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Wear-resistant coating for aluminium

The use of aluminium has greatly influenced the way manufacturers design and build products since it emerged more than a century ago. Its advantages of high strength, low weight, flexibility, and corrosion resistance make it an economical and efficient choice for any industry. However, no material is perfect, and aluminum is not perfect. So special…

The use of aluminium has greatly influenced the way manufacturers design and build products since it emerged more than a century ago. Its advantages of high strength, low weight, flexibility, and corrosion resistance make it an economical and efficient choice for any industry.

However, no material is perfect, and aluminum is not perfect. So special wear-resistant coatings are being added to aluminum products, which can help extend their service life. Of course, good looks are a plus.

Benefits of coating aluminum

For some aluminum products that are used in different places, aluminum can accept many types of surface coatings to increase its corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and aesthetics.

In some automation applications, coatings are required to protect aluminum components from wear and tear. After all, these parts will rub against other objects hundreds of times during their lifetime.

Requirements for abrasion resistant coatings

Wear-resistant coatings can only be added if certain requirements are met. First, although many people think of hardness as a property of a material’s ability to withstand wear, the relationship between hardness and stiffness is more accurate.

Secondly, for the wear-resistant coating, the friction between the coating and other objects is very important. If the surface coating is smooth enough that it is not prone to friction, it will reduce wear.

Wood grain aluminum coil
Wood grain aluminum coil
PVDF Color Coated Aluminum Coil Stock (2)
PVDF Color Coated Aluminum Coil Stock
Green color coated aluminum coil
Green color coated aluminum coil

Types of wear-resistant coatings

Anodic oxidation is one of the most common surface treatment methods for aluminum alloy. Anodizing a hard coating can produce a layer of alumina that penetrates the metal surface. A suitable electrolyte (usually a sulfuric acid bath) is used for this process. The longer the oxidation time, the thicker the coating. Hard anodized coatings have higher wear resistance and smoother surfaces than standard anodized processes.

Nickel plating, a time-tested method of providing a wear-resistant coating for aluminum components, has fallen out of favor in recent years. The environmental problems and high disposal costs of used nickel plating solutions have led to their gradual abandonment.

Electroless nickel plating adds a layer of nickel protection without electrolytic treatment. The metal is immersed in a chemical solution containing a nickel salt and a phosphorus reducing agent. The process requires no electricity and relies entirely on chemical reactions.

Plasma electrolytic oxidation is also an option. This is an electrochemical surface treatment process that produces a protective oxide coating on aluminum.

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