In the U.K. and elsewhere, anodising aluminium has opened up many possible applications for the metal alloy such as jewellery, artwork, architectural designs and cookware. Anodisation is an electrochemical process that transforms the metal surface of aluminium into a porous substance to create a more durable and resistant finish. Infused with an added layer of anodic coating, the aluminium becomes one of the hardest substances around next to diamond. The anodic coating is also the main element that allows secondary treatments like dyeing and brightening in the metal, which provides many uses.
Environmental stability is a huge trend in architecture in today’s society. It helps ensure that each structure minimises the negative environmental impact of buildings through the use of sustainable materials. Aluminium, in particular, is known for its environmental advantages. To further improve its qualities and suitability to architectural applications, builders often prefer to anodise aluminium. This process of anodising enhances aluminium’s environmental benefits.
The environmental advantage of anodising aluminium starts at its process. It is a strictly water-based procedure that does not use volatile organic compounds which can be potentially harmful to the environment. Its resistance to fire also means that it will not produce flames or emit toxic fumes. At about 660 degrees Celsius or 1,220 degrees Fahrenheit, it only melts.
As the website for underwater product maker Deepsea would describe it, “Anodizing is like a knight’s armour; it’s only the outer shell that’s hard, what’s underneath remains unchanged”. Indeed, anodising improves aluminium’s durability, protecting it from premature wear and corrosion. Since the resulting finish is porous, secondary colour can also be infused for aesthetic purposes.
Due to its strength, durability, and decorative quality, anodised aluminium has become widely used in a myriad home and industrial products, including kitchenware, appliances, computer and mobile systems, automobiles, and equipment.