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Anodizing a Weldment of Different Aluminum Alloys

October 14, 2021

Q. I am a manufacturing engineer at a company that manufactures aluminum engine oil coolers. We vacuum braze cores. The components in the cores are made from 6061, 3003, and 4004 alloys. After building the cores we weld A356 cast components to the cores. The fin construction in the core is similar to what is seen on a radiator. We are considering sulfuric anodize for corrosion protection for this product. Is it possible to anodize a product that contains 4 different aluminum alloys?

Trista Schroeder
- Troy, Indiana

October 15, 2021

A. Trista

yes it is possible to anodize a part that is consisting of 4 different aluminum alloys, but the results may not be favorable. the 4 alloys you plan to use anodize differently meaning some will anodize more quickly while others will take more time. what this equates to is varying thickness from alloy to alloy and a good chance of color variation. you might be able to get away with hard coating the parts but you could end up with a collage of different colors because each alloy takes on a different color during the hard coat process.
the ranges of color may be more dramatic depending upon the thickness you are wanting to attain.

Philip J. Verzal
Saporito Finishing Co.
supporting advertiser
Cicero, Illinois

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