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Here's how manufacturers anodize aluminum and titanium

Posted: , by Victor H.

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?

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posted on 31 May 2012, 02:52 4

1. biophone (Posts: 1994; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)

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

posted on 31 May 2012, 03:14 2

2. mas11 (Posts: 1034; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)

Nice article Victor. I really enjoyed the video.

posted on 31 May 2012, 04:51 1

3. Thomas5.3 (Posts: 37; Member since: 30 Oct 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.

posted on 31 May 2012, 06:12

4. blinkdagger (Posts: 81; Member since: 04 May 2012)

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

posted on 31 May 2012, 08:12

6. charudutt (Posts: 13; Member since: 18 Apr 2012)

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

posted on 31 May 2012, 09:07

7. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

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

posted on 31 May 2012, 15:09

9. pegasso (Posts: 285; Member since: 27 Nov 2011)


posted on 31 May 2012, 08:10 1

5. charudutt (Posts: 13; Member since: 18 Apr 2012)

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

posted on 31 May 2012, 12:35 1

8. Kimyuna (banned) (Posts: 8; Member since: 10 May 2012)

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

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