Laser engraving anodised aluminium for technology devices
Aluminium is a very malleable and ductile material which makes it a versatile material for many consumer goods. Modern smartphones, laptops, and tablets are made with increasingly large portions of aluminium. Being light and easy to shape, the metal is also becoming a common component in chairs, lamps, decorative panels, and other interior design elements. Aluminium is food-safe, non-toxic, and resistant to rust – after all, aluminium cans have been used to package carbonated drinks since the 1960’s.
Anodised aluminium is essentially aluminium enhanced with a corrosive-resistant layer. Similar to how stainless steel is produced, the anodised layer is made by a process called passivation. This is done by immersing the the metal in an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electrical current through the solution. The result is a thin coat of aluminium oxide that is fully integrated into the underlying aluminium substrate, making it resistant to chipping away or peeling off. The anodised layer is generally stronger and more adherent than any other anti-corrosive paint or metal plating treatment, making anodisation one of the more preferred options.
Aside from giving aluminium better UV and corrosion resistance, an anodised layer has a naturally porous surface that is especially receptive to dyes. This has allowed manufacturers of this metal to offer their product in a wide variety of colours. Without dye treatment, the anodised layer is translucent and reveals the metallic sheen of the underlying aluminium – a finish that looks good enough on its own.