Today, you cannot overlook the importance of aluminium in the construction industry. It is used to make several fittings and fixtures such as doors, windows, staircase rails among others. Like many other metals, aluminium can be a victim of corrosion if you do not give attention to covering it with the right protective coating. The market has many alternatives in terms of protective including the use of ordinary liquid paint, powder coating and anodising. The following analysis lays out the concrete details on powder coating and anodising to help you make the right choice when buying fittings for the first time:
You've probably seen or heard of liquid paint, right? Well, powder coating is a slight variation from the liquid norm, as it comes in the form pigments encapsulated powdery resins. You can think of it as paint that doesn't need solvents. Even though powder coatings share some paradigms with their liquid counterparts, their real advantage lies in the fact they do not pollute the environment. Since the powder coating is cured in high-temperature ovens, there is no emission of volatile compounds that are notorious for polluting the air and causing irritation. Moreover, powder coatings can be recycled. When you want to replace your old fittings in the future, the coating can be removed carefully from the old aluminium surface and used on the new fittings.
On the downside, powder coating is not a typical do-it-yourself coating alternative. It is done in controlled factory conditions where appropriate safety measures are in place to avoid accidents.
Anodising refers to an electrochemical process that leads to the formation of aluminium oxide on the surface of the metal. The purpose of the oxide is to act as a shield against direct corrosion of the primary aluminium material. Essentially, the durability of the coating will depend on how thick the anodic coating is. Generally, aluminium oxide is hard and resistant to weathering. It allows you to play around with colours through dyeing or diffraction, a process that enables it to display some bronze tones. Furthermore, aluminium oxide gives the aluminium fittings a deep, rich metallic appearance that cannot be achieved with the ordinary organic coatings. The oxide's translucent nature allows you to see the base metal underneath.
On the other hand, anodised coating don't do well in an acidic environment as the oxide reacts with the acid, eating away the base metal. The translucence also gives the impression of colour variation, which is undesirable in some cases.
Powder coatings have an edge over anodic coatings because of their stability in the colour they illuminate and their ability to stand up to acidic conditions.