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Anodizing VS plating aluminum 6061-T6 tubes

(-----) February 27, 2008


we developed a machine (restaurant equipment) that will be used in restaurants kitchens. The machine is supported by a frame made of aluminum 6061-T6 pipes welded together.

Being new to metal finishing, I was wondering what would be the best (and cheap) option for our utilisation. We plan to do series of 50 units at a time. We will not do it ourself.

We need our frame to resist to corrosion and scratches. The finish will be clear (no color added).

I know a bit about anodization from readings but there are so many option for platings that I do not know where to start and how to compare prices and characteristics of each options.

Hope I was clear and thanks for any help!

Patrice Jette
New manufacture owner - Montreal

February 27, 2008

Anodizing will be less expensive and in some ways more reliable. If you do not like the appearance of aluminum, or you have a functional reason why anodizing is not satisfactory, then plating is certainly doable; but I'd say that the answer is if anodizing meets your needs, anodize it.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 28, 2008

Think twice about anodize if it is in a commercial kitchen as they trnd to use strong cleaners to mop the floor, of which many will attack the aluminum/anodize.
My vote would be for plate.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

February 29, 2008

Perhaps a clear powder coating may also be a good option for you. Welded assys can be tricky to plate, and anodize, especially if it's hollow tubing we are talking about. If the welds aren't perfect, the possibility of entrapping plating solutions inside is a strong possibility.

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Boise, Idaho

March 4, 2008

I would go with Marc on this one. A clear powdercoat. Perhaps, a clear conversion coating prior to powdercoat to promote better adhesion of the powder coating.

SK Cheah
- Penang, Malaysia

March 4, 2008

James' warning is a good one; I'll come over to Marc' and SK's side on this one :-)

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

March 4, 2008

Thanks for the tips.

I requested a few quotes to get our product anodized once welded and it gets pretty expensive (about 40$/product to be anodized).

Do you know if there some other materials (beside stainless)and finishing that could get us a result quite similar to anodizing at lower cost?

The purpose of the anodization is to get a product that end users will not get dirty by manipulating it and that would resist to corrosion.

I know stainless would do a good job but is pretty expensive too. Someone suggested me to get galvanized steel but I have no idea what the end result may look like and how expensive it can be.

Any suggestions woudl be more then welcome!


Patrice Jetté
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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