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topic 9276

How to get a bright anodized Aluminum Finish

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I am trying to get a mirror finish on 6061 alum. disks 4" o.d 1/4" thick. I have been told bright dip and anodize but it comes back with more of a satin finish. I polished a piece to a mirror finish and had it anodized and the results were the same, I have also tried different places for anodize too. The pieces must be anodized.

mirror polished aluminum


Al Martin
instruments - Brick, New Jersey, U.S.A.


Clear anodizing will always dull a brightened finish..theres not much one can do to prevent that...however, alloy selection can help tremendously...might I suggest a 5000 series, or 3000 series alloy (low in silicon) you should see better results.

One other thing....go with as THIN a coating as possible..the thicker the coating, the darker the appearance..also request your anodizer NOT to etch the parts.

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Idaho

January 1, 2012

Hi, Al.

One further thing, besides Marc's excellent advice. Make sure that the anodizing shop that you've selected actually has a bright dip process :-)

Most anodizing shops don't do bright dipping because it is a really nasty process. But our human powers of rationalization are boundless, and the salesman can probably talk himself into believing that whatever capability they have (including simply skipping the etch) constitutes bright dipping :-)


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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