plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Digital printing on anodized aluminum
November 19, 2008
I work for a display company and one of the many types of jobs that we create are aluminum signs, but I can not get the ink from a Inca printer to adhere to the aluminum. I was told that the aluminum had to be anodized but not sealed makes sense. My problem is that I am having issues find such aluminum. Can any one help?
print and display - Burlington, On. Canada
First of two simultaneous responses -- November 21, 2008
In a past life, a similar business cut the aluminum panels to size, we would anodize w/o seal, they would then screen/print, and return for sealing when completed. They would use an alloy and finish that was conducive to their end product.
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
Second of two simultaneous responses -- November 21, 2008
We doubt that you can buy anodized un-sealed aluminum. The anodic coating will partially seal itself from the humidity in the air. You must print a short time after anodizing, like one or two hours.
Your problem may be sticky acetic residue left on the surface, a common anodizing shop negligent occurrence. Try rising it with warm water.
Robert H Probert
Robert H Probert Technical Services
Garner, North Carolina