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How to Select Finishings for Your Custom Aluminum Extrusions - A Complete Guide

A NSM employee handling a custom aluminum project with protective glasses on

Choosing the right finish for your custom aluminum extrusions is more than a cosmetic decision; it's a pivotal factor in shaping the performance and longevity of your product. This guide delves into the crucial aspects of selecting an ideal finishing, and exploring top options and their advantages.

Factors to Consider: Custom Aluminum Finishings

1. Aesthetics:

The finish is not just about appearance—it's the soul of your aluminum extrusion's visual appeal. Whether you envision a sleek modern look or a textured matte finish, the right choice can elevate your product's overall design.

2. Durability and Protection:

Different finishes offer varied levels of protection against corrosion, abrasion, and environmental elements. Opting for a finish with robust protective properties ensures your aluminum extrusions withstand challenging conditions, ensuring longevity.

3. Functionality:

The chosen finish directly impacts the functionality of your extrusion. Some finishes improve wear resistance, enhance conductivity, or facilitate better adhesion for subsequent processes like painting or bonding, contributing to overall functionality.

4. Customization:

Finishing options open up a realm of possibilities for customization. Whether you require a specific color, texture, or sheen, the right finish empowers you to tailor the appearance of your aluminum extrusions to meet your project's unique requirements.

Top Finishings for Custom Aluminum Extrusions

1. Anodizing:

  • Advantages: Corrosion Resistance, Hardness, Aesthetics

  • Create a protective oxide layer with options like clear, color, two-step, clear Brite Dip, gold Brite Dip, and hard coat aluminum anodizing. Ideal for architectural, automotive, and aerospace applications.

2. Powder Coating:

  • Advantages: Aesthetics, Durability, Environmental Friendliness

  • A dry finishing process with electrostatic application, powder coating offers durability, high quality, and environmental friendliness. Options include mechanical finishes, sanding, polishing, mechanical brushing, bead blasting & hammering, and tumbling. Choose from various color options and textures.

3. Chemical Film (Chromate Conversion Coating):

  • Advantages: Corrosion Resistance, Electrical Conductivity

  • Add a protective layer with options like clear and yellow chromate conversion coatings, adhering to mill specifications for paint preparatory finishes. Ideal for electronic components.

4. Painting:

  • Advantages: Aesthetics, Customization

  • Provide a versatile option for customizing aluminum extrusions. Options include regular and electrostatic painted finishes, Kynar, silk screening, polyesters, epoxies, epoxy/polyesters (hybrids), and polyurethanes. High-quality paints offer a spectrum of colors and finishes, enabling intricate designs and branding.

5. Brushed or Polished Finish:

  • Advantages: Aesthetics, Smooth Surface

  • Create a sleek, reflective finish—ideal for decorative or architectural applications where a modern appearance is desired.

6. Lacquering:

  • Advantages: Aesthetics, Protection

  • Apply a clear protective coating, enhancing appearance while providing additional protection against environmental elements.

Did You Select the Right Finishing for Your Project?

If you're uncertain about choosing the right finishing for your specific requirements, give our experts a call. We'll guide you through the selection process, ensuring that your custom aluminum components not only meet but exceed your expectations. Make the right choice and witness your aluminum extrusions shine, both in form and function.


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