Breathe easy! No maddening pop-up, sticky, or floating ads on this site :-)

Home /
Search 🔍
the Site
pub Where the world gathers for
plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989


Racking for anodizing of flat aluminum sheets

January 3, 2012

Q. We have a large number of flat sheets of .062 by 36" x 48" aluminum that need to be clear anodized. In order to get the highest density we would like to rack the parts like books on a shelf running parallel to the cathodes. If the sheets are longer than the narrow width of an anodizing tank and the cathodes run along the long sides of the tank, will the parts racked in the center of the tank be shadowed by the outer sheets or will all parts anodize equally?

G Heath
- Providence, Rhode Island

January 4, 2012

The practical answer is NO. The work for the absolute theoretical answer has not been done. Anodizing will "wrap" around quite a bit after the front side is insulated, but the degree of "throw" or "wrap" has never been researched an tabulated. You may want to put the cathodes on the ENDS of the tank and experiment with just how far apart you can close in and still get acceptable thickness. Come back with more data, maybe a sketch.

robert probert
Robert H Probert
Robert H Probert Technical Services
supporting advertiser
Garner, North Carolina

January 12, 2012

Actually, assuming I'm understanding the question and visualizing it properly, the answer is YES, Robert, as the question was, would there be "shadowing".

The sheets on the outside would definitely shield current from reaching the sheets on the inside.

A work-around would be to develop cathodes that would fit in between the racked sheets.

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Boise, Idaho

January 13, 2012

Thanks Marc. You have caught me two times no reading the fine print. NOw if you could just hjelop me with tyhping and spelling !!! thanks for cleaning me up.

robert probert
Robert H Probert
Robert H Probert Technical Services
supporting advertiser
Garner, North Carolina

January 17, 2012

No worries Robert. The only reason I tend to catch some things is because I've misinterpreted several posts myself.

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Boise, Idaho

January 19, 2012

I agree there will be shadowing but if you increased the space between the parts while on the rack you could get better results. For instance I have been processing panels 21" X 30" going Type III, Class II at about 27 parts to a load and have .003 on the outer edge with about .0024 in the center. We run them like books on a shelf so the parts and the cathodes are perpendicular to each other.

John Peterson
- Fridley, Minnesota, USA

January 20, 2012

Thank you for all of your responses. I'll check on moving the cathodes for one run and running them like books on a shelf for another run.

G. Heath
- Bristol, Rhode Island

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2023, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA