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Plating on Aluminum
and Aluminum Alloys

Plating Aluminum For Advanced Manufacturers

Aluminum is one of the most abundantly used metals in the world, due to its wide range of uses and multitude of various alloys. Like all popular manufacturing metals, Aluminum is an extremely common substrate in the surface finishing industry. From soda cans and foil wraps to entire automotive bodies, aluminum has a wide variety of uses across an endless list of industries.

Lightweight, malleable, and surprisingly durable, Aluminum is frequently used by our clients in the Aerospace and Defense industries who are constantly looking to build their equipment lighter and stronger.

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Plating Aluminum Alloys

Aluminum Alloys are named through a categorizing system that uses seven series (1xxx – 7xxx) to indicate what alloying metals have been added to the aluminum. For example, 2000 series Aluminum alloys contain copper, while 6000 series Aluminum is alloyed with magnesium and silicone. AOTCO has extensive experience plating and finishing a wide range of Aluminum and Aluminum alloys including:

  • Aluminum Alloy 2024
  • Aluminum Alloy 2099
  • Aluminum Alloy 2219
  • Aluminum Alloy 5052
  • Aluminum Alloy 6061
  • Aluminum Alloy 7075
  • Aluminum Alloy AlSi10Mg (3D Printing Aluminum Powder)
  • Aluminum Alloy A356 (Aluminum Silicone Carbide or AlSiC)
  • Aluminum Alloy A380
  • Aluminum Alloy Mic6
  • And Many More!

Common Aluminum finishes include:

Aluminum is a unique substrate, mainly due to the fact that it can be anodized as well as electroplated. Each of the different anodizing types provide a different aesthetic finish and their own sets of physical and chemical properties.

  • Type I Chrome Anodize
  • Type II Sulfuric Anodize
  • Type III Anodize (Hardcoat Anodize)
  • Color Anodize
  • Gold Plating
  • Silver Plating
  • Nickel Plating
  • Nickel Plating as a base for additional finishes
  • And many more!

Frequently Asked Questions

The Benefits of Plating Aluminum

Electroplating and Electroless plating are a common surface finishing option for aluminum and aluminum alloy substrates. This is due to the wide range of deposit options that can be paired with aluminum, offering the metal an extensive selection of chemical and physical properties.

Some of the most notable benefits of plating Aluminum are:

  • Increase Strength
  • Increase Hardness
  • Increase Corrosion Resistance
  • Increase Solderability
  • Adjust/Increase Conductivity
  • Increase or Adjust Thermal Capabilities
  • And many more!
The Benefits of Anodizing Aluminum
Aside from Electroplating, certain grade of Aluminum can receive a different type of surface finishing treatment called Anodizing. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that alters the surface of an aluminum alloy, giving it a corrosion resistant anodic oxide layer. Some of the most notable benefits of Anodizing aluminum are:
  • Increase Durability
  • Increase Corrosion Resistance
  • Increase Abrasion Resistance
  • Color Adhesion
  • Smooth, Long-lasting, and Aesthetically Pleasing Finishing
  • Less change to substrate dimensions, as opposed to electroplating
  • And many more!
Common Industry Applications of Finished Aluminum

Whether plated or anodized, the possible industry applications of finished aluminum components are endless. Since the metal is lightweight and durable, it is often utilized in the aerospace and defense industries. Some of the common industry applications for finished aluminum include:

  • Airplane Panels
  • Wheel Covers
  • Cookware
  • Lighting poles
  • And many more!

For more information about plating on Aluminum and other metal finishes, including Military Specs, AMS Specs and ASTM Specs, visit AOTCO Military Plating Specs page.

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