In this post you'll learn
Surface defense against corrosion is crucial, especially for certain industries. Technological advances give engineers more options and flexibility when it comes to surface protection. Different materials and industries call for specific protection methods, aluminum coating is one of those specific methods.
What Is Aluminum Coating?
The aluminum coating is the process of applying a protective layer of aluminum-based material against corrosion and other contaminants. The process itself is quite straightforward. The base material is dipped into an acidic degreaser for decontamination so that the dirt and debris wouldn’t be buried under the coating material. After the degreaser, the material is dipped into a rinsing bath to get rid of the degreaser solution. Aluminum coating sticks onto the surface through the principle of attraction of opposite poles, therefore the base material needs to get electrically charged before coating. Charged material is dipped into the coating solution, which is charged as well and dissolved in deionized water. This is a very similar process to powder coating. When the coating is done, the base material gets taken into a drying oven.
Advantages of Aluminum Coating
When it’s compared purely by unit price with other coating methods aluminum coating may seem expensive at first. However, other similar metal coating methods such as galvanization are not as long-lasting as aluminum coating. When the longevity of the material gets taken into consideration, aluminum coating proves to be a competitive point on the performance and price chart.
The aluminum coating is extremely resilient to corrosion due to aluminum’s self-protective characteristic against oxidation. Aluminized metals can withstand extreme atmospheric conditions that other metals can’t. Additionally, due to the sulfidation and carburization-resistant properties of aluminum, aluminized products are resilient to acidic corrosion as well.
Another benefit of aluminum coating is extreme heat resilience. Due to the high reflective properties of aluminum, 80% of light rays coming onto an aluminized surface bounces right off. The aluminum coating can protect its base material from thermal deformity under temperatures up to 800 Celcius. This makes aluminum coating four times more protective against heat, compared to galvanization with its recommended maximum temperature value of 200 Celcius.
Finally, the flexibility of aluminum allows for reshaping the base material without damaging the coating itself. That gives aluminization a huge benefit compared to other coating methods.
Disadvantages of Aluminum Coating
While aluminum coating provides excellent protection against thermal and chemical deformities, it’s not the best option when it comes to surface hardening. Many experts do not recommend aluminum coating on surfaces that are expected to experience surface impact during their lifespan.
Common Uses for Aluminum Coating
Due to aluminized products’ high thermal resistance, they are used in heating appliances such as ovens, heaters, incinerators, and burners. Combined with thermal resilience, the corrosive resistance of aluminum coating makes this surface protection method a perfect fit for cooking ware.
Aluminized steel is an amazing option for the aerospace and automotive industry. The ability to reshape the protected surface after coating and the corrosive resilience provides excellent flexibility during production.
The food industry is another niche that often takes advantage of aluminum coating. Many health and safety regulations regarding food, insist that no exposed metal surface should touch the final product. Aluminum coating provides galvanization and stainless steel with a competitive alternative at conforming with the health and safety regulations of the food industry.
Finally, the acidic and oxidic corrosive resistance of aluminum-coated products, makes them irreplaceable for the construction industry. Aluminized products can be commonly seen on HVAC components, and pipes as well as chimneys and even on corrugated rooftops of oil-gas industry plants. Some manufacturers have recently started to use an aluminum coating to protect pressured air system pipes which are usually made out of stainless or galvanized steel. Aluminization protects the pressured air pipes against ionized condensing water.
Navigating through the different options of surface protection can be challenging. Correct parameter and price comparison is key to ensure preferred results. If the question at hand relates directly to oxidic or corrosive deformity, the aluminum coating seems to be a well-rounded and price-efficient option.