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dekers

Anodizing A Die Casted Aluminum Part

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Hi all,

 

I would like to:

1) Mass produce a luminary out of aluminum.

2) Anodize the aluminum parts to have an similar look and feel like the back of an iPad.

 

Production method of the parts would be machine (pressure) die casting.

 

The issue:

The designer I am working with says that it is not possible to anodize an aluminum part that was die casted. He says it is due to the fact that it is very smooth and coated with the lubricants that help release it from the die. He also says that only parts the were CNC milled can be anodized because they have a more rugged surface than die casted aluminum.

 

My doubts:

1) From what I read about the anodizing process, I see that it is created by using acid. It sounds strange to me that it can't work on parts that were die casted.

2) There is lots of climbing equipment that is made of aluminum that I assume was die casted and IS anodized - http://p.globalsources.com/IMAGES/PDT/B1057106174/Safety-Hook.jpg. Or those drinking bottles (not sure how they were produced) http://www.stellapromotions.com.au/images/Aluminium_Rock.jpg

 

My question:

I saw no limitations described in the literature (found on Google) - is there an issue anodizing aluminum produced in a die casting process?

 

Will be grateful for any inputs on this matter.

 

Many thanks,

D.

 

 

 

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There may be a few issues begging for answers.

Why kind of anodizing are you interested in? Cosmetic colorizing, hardness, or abrasion resistance? Usually a machined surface is a better cosmetic surface than a cast surface. Thus, a cast surface that has been anodized my exaggerate the smallest flaws.

What finishing are you doing to the casting? Properly preparing the casting for the right kind of anodizing may be the most important step.

 

Anodizing is relatively inexpense. Why don't you anodize some castings and see how they come out?

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Hi JimmieJ,

 

The luminary doesn't have to stand any harsh conditions. It is expected to be assembled/disassembled maybe 2-3 times in its lifetime. For the rest of the time it will hanging from the ceiling away from the reach of humans. It has no moving parts.

 

I was thinking to have the aluminum anodized to the color/texture of an iPad.

I would have to produce around 40000 hammer-sized aluminum parts and I would of course like to have them with the highest quality but the lowest cost.

 

I can't currently make any tests because I still don't have the parts. I don't even have the dies manufactured yet. I am currently trying to understand what is the most suitable process to use for production.

 

I currently don't know what finishing/preparation I would go for - Ideally I would have no preparation because this means costs savings. I would go for the minimum that will still produce an excellent surface.

 

I am currently in a stage I try to gain as much knowledge regarding "what is the right way to do this".

 

I would appreciate any other inputs.

 

Many thanks,

dekers

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If you don't yet have parts and don't yet have tooling made, do you know who you plan on using to make the parts or to do the anodizing?

If you have the mfg'er in mind for this pressure die casting, they should be able to provide you some sample pieces of the various finishes you are considering. Take some samples to get anodized. Once you see the result, you can make a confident decision on what finish you want, what will look better anodized, and even if you want to use the specific die cast process.

You'll learn a lot by seeing the anodized result of certain surfaces. Take a whole pile of aluminum parts to be anodized. It is generally cheap. The anodizer may want to know what grade of aluminum it is and it would be easiest if all the same grade.

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