Whether you're looking to protect a metal roof, storefront sign, or a component's enclosure, adding an extra layer of protection in the form of anodizing or paint can go a long way to ensuring your prototype surface's lifespan for years to come. There are some key differences between the various prototype surface treatment methods and some are better suited to some applications than others. Here's how to choose which is best for your prototyping project.
Benefits of Anodizing Prototypes
Anodizing is an electrochemical process that binds a layer of aluminum oxide to the surface of the metal in question. A thicker layer of anodic coating means a substantially longer lifespan, with the longevity being proportional to the thickness of the layer.
Aluminum oxide carries with it many benefits. Its hardness, durability, and resilience to inclement weather conditions protects the metal from corrosion and wear. Since the protective layer is fused electrochemically, it's relatively easy to change the color tone during application. And since it's actually part of the metal itself, anodic coating won't chip, peel, or flake like paint or other organic coatings.
Benefits of Painting Prototypes
Painting is organic coating processes, meaning it will be more susceptible to wear and tear by natural means. Sunlight, moisture, and oxidation are all possible over long periods of time, as are physical defects such as flaking or peeling.
Comparation of matte black anodizing and painting.Can you tell the difference?