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topic 12997

Why Are Anodized Aluminum Screen Frames Not Available?


Q. I am aware of the excellent corrosion resistance that anodizing adds to aluminum extrusions; especially important in a salt air environment. Unfortunately I am being told by contractors in the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast Area that the anodized aluminum extrusions formerly used in great quantities for pool and porch screen frames and railings are no longer available. Vague reasons are given for the non-availability of these extrusions usually involving environmental considerations. Can someone let me know the facts?

Thank You,

Miles Hinton
- Marco Island, Florida, USA


A. Are you talking about the framing that is commonly seen in Florida on mobile homes with screened in porches?

If so, I'd have to imagine they are probably right. My grandmother had a home in Florida and the anodized aluminum took a beating from the environment down there. Granted the home was probably 20-30 years old, but the amount of wear on the material was extreme.

I'm guessing they all moved on to using vinyl in replacement for the aluminum framing. The #1 source for products related to mobile homes is commonly known as Fort Wayne, Indiana. They're the resting place of a lot of companies that make and sell mobile homes, and possible someone in that area would still sell such a product.

Matthew Stiltner
plating company - Toledo, Ohio

November 5, 2018

Q. Too much guessing in the answer. I have the same question. What I see is lots of powder coated painted aluminum. I can understand powder coated paint is more durable that other paints, but not as durable as anodized. I can understand using paint as it gives more color options at lower cost, I suppose, but I would think that certain common anodized finishes, such as dark bronze or black, should be available. Anyone else have a good answer?

Ted Vogel
- Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

November 2018

A. Hi Ted. If you ask a quantitative question like which is longer lasting under such-&-such conditions, you can complain about too much guessing. But when a question is asked about why a type of product has suffered a loss of market penetration, educated guesses is all you can get :-)

Your implication that only certain colors should be expected (because only they use light-fast metallic dyes) is correct. But the belief that anodized aluminum is more durable than powder-coated aluminum is probably not correct, especially in humid salt-laden atmospheres, and probably not when in contact with concrete, which is very alkaline and sometimes causes corrosion of anodized aluminum. We have a few threads comparing the two finishes, and I'm sure Google has many more, but I think it really comes down to the fact that this application doesn't seem to particularly benefit from anodizing's strengths & advantages like some other applications do.

Anyway, that's my guess :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever

November 6, 2018

thumbs up sign Thanks for your insights! Sounds like good reasons not to automatically prefer anodized finishes.

Ted Vogel [returning]
- Ann Arbor, Michigan

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