Wednesday, November 5, 2014

ET '16 - Call for Anodizers to Be a Part of It!

The Eleventh International Aluminum Extrusion Technology Seminar & Exposition will be held from May 2-6, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (Chicago, Illinois, USA).

Anodizers – Get Involved – Be a Part of It!  ET ’16 has put out their Call for Papers.  Any anodizers interested in presenting at ET ’16 would be included in the Value Added Track.

While the primary focus of ET is technical, papers of a practical, operational, or theoretical nature are invited as well. Presenters are encouraged to challenge every facet of the extrusion industry to raise its level of expectations, quality, and performance.

If you are interested in submitting a technical paper on Aluminum Anodizing to be considered for presentation at ET ’16, click here for all the details. 

The deadline for abstract submission is January 30, 2015.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

AAC Announces Level 1 Anodizing Essentials Workshop Set for January, 2015

Learn Essential Techniques for producing a Quality Anodized product by attending the Anodizing Essentials Workshop.  This is an all-day intensive technical workshop developed by anodizing industry professionals for anodizing industry professionals, which focuses on the basics of quality anodizing.

This Workshop will take place on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown in Austin, Texas.  The first session begins at 8:30 a.m. and the Workshop ends at 5:00 p.m.  The workshop fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch and the class workbook.

What is Anodizing Essentials?
Anodizing Essentials is a “school for anodizers” that teaches more than the fundamentals.  Experienced industry practitioners and troubleshooters provide details on the foundation of quality anodizing.  This workshop is designed to increase the knowledge and ability of anyone involved in operating an anodizing line.  With an emphasis on quality, the program takes the anodizer through the entire process—beginning with the metallurgical properties of aluminum alloys commonly anodized, and going right through to the final rinse and sealing processes.

Click here for more information on the Anodizing Essentials Workshop.
Click here to register for the Workshop.

Click here to make hotel room reservations for the Workshop using the AAC group code.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

But wait … there’s more!

If you’ve ever watched an infomercial – and who hasn’t – you know those words, alerting you to incredible additional “values” to come. 
This blog started as a recap of my presentation at the recent AAC Annual Conference on the outlook for extrusion in the auto market, and the potential implications for anodizers.  But wait … there’s more, as I’ve gained additional insights over the past couple weeks that I’ll share with you.

My message at the Conference:  driven (pun intended) by substantial increases in extrusion content as automakers strive to hit the 54.4 mpg government target by 2025, transport applications are likely to surpass building and construction as the largest end use for extrusions.  The market today has pretty much accepted that:

·         Vehicle “lightweighting” is one of 3 key strategies to meet the ’25 target, along with ongoing drivetrain improvements (e.g. 7,8,9-speed transmissions) and alternative vehicle power systems – electrics and hybrids

·         Aluminum will be the key element in lightweighting programs, along with next-generation high-strength steels, and some use of higher cost light weight materials such as magnesium and carbon fiber

·         Multi-material vehicle architecture will be the norm.  Note that the new Ford F-150, hailed for its aluminum content, retains a high strength steel ladder frame.
The implications of all this for those of us close to the extrusion industry are that extruded shapes per-vehicle usage is projected to nearly triple by 2025, with the greatest increase coming in body-related applications.

 Also, there is a major push at the auto OEM’s to figure out how best to build the coming multi-material vehicles – in particular, how to join different forms (casting, sheet, extrusion) of aluminum … and aluminum to steel and other materials.  There is a tremendous level of development going on relative to adhesive bonding – as pioneered by Jaguar Land Rover – as a likely “answer”, and at least some discussion of anodizing as an attractive pre-treatment to ensure an optimal surface for effective bonding. 
But wait … there really is more.  While the direction noted above has been clear, several experiences over the past two weeks reinforce it.

The first:  the presentation, with AEC colleagues, of extrusion applications to engineers from one of the “Big 3” as part of a “Light Weight Week” organized with the goal of changing their culture.  Top management’s message was clear: lightweighting will be our way of life, and we’ve got to accelerate progress.  As clear as that message was, it was equally clear that they’re trying to learn a great deal very quickly, and are looking for help.
The second:  The Dick Schultz, (Ducker Worldwide) presentation at Aluminum Week.  Dick provided an update on the auto industry’s progress toward the ’25 goal, with the conclusion that lightweighting will be even more important than anticipated.  Seems that North Americans are buying fewer alternative fuel (electric, hybrid) vehicles and more trucks (pick-ups, SUVs and vans) than assumed in the fuel economy models.   Given no indication that there will be a relaxation in the 2025 goal, additional lightweighting will have to count for more mileage improvement.

Finally:  Toyota announced plans to introduce an aluminum hood and liftgate on the ’16 Lexus RX350, and an aluminum hood on the ’18 Camry.  They may be late to the party, but sources tell us there is significant extrusion in their plans as well.
So the “more” is real … more aluminum, more extrusion, more opportunity for those who can assist the auto makers in effectively using it. 

This post was written by AAC’s 2014 Fall Conference speaker Lynn Brown of Consulting Collaborative

Friday, September 5, 2014

Science of Successfully Anodizing Die Cast Substrate

Article From:  Products Finishing, Larry Chesterfield from Anodizing Technologies and Jude Mary Runge, Ph.D., Principal from CompCote International.

Die Castings pose some of the most challenging problems in anodizing.  This paper provides some explanations by tying together metallurgical science with anodizing practice.

Die castings pose some of the most challenging problems in anodizing.  The finish can be too thin, non-uniform and/or have an unfavorable appearance.  These are common problems with a variety of practical solutions; they are easy to recognize, but in many instances, the source for the problem remains unknown.  Critical to solving the problems of anodizing die castings is understanding the die cast substrate and the impact of surface condition, alloy composition, casting quality and microstructure on the anodizing process. Substrate quality issues are just as important, maybe more so, than anodizing conditions and technique.  Certain optimum anodizing conditions may be used in some cases to help overcome less than advantageous metallurgical conditions.  These include well known processing tools such as various pretreatment chemistries, higher anodizing bath concentration, and higher bath temperatures. These, and other recommended solutions are not successful in every case; sometimes trial and error testing on actual production parts must be done to find the best processing techniques.  Through the use of actual case studies that provide real-life solutions in terms of anodizing theory and interfacial science, this paper provides some explanations by tying together metallurgical science with anodizing practice.

To read the complete article from Products Finishing Magazine click here.

This post was provided by:  Products Finishing Magazine

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Something for Everyone in Your Office at the Aluminum Anodizing Conference!

While keeping up to date on the technology is essential to any business trying to stay ahead of the curve, there is much more to run a successful business than that one aspect.

AAC will stay on top of its game with15 presentations in three important focus session tracks: 

·         Recycling

·         Color & Texture

·         Technical presentations

In addition, this year, they have added the best management and marketing sessions ever offered.  From Team Building and Employee Engagement … to Managerial Accounting for the Anodizing Shop … and then on to Sales and Marketing of Anodizing Services in the Job Shop, this is a must attend conference!

Guy Charpentier from Bonnell Aluminum will speak on Strategies to Grow Demand for Anodizing Finishing.  If you are in the anodizing industry, you will want to hear this presentation which will provide you with strategies aimed at growing the demand for anodized finishing in the commercial architectural market.

Lynn Brown (Long Point Associates) who is the industry consultant to the Aluminum Extruders Council will speak on Aluminum and the Road to 54.5 Implications for Anodizers.  When Ford launched the 2015 F-150 earlier this year, the general public caught on to the fact that those in the aluminum world have known for several years – that aluminum will play a major role in the automaker’s plans to greatly improve fuel efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint.  This session will look at the accelerating use of aluminum in North American autos, the issues yet to be resolved, and the implications of this market on the development for anodizers.

The 2014 AAC conference is jammed packed not only with amazing technical sessions but also with the best management and marketing sessions ever offered.  AAC is also offering their Level 1 Workshop (Anodizing Essentials) and their Level 2 Workshop (Quality Anodizing). 

In addition, there is a tour to the Alcoa Technical Center offered.

There is something for everyone in your office at the AAC Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!  For full conference session offerings click here.

Bring your team … and get the group discount by registering 3 or more people from your company by Sunday, August 17, 2014!  Register today!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fair Trade Initiatives to the Rescue

Five years ago, major players within a key segment of the North American aluminum industry came together to defend their markets from an existential threat.  That threat was seen in the surge of extruded aluminum product, much of it anodized, being imported into the U.S. and Canada from China.

What followed is described by some as a “defensive strategy” to protect previously tariff-free and highly competitive markets from the detrimental effects of unfair trade practices, such as government subsidization and predatory under-cost pricing (dumping).  Aluminum extruders and aluminum product manufacturers in the United States and Canada, along with their trade association groups such as the Aluminum Extruders Council and the Curtain Wall Coalition, petitioned their respective governments for protective tariffs to level the playing field.  Those efforts were successful.  As a result, this key segment of the aluminum industry remains safe and intact.  To read more about this strategy, go to:

Note that this surge in imports from China peaked in 2009, just as the North American economy was feeling the brunt of the post-housing-bubble recession.  AEC’s Jeff Henderson writes in his current blog (linked above) that the effect of fair trade initiatives is to have ”delivered over one billion more pounds in aluminum extrusion shipments in 2013 as compared to 2009. This 32% increase in volume has led to extruders investing over seven hundred million US dollars in the past two years.”  That is really the bottom line.  Fairness led to competitiveness.  And that led to more business, more jobs and, one could argue, better products for customers. 

Have aluminum anodizers and other metal finishers benefitted from this?  There is not a lot of hard evidence on this, but common sense indicates the answer is “yes”.  A myriad of consumer and industrial applications were targeted by the Chinese.  Anodized and fabricated extrusions would have been easy targets.  As more orders began pouring into North America, it became easier for custom service offerings using domestic warehouses to deliver just-in-time delivery programs.  With subsidized production, artificially low prices, special delivery systems, and improving quality, the growth in Chinese extrusions had no barrier.  In short, this portion of the domestic aluminum manufacturing industry was in dire peril of being completely outsourced.

Fortunately, due to the foresight and diligence of leading aluminum manufacturers, that didn’t happen.  My trade association, the Aluminum Anodizers Council has remained aware and supportive of efforts to restore and maintain fair trade.  AAC believes global trade is good for competition and consumers, but only when it is conducted freely and fairly.  The Chinese cut corners in attempting to dominate world supply in basic manufacturing industries such as aluminum parts.  When that happens, tariffs can restore a healthy competitive balance.  That is exactly what happened in the aluminum extrusion markets in North America.  Thank goodness. 
This Blog was submitted by:  Rand A. Baldwin, CAE, is the President of the Aluminum Anodizers Council. 

Mr. Baldwin is the chief of staff for the Aluminum Anodizers Council, a not-for-profit trade organization representing the interests of aluminum anodizing firms, suppliers and other members of the aluminum anodizing industry.  For more information, see

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Aluminum Anodizing Conference Registration is Now Open!

The AAC Conference is going East, we will be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this September for our Annual Conference.  

Here are some of the conference highlights:

Monday, September 15

·         Anodizing Essential Workshop (Level 1) – Full Day

Tuesday, September 16

·         Anodizing Quality Workshop (Level 2) – Half Day (morning session)

·         Alcoa Technical Center Tour

·         Welcome Reception & Anodizing Expo

Wednesday, September 17

·         General Sessions:

o   Aluminum and the Road to 54.5 Implications for Anodizers, Lynn Brown, Long Point Associates and AEC Industry Promotion Consultant

o    Recent Developments of Colored Anodic Films for Space Applications, Professor Laurent Arurault, CIRIMAT – Universit√© Paul Sabatier

·         Focus Sessions featuring 15 topic-specific presentations in three concurrent tracks (Recycling Track, Technical Track and Color & Texture Track)

·         Reception & Anodizing Expo

Thursday, September 18

·         General Sessions: 

o   Team Building and Employee Engagement, Vance Jones, Easton Technical Products

o   Managerial Accounting for the Anodizing Shop, Kevin Janis, Reliant Aluminum Products, LLC

o   Sales and Marketing of Anodizing Services in the Job Shop, Jack Tetrault, D-CHN

o   Strategies to Grow Demand for Anodizing Finishing, Guy Charpentier, Bonnell Aluminum

Exhibit space and Sponsorship opportunities are still available!

We hope you will join us in Pittsburgh!



Monday, June 30, 2014

Precise Control of Anodizing Bath Temperature Helps Assure Repeatability of High Quality Anodic Coatings

The ability to maintain consistent bath temperature in the anodizing tank is one of the most important factors in producing consistently high quality anodic finishes.  It is widely accepted that the temperature range for Type II and Type III anodizing is + 2o F (1oC).  Other anodizing processes such as phosphoric acid and chromic acid (Type I) anodizing don’t have quite as stringent requirements. 

While anodizers know that an anodizing bath must be cooled, most anodizing tanks require both heating and cooling.  Only the subject of cooling is addressed in this article.

When bath temperatures exceed the range limits the coating characteristics are more difficult to control.  As bath temperature increases it becomes more conductive.  This allows slightly higher current flow, which results in higher current density, and the anodic coating is formed faster.  The opposite is true when the electrolyte is “too cold.”  Wide variation in bath temperature can affect the anodic pore size, coating thickness and coating hardness and can even affect the way a load seals.  The coating characteristics can vary from load to load if the bath temperature is not consistent.  This results in difficulty of color matching, especially on dyed or electrolytically colored parts, but also on clear anodized parts.

There are two common methods of cooling the sulfuric acid anodizing electrolyte:
1. Placing a cooling coil directly in the anodizing tank.
2. An external heat exchanger system.

Placing the cooling coils in the anodizing tank can be problematic for several reasons:

  • Some coils are delicate and can be damaged by what is going on in the tank.

  • Coils are susceptible to holes due to electrolytic and/or chemical corrosion leading to possible contamination of the bath from the coolant.

  • Coils made of titanium or zirconium are extremely expensive.

  • The relationship between cooling coils and tank cathodes have a history of being complicated and troublesome.
An external heat exchange system is removed from the harsh environment of the anodizing bath.  Electrolysis, bath air agitation and accidental contact between the anodizing loads and cooling coils are not factors with an external temperature control system.  Other advantages of external systems  are:

  • Usually less expensive than coils placed in the tank, depending on the size of the tank.

  • Easier to maintain because an external system is not in the tank itself.

  • A plate heat exchanger is a more efficient heat transfer mechanism than cooling coils.

  • Less wear and tear overall.

  • Pumped, circulating acid provides another means of bath agitation.

  • A filtering system may be easily incorporated.

  • Acid circulating pump is an easy way to pump the tank for maintenance.
Whether the anodizer chooses cooling coils or the external heat exchanger method, regular and proper preventive maintenance is a requirement for effective and efficient long term performance of the cooling system.

 This post was written by AAC Member Larry Chesterfield of Anodizing Technologies Incorporated.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

AIA Convention Coming to Chicago in June

The American Institute of Architects will hold the annual National Convention and Design Exposition   June 26-28 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.  

With nearly 800 exhibitors and more than 200 seminars and workshops and 80 educational tours, this is the largest gathering of architectural professionals in North America.

In a recent membership survey of Aluminum Anodizers Council members, Architecture was rated as the number one end market for anodized products.   Several AAC members will be exhibiting and participating in the AIA Convention.   For more information, go to

Thursday, May 8, 2014

SAVE THE DATE! AAC’s 2014 Anodizing Conference: September 16-18, 2014!

The Annual Anodizing Conference and Exposition is scheduled for Tuesday, September 16 through Thursday, September 18, 2014 at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Plan now to participate in this highly educational conference and expo designed by aluminum anodizing professionals for the anodizing community.

Reservations for rooms at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center are now being accepted. The AAC group rate is $159 (USD) per night/single or double occupancy plus tax.  To receive the special AAC rate, make your room reservation by August 25, 2014.  Please refer to the AAC Conference website ( under travel and lodging to book your room.

Information on Conference Registration (fees and online registration) will be available by late- June.  Please check the AAC conference website for more details as they become available.
Exhibit & Sponsorship Opportunities for Annual Anodizing Conference Soon!
Suppliers to the anodizing industry are encouraged to make plans to exhibit at the Anodizing Expo, which will be open during the Welcome Reception on Tuesday evening and all day on Wednesday from breakfast through the Reception in the evening.  The Council currently is preparing the Anodizing Expo Prospectus, which will outline the exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities available.  Complete details will be available in June or visit the conference page of the AAC website at for information as it becomes available.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Impact Your Industry - Get Involved

Exciting things are happening in the anodizing industry.  AAC has aggressive and exciting plans for the coming years that will benefit AAC membership as well as the entire anodizing industry.  AAC relies on its committees (Education, Membership & Promotion) to do most of the legwork to accomplish its goals and help carry out these plans.  The standing committees guide and direct the Council’s programs and activities, developing recommendations for the Board of Directors, and implementing approved projects. Each committee is devoted to meeting the needs of Council members.

AAC needs your help.  We need more participation in our committees to help develop and implement these exciting and ambitious plans for the Council.  The value of membership in a trade association like AAC is directly proportional to each member's level of participation . . . we hope you'll truly be an active member, and take full advantage of your membership and all that it offers.  Our committees need help in multiple areas:  Marketing, Management, Manufacturing & Technical Support and Academia.  This is your chance to make an active impact on the future of your industry. You and others from your firm can help make a difference NOW.

I encourage you not to wait until the next official meeting of the committees (September, 2014) to find out how you can help.  Contact AAC at for assistance right away and they can help get you more information about how you can get involved immediately.  We have a great group of members and take pride in all those who are able to take a leading role in influencing industry trends, setting standards and guiding future innovations.   As an active committee member for years, I can assure you it is a worthwhile and rewarding experience.  Your industry and your Council need your help.  Don’t stand on the sidelines and watch. Get involved now!!

This post was written by AAC Board of Directors Member Todd Hamilton of Southern Aluminum Finishing Company.
If your company is not a current member of AAC and you would like to join, please contact the AAC at for more details on becoming a member and joining a committee

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Nickel-Free Seals are the Responsible Choice

According to the World Health Organization, nickel is an essential element for the normal growth of many species of microorganisms and plants as well as several vertebrates. In small quantities nickel is absolutely vital but, when the uptake is too high, it can be a danger to human health.

Fortunately for anodizers, non-nickel sealants have established themselves as a reliable alternative with over 20 years of proven production success.
Because nickel-free seals contain no regulated metal and are relatively pH neutral, waste treatment is simpler, easier and cheaper compared to using a nickel-based seal.

These products can be applied alone or as the final seal in a two-step sealing system. Architectural firms can use nickel-free seals for electrolytic and clear anodized finishes. Many job shops apply them for clear and color work.
For job shop applications, the concentration of the seal can be lowered to allow a more frequent, yet economic, tank replacement while providing a fresh seal solution. This is particularly helpful in bright dip shops where phosphate contamination is the usual reason for seal tank replacement.

Bath life can be extended further by using an organic additive which can also improve the rinsing action of sealed parts, reduce sealing smut and improve sealing efficiency.
Nickel-free concentrates can produce a quality seal under mid-temperature conditions which will provide substantial savings in equipment for heating, exhaust and waste treatment.

Using a non-nickel seal in accordance with recommended practices, coatings will meet or exceed specified requirements using ASTM test methods B136, B117 and B680.
Nickel-free products also:

Provide excellent salt spray resistance
Do not cause yellowing of the coating
Produce a smut-free hydrophobic surface
Are easy to filter, titrate and control
Extend bath life

This post was submitted by Mark Jozefowicz, VP – Technical Services for Reliant Aluminum Products.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Proactive Stance on Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates

 As we monitor the constantly changing regulations that confront our industry, increasingly anodizers are being asked to certify their products meet new environmental requirements. More intermediates are coming under scrutiny and several states are enacting strict regulations and reporting requirements. Many intermediates are simply no longer available.

California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65) lists more than 800 substances that could pose a danger to humans and aquatic life. Under Proposition 65, Nonylphenol (NP) and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) are on the list of unfavorable chemicals.

NP and NPEs are highly toxic to aquatic organisms and moderately bioaccumulative in mollusks. They are persistent in the aquatic environment and can accumulate in soils and sediments. Nonylphenol Ethoxylates can degrade into more toxic chemicals, including NP.

In August 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency released its NP/NPE Action Plan to address concerns over potential ecological and health effects. Through its Design for the Environment (DfE) program, the EPA released an assessment in May 2012 identifying many safer alternatives. Many of these alternatives are less persistent and break down to chemicals which are less toxic than NP and considered safer substitutes by the EPA.

Fortunately for anodizers, new cleaners and safer surfactants are readily available and provide an excellent opportunity to proactively address the mounting concerns over NP and NPEs. These new products are an excellent alternative for anodizers concerned about compliance with environmental regulations.

This post was submitted by Mark Jozefowicz, VP – Technical Services for Reliant Aluminum Products.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Meeting the Challenge of Anodized Medical Devices

Color anodized aluminum is widely used in the medical device industry. Whether it is used for a tool handle or a tray, repeat-use devices must undergo regular cleaning and sterilization treatments and it’s important that the original finish be preserved.

Several types of sterilization methods are in use today, but those which incorporate hydrogen peroxide injection are particularly challenging for a color anodized finish to endure. Fading or significant discoloration typically occurs after only a few sterilization cycles. STERRAD systems use low-temperature, hydrogen peroxide gas plasma technology to sterilize instruments and medical devices safely and effectively.

However recent studies have demonstrated that, using the correct sealing technology, inorganic dyed coatings can be produced to withstand 100 such cycles with no noticeable effect.

With the proper selection of dyes and sealants, anodizers now have the capability to meet the demands of the expanding medical device industry.

This post was submitted by Mark Jozefowicz, VP – Technical Services for Reliant Aluminum Products.



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Racking Materials & Design (Part 2 of 2)

It’s probable that your customer has never given any thought to the material or the design of the tool that their part will be racked on, and for many of them, that’s fine. However, since a well-designed rack/tool can cut your lead time, lower your cost and provide for consistent quality, it is something that should be considered.

When is it appropriate, you ask? The answers are more complex than the simple answers here but if you process the same parts over and over, are concerned with cost, or your customer wants specific and well placed racking, you may want to consider specialized tools. High volume is NOT the only reason to consider specialized racks/tools. I have worked with many customers to design tools that specifically address concerns they have about their parts regardless of volume. In addition, many customers are willing to pay for this to insure good quality and the lowest pricing, not to mention that it is likely to reduce their turn time at the anodizer.

Usually, specialized racks mean, titanium racks. Titanium racks have long life because they are not consumed by the chemistry and they do not need stripping after anodize. They offer repeatable quality, lower part cost and/or faster turn times but these racks/tools can be expensive.

Aluminum racks/tools must be stripped after each anodize cycle and this, as well as the anodizing itself, consumes them and therefore the part price must be reflected in this. They are also seldom a perfect fit for the part but rather adjusted or adapted to the piece. While aluminum is less expensive, it is not cheap, and usually must be discarded after several cycles. In addition, since they are not specialized enough to maximize production quantities, turn times can be longer if there is even moderate volumes.

There are thousands of specialized tools/racks designed for a variety of products and your part may be a candidate for such treatment. Cost and productivity are at stake. 

This post was submitted by AAC Member Jack Tetrault, President of the Sanford Process Corporation.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Racking: Function and Location (Part 1 of 2)

Can you anodize a part without leaving a rack mark?

The simple answer is no, BUT, you can help reduce the potential of having rack marks become a problem by helping the anodizer understand the product or by providing a location where the mark will not be objectionable.

Racking serves two functions. 1) It provides a way to hold the part during the process and 2) It is the means by which the current (electricity) enters the part. It is the latter of the two that is often overlooked by designers and engineers and it’s the most important function because supplying the correct current is crucial to obtaining successful anodizing quality. Anodic coatings are applied as a direct relation to the surface area of the part. The contact area (rack mark) must be able to accept 10- 50 amps per square foot (ASF) depending on whether the anodic coating applied is type II and type III (hard coat). This means that the size of the mark cannot always be a pinpoint. For either case it is imperative that the contact (rack) be very tight.

 There are many, many racking methods and here are a few common practices:

1)    Squeezing the part between two or more contacts that wish to remain closed.

2)    Squeezing the contacts that wish to remain open and inserting in a hole or opening in the part.

3)    Threading a bolt into an existing threaded hole or using a nut and bolt combination in a hole and tighten to make contact.

4)    Clamping with a C-clamp device against an aluminum or titanium bar 

Often, anodizers are forced to take an educated guess as to where an acceptable rack location would be because we have not been provided any information. Providing a good place for a solid rack contact is tantamount to a successful anodic coating.

This post was submitted by AAC Member Jack Tetrault, President of the Sanford Process Corporation.  (Part two will be posted on 2-19-14.  Please return to check it out.)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Membership Has Its Benefits

Joining a non-profit organization provides an opportunity for personal growth and professional enrichment by networking with industry peers who share similar goals and interests.

Being a committed volunteer also builds a sense of ownership and instills pride in the organization’s values. Active participation provides members a measure of influence in the decisions and direction of the organization. Volunteering provides an opportunity to not only shape the future of the organization but also the industry that most affects our lives.

Because volunteering is a personal choice and not our job, we have a higher degree of credibility compared to staff members. We can promote the organization peer-to-peer because we believe in its goals and objectives.

By volunteering, we can help extend the resources of the association by providing another pair of hands. This enables paid staff members to engage in other activities that otherwise might not get done.

Membership in AAC has many personal benefits, but playing an active role in the association and its committees brings lasting rewards with far-reaching implications.

This post was submitted by AAC Promotion Committee Chairman Jack Humble, President of Reliant Aluminum Products.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

AAC Call for Papers - 2014 Fall Conference

Aluminum Anodizers Council Needs Papers For 2014 Conference

The Aluminum Anodizers Council has issued a "call for papers" for its 2014 Fall Conference, which will be Sept. 16-18 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The deadline for submitting a paper for consideration is January 27.


"This is your opportunity to help shape the content of the conference program and to elevate the presence of your company within the anodizing community," said Suzanne Spohr, AAC Program Director. "We would welcome your offer to present on most any relevant topic for which you or your firm has suitable expertise.  Use the Call for Papers to suggest a topic and/or a speaker, whether yourself or a colleague."

 For more information, please visit

This post was provided by:  Products Finishing Magazine
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