Coil-anodized aluminum provider Lorin Industries has announced details of its electrochemical anodizing process. Pioneered by the Muskegon, MI-based firm, the process’ protective aluminum-oxide layer, known as the anodic layer, is grown at the molecular level from the surface of the metal, 2500 to 25,000 times thicker than that of a naturally occurring aluminum-oxide layer. Not a coating, but rather a protective outer layer of the metal itself bonded together at the molecular level, it provides corrosion and scratch protection. Only a few metals can be protectively anodized in this way.
Controlling the oxidation process through continuous coil anodizing creates a clear, translucent aluminum-oxide layer that reveals the natural beauty of a material. This anodic layer also can be colored for a specific look, even simulating other natural metals. Additionally, because this layer is created through the continuous-coil process, the color and finish are consistent over every square inch. of the aluminum. And, unlike painted or coated products, Lorin anodized aluminum reportedly will not chip, flake or peel.
The translucent crystalline structure of the anodic layer allows the aluminum to reflect and refract light in ways that other metals, paints, or coatings don’t, according to company officials. This helps the material, and thus any product made with it, come alive. A part of the corundum family of gemstones, including sapphire, and second only to diamonds in terms of hardness, the crystalline aluminum-oxide layer is key in achieving aesthetics, performance and durability.