Simmons, Law Offices of Charles T. Simmons LLP

Topics to be discussed include EPA’s proposed revisions to the definition of solid waste intended to facilitate recycling (and driven to a large extent by increased commodities prices); and the Agency’s plating and polishing NESHAP, anticipated in 2008. Implications for industry and energy of the Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, that carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas – is an air pollutant will also be discussed. New chemical security regulations that could affect some anodizing operations will be reviewed. The combination of social, political and legal factors driving a “greening” of American industry will be discussed in light of potential opportunities for anodizers.


Let’s Do It White. . . by Anodizing
Enzo Strazzi, Italfinish; presented by Jude Mary Runge, Ph.D., CompCote International

A chalk-white finishing on aluminum achieved just by anodizing is considered something like a “mirage” or an impossible goal. Now it’s possible! A proprietary patented treatment is able to produce a white anodic film on a lot of different aluminum alloys with an aesthetic finishing. The present paper will introduce a new technology that could shake the aluminum finishing market, so long sleeping on “conventional” anodizing and painting processes.

The process is very simple. The pieces are racked and sent directly to the anodizing tank without any preliminary treatment because no degreasing or etching step is strictly necessary and, by using a special power supply, a white film is formed on aluminum just “switching on” the machine.

The process can be applied on high silicon cast alloy, too. Few microns layer seems to be the best conversion coating on high silicon alloys before any type of painting process (i.e. powder coating, wet paint or E-coat.)
An accurate review of some previous researchers’ attempts will be included as an introduction to the proposed process that will be described with data and photos.


Life Cycle Assessment and Anodizing – Status, Developments and Perspectives
Niki Bey, IPU Products Development

This presentation aims at giving an introduction to environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and its use in product development and environmental communication. The presentation will show how LCA can be applied to assess surface treatment processes such as anodizing and what perspectives can be seen in terms of general application of LCA with specific context to anodizing techniques. A short overview over status and developments in the field of LCA from a European perspective will be covered.


New Etch Chemistry and Benefits
David Whedon, AACOA, Inc.

In 2006, AACOA changed the etch chemistry of its "never dump" etch. This change resulted in improving productivity through shorter immersion times and reduced bath swelling. It further resulted in a better finish quality through producing an improved lower gloss finish. Finally, the new etch significantly reduced costs by lowering caustic consumption, reducing metal removal, and significantly lowering their T-SS (total suspended surcharge). This presentation will discuss these improvements and cost savings.


Real-Life Architectural Anodic Film Performance in Europe
Phil Wakeling, Advanced Materials LLC

Continuously anodized aluminum has been used for building facades for many years. Suppliers generally guarantee their product for 25 or 30 years. For this paper, we examined and tested the anodic film thickness and appearance for 17 buildings in various elements in France, Belgium, and Italy to determine the film integrity. The oldest building was constructed in 1975 and the newest in 2001. The performance of the façade panels has been excellent. The results for each building will be presented.


Sealing for Alkali Resistance
Mark Jozefowicz, Clariant Corp.

Brushless car washes attack the surface finish of many exterior automotive components including decorative trim made from anodized aluminum. American companies have been struggling to resolve this issue for years. Now it is the focus of European OEM's. Originally given at the 2006 ESTAL congress in Innsbrook, "Sealing for Anodized Aluminum" presents test data from a comprehensive study on current methods of sealing. Testing was focused on the evolving criteria set out by Volkswagon in Germany.


Thermal Energy Performance of Aluminum Fenestration
Thomas Culp, Birchpoint Consulting

This presentation will provide a general introduction to how the properties of aluminum extrusions and their surfaces affect heat transfer in building applications. The performance of aluminum framing systems in windows will be used as the primary example, although the same heat transfer principles will also be relevant in other applications. Specifically, this presentation will discuss the connection between the physical properties of aluminum extrusions with the three primary methods of heat transfer through a building component: thermal conduction, convection, and radiation.


Troubleshooting the Anodizing Process
Barry Ellard, Consultant to Alcan

Pretreatment prior to anodizing, as well as the anodizing process itself, can highlight a surface or metallurgical condition of the material. Anomalies or defects may be categorized into four areas: streaks, pitting, nonuniform appearance, and electrolytic coloring. While the anodizer often may not be able to control metal sourcing, he can control handling and storage within his own facility and his own anodizing practice.