It is crucial that all stages of the anodising production process are tightly controlled, as each one can affect visual appearance and/or durability.
The first step is to make a secure electrical connection onto the article to be anodised this is normally carried out using a plastic clamp onto a 20mm bar of aluminium. Other methods can be used if the ensuing mark is on a visible surface and therefore unacceptable - for advice on jigging and design please contact us through our technical enquiries form.
The Etching Process
This part of the process gives the material its visual appearance and determines the gloss and reflectance of the anodic coating. Control of temperature and time, in addition to chemical composition is crucial to control the rate of reaction of the bath. Additions of chemicals made on a load to load basis ensure accurate control of composition.
The Anodising Stage
In the production of the anodic film the temperature, bath composition and voltage applied are crucial in determining consistency and accuracy. United Anodisers is unique in Europe in its ability to produce hard consistent films, that are checked every load day and night. Recent major capital expenditure has further distanced the company from its major competitors.
The Colouring Stage
United Anodisers' investment in technology at the colouring stage goes way beyond those of its major European competitors. We are still the only anodiser in Europe to offer Unicol colouring accuracy and now monitor colour using state of the art colour measurement equipment.
This gives optimum colour control without an equivalent in the industry and ensures consistency of the overall building appearance.
The Sealing Process
Each load is checked for seal quality day and night and over many years we have never had any problems. The use of cobalt in the colouring stage is of significant assistance to maintaining this excellence.
The level of testing imposed at United Anodisers is considerably more extensive than that of it's competitors. We are still the only anodiser with regular SUGA abrasion testing. This was, at our instigation, built into the latest British Standard as a major step towards the improvement of anodic film performance. It is still not included in any European specifications.
We have been members of Qualanod, the European Quality Control Scheme, since its introduction into the UK in the mid 70's. This Scheme requires our plant and product to be independently and randomly checked against stringent Qualanod standards to maintain our license and Quality Label. We are also BS EN ISO 9002 approved.
The care we take with our quality control has real benefits to the end user. These quality procedures enable us to guarantee all our finishes for durability. Copies of the guarantees are available on request.
All architectural finishes produced at the batch anodising plants of the United Anodisers Group, are tested to BS 3987-1991. As members of the Qualanod Quality Control Scheme, they are subject random tests by independent inspectors to ensure that the high process standards set by Qualanod are maintained at all times.
QUALANOD is a quality label organisation committed to maintaining and promoting the quality of anodised aluminium and its alloys for architectural applications. To determine whether or not an anodising meets a customer's requirements, the results need to be measurable against technical specifications. On behalf of customers who have products anodised, QUALANOD defines comprehensive quality requirements and monitors their compliance by licensed plants world-wide. As a result, purchasers of anodised aluminium receive a premium-grade product delivering long-term value with good quality. In past years QUALANOD has consequently made a great contribution to assuring the quality of aluminium parts used in architecture.