THREE ANODIZING LINES.
NEARLY 90 PROCESS STATIONS.
MATERIALS UP TO 30’6″.

LINETEC ANODIZE PROCESS

Linetec provides the highest quality anodic finishes. Three completely automated anodizing lines, each containing up to twenty-nine (29) process stations, accept loads as large as 30’-6 long. We provide durable and attractive clear anodize finishes, traditional bronze tones including champagne, black as well as copper colored anodize.

anodize finish process computer

A sophisticated computer controlled hoist system guides the material through our process eliminating any chance of manual variations in pre-cleaning, etching, anodizing, coloring or sealing. This ensures a consistent and durable finish on every load.

DIMENSION

STANDARD

CUSTOM

LENGTH28'6"30'6"
HEIGHT78"78"
WIDTH13"36"
WEIGHT1800 lb. Maximum1800 lb. Maximum

* Copper anodize maximum length is 24’2″

ANODIZE PROCESS

For a step-by-step look through the anodize process, VIEW THIS VIDEO.

Automation of anodizing line

anodize finish process automation hoist system

The use of automation and system controls is imperative when anodizing and even more so with secondary billet extrusion.

Linetec employs a computer-controlled hoist system to guide material through the anodize process eliminating any chance of manual variations in pre-cleaning, etching, anodizing, coloring or sealing. This ensures the most consistent and durable finish on every load.

This computer-controlled system tracks all aspects of the process including tank sequencing, time, temperature, voltage, current, etc. It ensures all material with the same job and process specification is moved through the same solutions for the same amount of time.

linetec anodize racking Method

Racking for anodizing presents a unique challenge because of the amount and consistency of electrical current required.

Our standard racking method for lineal extrusions is rack welding which utilizes a tack weld to connect your products to be anodized to the electrical bussing. This system not only holds your product firmly in place, but also provides a continuous electrical contact that minimizes the electrical resistance between all parts being anodized. This type of racking system produces the most uniform anodizing and color consistency available while keeping all rack marks within one inch of the end of the extrusion.

Linetec also has the flexibility to bolt rack and clamp rack for handling prefabricated, cut-to-size, cast, formed or specialty parts. For more detailed information on Linetec’s racking methods visit our Racking Method web page.

anodize finish process automation racking
anodize finish process automation racking

Anodize process - application of Anodizing

CLEANING

The anodize process begins with the material being cleaned in a non-etching alkaline chemical cleaner

This process removes all shop dirt, water, soluble oils and other unwanted surface contaminates and impurities which may have accumulated on the material during handling or manufacturing.

RINSE

After cleaning, the material is rinsed and is then ready for etching.

ETCHING

anodize finish process automation etching

Etching is an important step during the anodize process. It is designed to dissolve a thin layer on the surface of the aluminum to develop a smooth uniform finish.

Linetec changed its etch chemistry, from conventional caustic etch to a more eco-friendly acid etch process.

The eco-friendly acid etch bath contains fluorides that attack the surface of the aluminum creating a microscopically rough surface that helps to mask small defects, such as die lines, flow lines, minor corrosion and scratches, that may occur on the aluminum surface. Although neither conventional nor acid etch removes irregularities in the aluminum, acid etch does a better job of concealing them. This gives the material a better aesthetic finish on both primary aluminum and secondary (recycled) billet.

desmut

Material is then moved to deoxidzing and desmutting process, which further prepares the aluminum surface for subsequent finishing.

This step removes surface oxides, removes smut – which is a combination of intermetallics, metal and metal oxides remaining on the surface after cleaning and etching and it actives the surface for the electrochemical anodizing.

Anodizing

In the anodizing tank the electrochemical oxidation of an aluminum surface takes place to produce a stable film of oxide. In this process a porous, insulative layer composed of aluminum and oxygen is produced by passing electricity through the aluminum in a conductive medium.

The basic structure of an anodic coating is based on a series of hexagonal cells, each with a central pore and a thin barrier layer separating the electrolyte in the base of the pores from the underlying metal. Electrical current continues to run through the aluminum for about 25 minutes to generate a Class 1 coating.  
The aluminum oxide coating is 15% porous, and there are 500 billion pores per square inch.  These pores allow oxygen ions to get to the aluminum beneath the aluminum oxide to build more coating.

Electrolytic Coloring

anodize finish process electrolytes

The coloring of an anodic film is designed to enhance the appearance of the material and widen the application for anodized aluminum.

In electrolytic coloring, or “2-step”, anodizing is followed by the electro-deposition of a metal. AC power is used to deposit tin metal. Deposition takes place at the bottom of the pore. The intensity of the color is dependent on the amount of tin deposited and the packing density.

Sealing

After anodizing and coloring, the material is sealed in an elevated temperature hydrothermal seal and then given a final hot water rinse.

The sealing process hydrates the aluminum oxide in the pores, essentially swelling them shut. This last step is critical to ensure stain resistance and corrosion protection of the anodize coating; assuring that the high-quality anodized finishes will maintain its beauty and durability for many years.

The anodized aluminum is then rinsed and is moved to the unload station where quality is checked.

AAMA MEMBER

American Architectural Manufacturers Association, a material-neutral organization, is the source of performance standards for the fenestration professionals of window, door, skylight, curtain wall and storefront manufacturing companies.
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SPECIALTY FINISHES

As your Single Source Solution we offer custom options and specialty finishes such as Brushed Stainless Anodize, Wood Grain Finishes, Copper Anodize, and textured Terra Cotta Coatings.
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ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT

Linetec has earned a long-standing reputation as a leader in environmentally-conscious practices and finishing options. For more than a decade, environmental responsibility has been written into our core values.
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RESOURCE CENTER

Our technical experts at Linetec provide valuable industry education of high-performance architectural finishes to architects, engineers, specifiers and manufacturers.
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Photo credits: Linetec