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Past Awards of Excellence Winners


Past AAC Awards of Excellence winners

Donald I. Johnson Award for Best Presentation
The best presentation award is named for Donald I. Johnson, retired from AaCron Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who was one of the founding fathers of the Council. He served as AAC Chairman from 1987 to 1994.

Acid Etch - Potential Environmental Issues from Ammonia

 Janette Courtney, Bonnell Aluminum

Tank Optimization for the Job Shop
Jeffrey Almeyda, Master Metal Finishers/Aerotech Processing Solutions

Acid Etch Update and Process Improvements
Linda Newman, Houghton Metal Finishing
Acid etch has been gaining market share over the past 8 years. Many anodizing plants have made the switch to the acid etch process. This presentation provided in depth technical details and the latest research and development discoveries. Linda also discussed process improvements to reduce product consumption, aluminum dissolution and gloss readings.
Coupling Solar Energy Conversion Devices to Anodized Aluminum Alloys
Professor Mathieu Brochu, McGill University of Montreal
Professor Brochu's presentation a major global concern: Increasing the availability of green energy sources or increasing our capacity to convert renewable energy.. 

Nanodevices Using Anodized Alumina as Templates
Dr. Bethany Stadler, University of Minnesota
Beth's presentation outlined how anodic alumina has been used as nanoporous templates for almost two decades. This review of current nanodevices using templates included magnetic, photonic, and electronic devices.

Building a Strong Company

Susan Johnson, Futura Industries
Susan’s presentation outlined how to go about building strong employee loyalty and engagement. Susan showed that through a high level of employee engagement driven by a strong culture, companies can achieve great things. Futura Industries has performed best in their markets over the long term and returned “best of class” earnings for an organization in any industry during the recent economic catastrophe, yet alone a company involved in metals manufacturing.

Using Anodic Alumina to Fabricate Artificial Cilia Sensors
Bethanie Hills Stadler, Ph. D., University of Minnesota
Professor Stadler works on the integration of nanomagnetic and photonic materials with a variety of platforms to allow the development of practical devices and systems at the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Minnesota, where she is also on the Graduate Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

New Uses for Anodized Aluminum
H. Hau Wang, Ph.D., Argonne National Laboratory
H. Hau Wang's paper discussed the nanostructure of anodized aluminum oxide and its uses in numerous fields, particularly energy and security applications.

Automatic Racking
Petter Isaksson, Ahlins i Habo AB
Labor-intensive racking methods can add significantly to the cost of production. Traditional efforts to automate have relied on consistent long-term orders of uniform parts—something that job shop customers might be reluctant to commit to or pay for. The solution presented in this case study makes automation flexible, without requiring special tools, racks, or feeders.

Sealing for Alkali Resistance

Mark Jozefowicz, Clariant Corp.
Mark Jozefowicz's paper discussed the best material for and correct process to use to increase the alkali resistance of anodized aluminum through sealant coating.

New Generation of Process Controllers for Type II Anodizing
Frank Munk, Munk GmbH
Combining the advantages of both human flexibility and standardized operation by automation, the presentation focuses on a special process controller system designed for the Type II aluminum anodizing process. The presentation gives an idea of what is possible and affordable for today’s service companies willing to take the challenge of increasing productivity to stay competitive.

Before You Begin: Racking and Clamping Systems for a Modern Anodizing Plant
Ed Burlingham, Burlingham International
Ed Burlingham's paper discusses the pros and cons of racking and clamping systems to help determine if the system is right for your anodizing plant.

Sealing of Anodic Coatings
Terry Sjostrom, Henkel Surface Technologies
Terry Sjostrom's paper discusses hot and cold sealing of anodic surfaces as ways to protect anodic coatings. It also discusses the factors that affect the coating, how to prevent crazing and how to test seal quality.

Navigating Automotive Specifications for Aluminum Anodizing

Corey Richardson, AACOA, Inc.

Insights regarding the Adhesion Mechanism for Supplementary Organic Coatings on Porous Anodic Films
Jude M. Runge, Ph.D., Argonne Nat'l Laboratory

Preparation of Aluminum for Anodizing
Richard Mahn, Houghton Metal Finishing

Robert L. Kersman Award of Excellence for Best Paper
The Robert L. Kersman Award of Excellence for best paper is named for Robert (Buzz) Kersman of Lorin Industries in Muskegon, Michigan, who was instrumental to the formation of the Council, helping to fund and organize the early meetings.

A New Approach for the Determination of Chemistry and Optical Properties of AAO Layers Electrocolored in Tin and Copper Based Solutions
Pinar Afsin and Can Akyil, Conventya

Applying Lean Manufacturing to Anodizing
Jared Bringhurst, Futura Industries


Using Optical Areal Measurement Methods to Assess the Surface Shape and Texture on Aluminum Anodized Surfaces
Andres Arasanz, Niels Schwarz, Aitor Matilla, and Jordi Marine, Sensofar

STERRAD® Testing of Color Anodized Finishes
Mark Jozefowicz, Reliant Aluminum Products
Medical device application of color anodized aluminum requires that the finish withstand multiple sterilization treatments. STERRAD® sterilization subjects parts to a highly oxidative environment that often results in color fade. The results of an investigation carried out on a variety of organic and inorganic colors sealed by six methods using conventional technologies was presented.

Cost Reduction in Anodizing Using New Auto Filter
Stefan Strasser, Lenzing Technik GmbH
Strasser's paper summarized the presentation of a unique and new automatic backwash filter for cost reduction, quality improvement and protecting the environment in the aluminum anodizing process. Stefan discussed how successful installations of the filter in dyeing and seal-bath sections have proven the above mentioned potential.

Enhancing the Use of Anodized Aluminum by Demonstrating to Decision-Makers the Increased Value of Colored Aluminum in Terms of Surface Properties, Appeal, as well as Cost.

Dr. Klaus Dieter Baumgart, Clariant International AG
His paper challenged the perception that colored anodized aluminum is more expensive and more difficult to process than other materials such as powder coated metals and plastics. Dr. Baumgart explained that when the multi-step process challenges of producing colored anodized aluminum are taken into account from the very first design phase with designers, OEM and brand decision makers, that perception is proven wrong

Metallurgical Assessment of Acid Etch as Anodizing Pretreatment
Nick Parson, Rio Tinto Alcan
Nick Parson compared the newer acid etch method recently adopted by anodizing lines in the U.S. and Australia to the conventional caustic etch method.


Anodizing Quality Aluminum Sheet Material with High Recycled Content
Greg Courval, Novelis
Greg’s paper addressed the strong and growing demand from the building and construction market for high recycled-content products, led by initiatives such as LEED-type certifications that are becoming much more prevalent throughout the industry.

Electrochemical Kinetics, Transport & Pattern Formation in Anodizing
Dale Barkey, Ph.D., University of New Hampshire
The formation of anodic oxide finish is examined as a far-from-equilibrium electrochemical phase-formation process. In this view, the growth of a highly ordered oxide phase is related to competition among electrostatic and diffusive driving forces, surface kinetics, and spare charges. The framework is compared with published models of oxide growth as well as experimental data from this laboratory.

Effect of Microstructure of AlMg0.8Cu and AlMg0.7Si on the Optical Quality of the Anodic Film
Naja Tabrizian et al., Technical University of Denmark; Bang & Olufsen
This paper by Naja Tabrizian discusses how the slightest change in the thickness and consistency of the microstructure of anodic film can alter the optical quality.

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

Toughness: The Key to Improved Anodic Oxide Finish Performance
Jude M. Runge, Ph.D., CompCote International
Comparative testing has brought to light the importance of the engineering property of fracture toughness. The results indicate the importance of understanding the anodizing process and the synergy between process, microstructure and engineering properties to bring innovation and improvement to our mature industry.

Different Methods of Etching Prior to Anodizing
Mores Basaly, Houghton Metal Finishing
Mores Basaly's paper discusses the reasons for acid etching and the different methods of performing the task. The presentation also discusses the requirements for etching and the pros and cons.

Rinsewater Reduction Calculator
Warren John Fullen, Boeing Corporation
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, applicable specifications and part quality. This can be accomplished with the Rinsewater Reduction Calculator (RRC), which uses a Microsoft Access database to model single, double counter current, and triple counter current rinse tanks. Implementing timer settings generated with the RRC in place of subjective practices has reduced rinsewater usage by more than 50%.

Troubleshooting the Anodizing Process
Chris Hanthorn, Henkel Surface Technologies

Anodizing--Its Development, Status, Future Challenges
Arthur W. Brace, Ph.D., Anodizing Consultant

Global Trends Worldwide: New Developments in the Anodizing Industry
Walter Dalla Barba & Fabio Vincenzi, Italtecno