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Sealing Aluminum to prevent oxidation?

Some clearcoating solutions (adv.) pointer   

(2003)

Q. I am a manufacturer of custom machined aluminum parts, both polished and brushed aluminum, and I would like to know the most economical way to prevent oxidization and keep a long lasting finish on the product. All of the parts that I make are for automotive detail/finishing for either engine compartments or interior such as radio trim pieces, speaker grilles, sill plates, radiator covers, etc.

Kyle Williams
- Omaha, Nebraska, United States


(2003)

A. Hello, Kyle. The two common alternative approaches would be anodizing or clear coating (which in turn can be one part or two-part, applied by spray or brush, or a powder coating). They are all rather different, and it may depend a bit on the look you want as well.

Multiple approaches exist because there is no one best approach for all conditions. It may be that anodizing is appropriate for some of the parts and different types of clear coating for the others ... but since you asked for "most economical", a one-part spray-on or brush-on clearcoat will surely win by that measure.

Good luck

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


(2003)

A. I've been using a spray clear coating on architectural aluminum for 2 decades with wonderful results.

portrait
Bruce Smith
metal refinisher - Hayward, Wisconsin, United States



(2006)

Q. Please tell me more about chemical that can be used for sealing of aluminum material.
Thanks.

Nguyen Thanh Tung
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


May 30, 2008

Q. How can I find the spray on sealer for Aluminum?

Thanks Rob

Robert Stout
- Embudo, New Mexico, USA


2K Clearcoat

May 2008

A. Hello, Nguyen, Hello, Kyle.

One-part clear coats for aluminum are available from many sources including Everbrite [a finishing.com supporting advertiser]. Two-part clear coats are available as "automotive clear coat"; these cure by chemical reaction (like epoxy) rather than by drying, so they typically use professional spray equipment, but they can apparently be done with specialized aerosol cans which spray both components at once =>

Good luck

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


November 17, 2010

Q. What clear topcoat (brand) is best to protect brushed aluminum? I have used Rolite Premium polish and sealant that wipes on and off with some success, but I want to retain that bare, metallic look so am looking for the optimum sealant/protection.

Tom Pope
Finisher - Clearwater, Florida, USA


November 16, 2010

A. Hi, Tom. Sorry, but we only talk technical issues here, like comparing types of clearcoats and their technologies, not brands. Unfortunately, the internet is largely anonymous, and the site quickly attracts shills, even posing as satisfied customers, when there is a commercial opportunity. Brand names have ruined threads here a dozen times and we're finally learning and not comparing them :-)

But Everbrite [a finishing.com supporting advertiser] is a reputable brand.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


January 18, 2012

Q. What can I use for sealing edges of anodized aluminum weldment? I'm trying to seal the unwelded portion. Corrosion is starting to leach out. Clear or dark gray caulking sealant?

armando amoranto
- Seattle, Washington usa


January 20, 2012

A. Hi, Armando. The best surface protection would probably be chromate conversion coating followed by a 2-component or powder coated clearcoat on any surface that isn't anodized.

But when you suggest caulk, it sounds like you are talking about a capillary crevice, such as between two sheets in a stack. Sealing in the remnants of acid doesn't sound promising to me, but better rinsing during the anodizing process (hot & cold, and including a dilute nitric acid or sodium bicarbonate dip) usually helps. Alternately, sealing the parts with an anaerobic adhesive before anodizing may work too. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


May 19, 2016

Q. What would you recommend for cast/extruded aluminum materials, to protect the powder coating from oxidation or fading?

Paulena Jaks
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada


A. Hi Paulena. The substrates must be properly pretreated, which means a chromate process or tri-chromate process. Please see Mil-DTL-5541 [link is to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency, dla.mil] for this. Then a polyester powder coating.

If you explain your own particular situation you can probably get targeted advice rather than just truisms :-)

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


June 5, 2016

thumbsup2Just saying thanks for the info. It really helped.

Dale Semones
- Mechanicsville va USA

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