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2004 Anodizing Conference Abstracts
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Anodizing Aluminum
Richard Mahn, Houghton Metal Finishing

Learn the intricate details involved in producing an aluminum oxide coating that will provide the protection needed for the desired result.

Anodizing Advancements and Innovations
Jianping Liu, Henkel Surface Technologies

The anodizing process continues to improve and advance, offering better methods and an ever-increasing availability of colors. This session, presented by a research chemist, offers insights into improved processes including 2-step color chemistry and nickel-free cold sealing method. Fade-resistant copper colors will also be highlighted.

A Practical Guide to Coloring Aluminum
Mark Jozefowicz, Clariant Corporation

The variety of coloring processes, including organic dying, inorganic coloring, and the electrolytic 2-step process will be explored. Problem solving and attention to operational details will also be a part of this informative presentation.

A View From Washington
Charlie Simmons, Law Offices of Charles T. Simmons, LLC

Election year posturing dominates the headlines, but what are the truly substantive differences between the contenders for the White House and their respective parties? This session cuts through the rhetoric and presents a performance-based analysis of the current administration versus the opposition with respect to the issues that directly or indirectly affect the anodizing industry. From historical performance, voting records and policy decisions, a coherent projection is offered of how the next administration might handle environmental and regulatory issues that influence the anodizing community. Topics under consideration in this discussion include:
  • Practical Differences in Environmental Regulation
  • Climate Change
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing Incentives
  • International Trade
  • Litigation Reform.

Biocontamination Control in Metal Surface Finishing Operations
W. J. Fullen, Boeing Corporation

Biological contamination in tankline processes affect part quality, cycle time, and worker safety. The processes affected are varied and occur in both high and low pH conditions. The organisms of biocontaminants have been observed to be fungal (Alternaria, Fusarium, and Penicillium) and bacterial (Pseudomonas). Case studies of several processes are provided: Magnetic-Particle Inspection, Boric-Sulfuric Acid Anodizing, and acid and alkaline etch rinsing. Process descriptions, deleterious effects, and summary cause analyses are provided along with the found remedy, required engineering testing, and implementation results.

Biological Cleaning
Phillip Richards and Tim Jones, Clariant UK Ltd.

Biological cleaners can be a good alternative to traditional chemical cleaners. This paper examines biological cleaners, their formulation and composition, as well as how biological cleaners work. The benefits of using biological systems for cleaning various types of soil on metallic surfaces will also be discussed.

Effects of Globalization on the North American Anodizing Industry
Prepared by Bruno Rüttimann, Alcan Singen, GmbH
Presented by Barry Ellard, Alcan International

Globalization is influencing every business in today's modern economy. But globalization is neither uniform nor standard across various industries; different types of globalization are taking place. Which type corresponds to the business of anodizing? What are the effects of globalization on anodizing today? What does the structure of the North American aluminum anodizing industry look like? Will that structure change? What competitive consequences might be expected? What strategies can be applied to meet a changing context? The lecture will present a brief overview of the characteristics of North American anodizers and try to answer these questions.

Electricity for Hard Anodizers
Leonid Lerner, Sanford Process Corp.

The importance of proper current flow through the conductors (racks, bus bars, cables, and electrolyte) will be presented. Ohm’s law as it applies to anodizing will be addressed. Properties of electrical current that are analogous to those of water will be discussed; for example, the flow of current is similar to the flow of water through a pipe, the amount of current flow is similar to the gallons of water per hour, water pressure is similar to electrical potential (volts).

Improved Systems of Filtration and Agitation
Charles Schultz, Serfilco, Ltd.

The competitive business of producing quality coatings is requiring that new decisions be made in the selection of filtration and agitation systems for surface finishing processes. The advantages of preventing contaminants from getting into the solution by working backwards and filtering the cleaners, acids, and rinses in front of the process tanks will be emphasized. While the importance of increased solids-holding capacity brought about by various grades of filter media and the advantages of increased flow rates in achieving fast particle removal from a process tank are typically addressed, this presentation will concentrate on a backwards approach. Additionally, special emphasis will be placed on the benefits of an eductor system to effectively distribute the desired level of agitation, while significantly reducing airborne emissions.

Legislation Applicable to Chemicals in Canada
Roman Kostiuk, Clariant Corporation

Two main topic areas will be examined: inventory regulatory requirements and hazard communications. Inventory regulatory requirements will focus on chemical registration, screening, and tracking of new chemicals into Canada. In particular, the Domestic Substances List (DSL)–Canada’s official inventory of chemicals used in Canadian commerce and the Non-Domestic Substances List (NDSL)–a list of chemicals that are on the USA Toxic Substance Control Act (TOSCA) inventory but not on Canada’s DSL list, will be examined. The mandatory registration procedures will also be reviewed. Hazard communication requirements will center on the Canadian Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), which incorporates workplace warning labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). New and upcoming chemical legislation that will impact business activities will also be addressed.

Metallurgy: From Billet to Bath
Corey Richardson, AACOA, Inc.

The translucent nature of an anodic finish on aluminum permits the metallurgy of the aluminum to play a prominent role in the final appearance of the anodized piece. This paper is a review of the processes involved in producing aluminum extrusions and the potential for associated anodizing defects. Variation in the processes involved in getting the metal from the cast house to the anodize shop is ultimately the deciding factor in how an aluminum part responds to anodizing. This presentation reviews these processes and provides examples of various associated defects that may become apparent upon the anodizing of the aluminum part.

Preparation of Aluminum for Anodizing
Richard Mahn, Houghton Metal Finishing
An in-depth study of the techniques for the preparation of aluminum for anodizing will be explored. This presentation will examine the process of cleaning, etching, bright dipping, and desmutting. An exploration of how metal constituents react in the multitude of alloys when anodized will also be discussed.

Proactive Environmental Advocacy
Terry Snell, William L. Bonnell Co., Inc.

Environmental regulations should be protective of human health and the environment. Environmental regulations and policies also should be founded on sound science, and cost/benefit principles. In order to achieve those goals, Industries and Industry Groups need to work together to promote sensible environmental regulations and policies, become active as stakeholders, and provide input into the development of regulations and policies. Learn how to help shape policies and regulations by becoming involved in the process in this informative session.

Pulse Anodizing in an Existing Anodizing Line
Anne Deacon Juhl, AluConsult

Implementing pulse anodizing in a conventional, existing anodizing line will be presented. Pulse anodizing uses slow, square-formed pulses that can decrease the total energy consumption of the anodizing process. Energy consumption in the existing line will be explained, as well as calculations used to show the theoretical energy decrease when using pulse anodizing. Improvements to the existing facilities necessary to manage the higher energy input per minute will also be discussed. Using the Tagushi statistic method, different pulse parameters will be explored to obtain the optimum pulse pattern for the specific 6063 alloy.

Removal of Dye from Waste Streams
Tina Gaddy, Clariant Corporation

In order to protect the environment and to comply with the increasingly stringent regulations on water pollution, methods of decolorizing dye waste streams have been developed. There are two main methods for decolorizing and removing heavy metals from used dye solutions and rinses. The first is a procedure using absorption by activated carbon and the second method is a chemical and precipitation process. Both methods leave a colorless, virtually heavy-metal-free liquid that is easily handled and disposed of. Additionally, these methods are quite reliable and simple and have already proved their value in industrial practice.

Rinsewater Reduction Calculator
Julie K. Unangst and Warren J. Fullen, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Regulatory and cost drivers have increased the focus on rinsewater reduction at the Boeing Plant in Auburn, Washington. The first step in making reductions is to determine the amount of rinsewater required for a given process, taking into account requirements driven by health and safety, governing specifications, and part quality. This can be accomplished with the use of the Rinsewater Reduction Calculator (RR Calculator), which uses a Microsoft Access database to model single, double, and triple counter-current rinse tanks. Water usage can then be controlled with the use of timers. In practice, using timer settings generated with the RR Calculator in place of subjective practices has reduced rinsewater usage by more than 50 percent. Application of the RR Calculator will be discussed, and the tool, developed by Boeing chemical engineers, will be made available on the Boeing Company website.

Terry Sjostrom, Henkel Surface Technologies

Common sealing methods used with anodic films will be examined in this instructive session, along with their advantages and disadvantages, applicable testing procedures and required specifications. Mid-temperature, cold, hot water, and two-step sealing will be explored.

Suppression of NOx Gases at the Source
Melvin Todd, PCS Sales

Research into the suppression of NOx gases released during the bright-dip process will be presented, with particular focus on maintaining an adequate level of fume suppressant in the bright-dip bath.

Test Methods for Evaluating Anodized Aluminum
Paul Lomax, Fischer Technology

Film thickness measurement is an important factor in an anodize application. A description of the Eddy Current Process will be discussed along with the influences that could affect an accurate reading of coating thickness. Notably, advances in research and technology now allow for improved accuracy of readings over curved surfaces. Evaluating the quality of seal of the anodic surface is another important test in determining the weather resistance of anodic oxide finishes. A simple nondestructive method of testing sealing quality will be described. Conductivity measurement is used as a way to determine the hardness and strength of heat-treated materials such as aluminum alloys. This is particularly important for quality assurance in the manufacture, maintenance, or repair of airplanes that might have anodized components.

The Importance of Process Control in Aluminum Brightening
Barrie Winn, PCS Sales

The bright dip bath must be carefully balanced and maintained to produce the maximum brightness possible. As the bath is operated, the bath composition changes due to the following: nitric acid reaction (reduces acid content); water boil-off (reduces water content and increases specific gravity); nitric acid boil-off (reduces nitric acid content); aluminum dissolution (increases aluminum content). It is important to have reliable analytical procedures in place to monitor these changes and make appropriate adjustments. The paper will discuss the monitoring and control of aluminum, water, and nitric acid content. Other critical parameters such as temperature and agitation will also be reviewed.

Troubleshooting the Anodizing Process
Chris Hanthorn, Henkel Surface Technologies

In order to produce a quality anodized part, there are critical, sequential steps that must be followed. It can be difficult to determine the cause of defects given the number of steps and factors involved in the anodizing process. To assist with this daunting task, common techniques used to troubleshoot problems, examples of common defects, their causes, and corrective actions will be discussed.

U.S. Regulatory Roundup
Charlie Simmons, Law Offices of Charles T. Simmons, LLC

Although widely recognized as an environmentally benign process, the anodizing industry is not immune to government regulations that affect water, air emissions, chemicals (use, storage, transportation, security, release reporting), hazardous materials, manpower, energy and raw materials. This session discusses regulatory developments, trends, and enforcement actions seen at the federal and state levels that could influence the anodizing industry.

Whole Effluent Toxicity Testing
Charles Simmons, Law Office of Charles L. Simmons, LLC

Whole Effluent Toxicity testing (WET-testing), a biomonitoring procedure used to evaluate the relative acute or chronic toxicity of wastewater, has been controversial since it was introduced in the early 1990s. Although principally used to establish permit limits for toxicity of direct wastewater discharges, WET-testing excursions can also influence indirect dischargers to a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW). WET-testing can also play a role in total maximum daily load (TMDL) development and, in rare instances, storm water discharges. This session will discuss:
  • WET-testing basics: chronic and acute toxicity evaluation
  • Why chronic WET is controversial – test variability and false positives
  • WET litigation and outcome
  • How EPA and States implement WET analyses
  • Directs: What if chronic WET limits are proposed for your discharge?
  • Indirects: What if the control authority (POTW) perceives your facility is causing chronic WET excursions?
  • What is the future for WET-testing?