What is anodising and where is it used?

What is anodising and where is it used?

Although many materials sport a strong corrosion resistance alongside other desirable manufacturing qualities, it can be necessary to enhance properties further. One of the methods for improving the physical properties and appearance of metals is anodising. In order to assess whether this process is right for your project, we’ve put together this helpful guide.


What is Anodising?

Anodising is a form of metal surface treatment that’s used to enhance the physical properties of the material. It is most commonly used after the workpiece has been formed into its final shape.

The process of anodising involves submerging the metal into an electrolyte solution, along with a cathode. An electrical current is passed through the metal, causing it to oxidise with the solution it’s submerged in. This results in the formation of a thick oxide layer on the metal’s surface. After anodising, the surface of the metal becomes extremely porous, meaning pigments and dyes can easily adhere to it. Although the surface of the workpiece can also be ‘sealed’ by dipping it in high temperature di-ionised water.

Uses for Anodising metal spun parts

Aluminium is the most commonly anodised material because its atoms are well positioned to form the oxide layer. Although many other popular manufacturing metals can also be used, such as titanium, steel, steel alloys, zinc, hafnium, magnesium.

Once a part has been shaped using metal spinning or another efficient cold forming technique, anodising can be used to achieve the following:

  • Allow for increased corrosion resistance. This is especially useful for parts that are intended for harsh environments, such as in the food industry and agricultural sector.
  • Extend the lifespan of certain parts.
  • Add decorative elements to the exterior of buildings and other public pieces.
  • Decreasing the thermal and electrical conductivity of a workpiece.

Advantages of anodising

  • Easy to clean and maintain metal parts and components.
  • Simple process.
  • Improved ‘metallic’ appearance.
  • Enables other finishes to be added on top for material property improvements.

Disadvantages of anodising

  • Some materials might not produce reliable results.
  • Possibility of colour variations in the material.
  • Not cost effective for small batches.

Other metal finishings

Anodising is just one option when it comes to treating metal spun parts and improving their function. Other notable examples include:

This electrochemical process removes a predetermined amount of material from the surface of the metal to improve its finish and appearance. As with anodising, this is done through an electrolyte bath.

This process is designed to remove rust, contaminants, and surface impurities from metal. It involves the use of an acidic solution.

Typically to follow pickling, passivation forms a protective layer of metal oxide around the material. This is primarily used for stainless steel to enhance the corrosion resistance of the metal.

Metal spinning services that meet your needs


Tanfield Metal Spinners can offer all the surface finishing techniques discussed here. This allows our services to be completely tailored to your project specifications, achieving long-lasting results. All our services are provided in accordance to our ISO 9001 accreditation. Contact us if you have any questions about metal spinning, anodising, or any of our other services.

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