Here's how manufacturers anodize aluminum and titanium

Here's how manufacturers anodize aluminum and titanium
When we take most high-end smartphones or tablets for a spin, the first thing that we usually look at and feel is the body of the device itself. In lower priced products, that’s usually made out of plastic, and while some high-end gadgets are also plastic, there’s little that speaks high-end more than solid anodized aluminum.

Apple’s iPods use it, the HTC One S advertized it hugely, and other gadgets also come with this quality finish, but how do manufacturers actually anodize the otherwise plain aluminum, make it more durable and give it color?

It’s not a simple process, but the results are often worth the effort. Actually, to anodize aluminum, the manufacturer exposes it directly to oxygen so it gets a bit rusty. You might be used to thinking that corrosion is only a bad thing, but in this case it opens up little holes, making the aluminum porous and allowing for paint to flow in there. Then, using boiling hot water, those filled pores are sealed for good, so that the paint can actually never come off under conventional use. Check out the full explanation with a video demonstration below, and chime in with your opinion - what’s the best material for high-end gadgets, aluminum or some kind of plastic like polycarbonate, what do you prefer?


FEATURED VIDEO

9 Comments

1. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Guy in the video explained this very clearly and was easy to follow.. Two thumbs up. Very cool process and useful too!!!

2. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

Nice article Victor. I really enjoyed the video.

3. Thomas5.3

Posts: 37; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

I prefer some kind of soft plastic. Aluminium is to stiff and can not absorb enough energy when dropped, this causes to much stress on the screen, results in higher chances of breaking it.

4. blinkdagger

Posts: 81; Member since: May 04, 2012

Which is the actual spelling and pronunciation? Alu-mi-num or Alu-mi-ni-um?

6. charudutt

Posts: 13; Member since: Apr 18, 2012

ALU-MI-NI-UM.... dats rite!!!

7. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Say it like it's spelled. Only the Britons add an extra syllable.

9. pegasso

Posts: 285; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

5. charudutt

Posts: 13; Member since: Apr 18, 2012

even nokia N8 got a aluminium body!!!! which is anodised and looks amazing!!!! sooooo strong!!!

8. Kimyuna

Posts: 8; Member since: May 10, 2012

Yes, Samsung Wave series using aluminium anodize, not plastic or polycarbonate.

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