Anodizing is generally a very cost effective way to enhance the corrosion resistance and longevity of aluminium parts. Below we will break down the factors that contribute to cost and to design parts for maximum cost effectiveness.
- How much time does it take: The most important factor for anodize cost is how much time the part takes to anodize according to the print. The costs here to consider are: Masking time, QA time, direct processing time, and handling time. We’ll discuss each of these more in depth.
- Masking Time Costs – If your part requires any masking, aside from corking, the cost will be significantly increased. Many people mistakenly think that because they call for bare aluminum on the part that they will save money. The opposite as actually the case. The more masking required, the higher the cost. This is because masking is a very time intensive process. Wherever possible, always have the entire part anodized for maximum cost savings.
- QA Time: The more requirements for QA after anodizing and the more reports required to be generated, the higher the cost that will be charged. We will always required thickness values free of charge and can provide them upon request, but more in depth profiling will always cost more as QA time is very costly.
- Direct Processing Time: For simplicity, let’s call it tank time. How long the part is in the tank is directly related to the charges. Thickness of the anodize coating is one aspect of this. Generally, the thicker the coating needed, the longer it will need to be in the tank. The second related consideration, is actually alloy which people don’t often consider. Certain alloys like 7075, 2k and 3k series aluminum anodize very slowly compared to 6061 and 5052.
- Quantity of Order: Shipping a large order, as opposed to one part, will save you a tremendous amount of money. Consider that we can fit multiple parts in the tank at one time, but if we only have one part to run from a customer, the cost of the entire tank run will have to be assumed by the single part. Whenever we send a quote it will always include price breaks based on the quantity sent at once.
- Surface Finishing Requirements: If your print calls for exotic surface finishing requirements, around 15 RA or above 100, blasting or polishing will have to be added to conform to that requirement.
In general, it’s important to understand what requirements are necessary to accomplish your goal and which are not. We are more than happy to discuss your goals and help you on specifying exactly what you need on the drawing that results in the lowest costs that also still meets the functional requirements.