Aluminum is one of the 13 elements of the periodic table and is the most abundantly available metal. It is a silvery-white metal and is lightweight and nonferrous. Amongst the metallic family, it is the most abundantly available and widely used because of its rare combination of light and strong. It is flexible and corrosion-resistant. It is mainly used where you need strength and flexibility simultaneously, like in an airplane, where the structure should be strong enough to withhold tons of weight and yet flexible to the different pressures of the air space.

mill finish aluminum vs. anodized aluminum

What Is Mill Finish Aluminum?

Technically it is the raw aluminum. It is called mill finish, when a mill pushes the raw aluminum through a dye for a specific trim. The surface appears semi-reflective and semi-dull. It is the original, unpolished state of the aluminum and has some visible manufacturing lines. The surface is untouched and unpolished. Aluminum does not rust, but in its original form, it will oxidize in moisture. However, this oxidation doesn’t occur immediately and takes a long time.

What Is Anodized Aluminum?

The electrochemical process that converts the surface of any metal into a thick, scratch-resistant, and corrosion-resistant substance is called anodization. It is a process in which you submerge the metal into an electrolyte liquid with a cathode. The cathode releases the hydrogen from the liquid, releasing oxygen from the metallic surface. This metal acts as an anode and hence the name anodized.

The surface of the metal, or in this case aluminum, becomes oxidized and gives a classic metallic look. It appears shiny and dull at the same time. Anodized aluminum becomes more durable because of anodizing.

Mill Finish Aluminum Vs. Anodized Aluminum

Mill finish aluminum is raw. It has no surface treatment Anodized aluminum has a layer of oxide on it
Mill aluminum is dull in appearance Anodized aluminum is shiny
Mill aluminum has a chance of getting oxidized Anodized aluminum has a layer of oxide, saving it from being oxidized.
Mill aluminum is more fragile. Because of the layer of oxide on it, anodized aluminum is stronger.
Mill finish aluminum has a poor performance in sunlight, around 50%. Anodized aluminum is unaffected by sunlight and ultraviolet light.
Mill finish aluminum is not abrasion resistant Anodized aluminum is abrasion resistant.

What Products Use an Anodized Finish?

An anodized finish is neat and longer lasting than the original raw look. The chances of it getting oxidized minimize, and the structure strengthens. Because of these qualities, anodized aluminum is preferred and used in many daily-use products. The following applications use anodized aluminum.

  • Architectural structures, which include roofing systems, storefronts, curtain walls, and building exteriors.
  • Appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, televisions, coffee brewers, and dryers.
  • Building productsused in commercial and residential buildings like wall switch plates for buildings, vents, patio covers, awnings, bathroom accessories, dust covers, mailboxes, light fixtures, storm doors, and window frames.
  • Furniture includes tables, beds, and storage cabinets.
  • Sporting goods like boats, golf carts, and fishing gear.
  • Motor vehicle componentslike trim parts, wheel covers, control panels, and number plates.
  • Jewelry and artwork
anodized aluminum building

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