How does aluminum become anodized?

LinetecAnodize_web-300dpiAnodizing is the most durable and long-lasting option for finishing architectural aluminum building products. An electrochemical process, anodizing produces a finish that resists the ravages of time and environment. However, there are important things to note about color selection for anodized aluminum.

Linetec’s two-step electrolytic anodizing process , where the anodizing and coloring of the aluminum occur in two separate steps, involves:

  • first placing the aluminum in a solution of sulfuric acid and water, then charging it with electrical current to form aluminum oxide on the surface.
  • then after anodizing is complete, parts can be immersed in a bath containing an inorganic metal such as tin, cobalt or nickel, which is deposited in the anodic pores to achieve color.

anodize-ring2-webAs a result, anodized finishes’ color choices range from clear to champagne to a variety of bronze tones to black. Linetec also offers a copper anodize, which involves an additional color tank, using actual copper to color the aluminum while isolating the copper in the coating. This process makes the copper color very stable and consistent.

Anodic oxide is not affected by ultraviolet light and is resistant to scratches, which help ensure color stability.

Due to the chemical process used to create an anodized finish, the possibility of color variation can be a concern during its application. Here are some factors to keep in mind to minimize the variation from your desired color:

  • Single source it. While the aluminum is anodized during the process, other metals (silicon, zinc, magnesium, etc.) present in the aluminum alloy can respond differently, resulting in unwanted variation of color. Reduce this risk by having all metal used for a project come from a single source/extruder, and from one lot of material. Also, avoid using aluminum with different alloys, as it will not yield uniform results.
  • Request a range sample. Because it is impossible to know the effect non-aluminum metals in the material will have on the final product’s color, be sure to ask your anodizer for a range sample before sending them your product for finishing. An anodize range sample is two anodize color chips for the same color, with one showing the lightest extreme of appearance to be expected on the finished parts and one showing the darkest. Be aware that the lighter the anodize finish, the more noticeable the range. Be sure to speak with any potential anodizer to see what range of variation they can guarantee. AAMA’s industry-leading standards specify that the range should not differ by more than 5 Delta E. A quality anodizer may be able to keep the range of a color even lower.
  • Bend then finish.  Anodic films are very hard, and as a result, most post-production bending causes a series of small cracks in the finish that give it a spider-web appearance. To avoid this, have as much bending and forming of the material completed before it is sent to receive its finish.
  • Weld with care.  If your metal has any welds on it, the anodization process can cause a halo effect of localized discoloration around them. Welding with the proper 5356 alloy welding wire and the lowest heat possible helps minimize this.

Select an aluminum finisher that utilizes automation in its anodize process to reduce inconsistencies. An automated system controls and monitors the process, including tank sequencing, chemical add, voltage, current, time and temperature, which ensures the most consistent anodize finish possible.

Learn more about anodizing by clicking here. For personalized assistance in choosing an anodize color for your aluminum building products, please contact Linetec’s regional sales managers, email sales@linetec.com or call 888-717-1472.

Construction Specifier shares Linetec’s anodizing expertise

Flapper2-webThe April issue of Construction Specifier features “Five Factors for Variation in and Anodize Finish,” authored by Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder.

The six-page educational article describes the anodizing process and key considerations to minimize color variation. These essential factors include:

  • Aluminum alloys and their alloying elements
  • Mixing aluminum alloys means mixed results
  • Primary vs. secondary aluminum
  • Chemistry of the anodize process
  • Surface preparations

Construction Specifications Institute members received the printed magazine, and all can view the feature online, page 62.

After April, please visit https://www.constructionspecifier.com to create a free account and access the archived digital editions.

Follow the links to learn more about Linetec’s anodize process and how we ensure the most consistent color.

Linetec honors Mark Hall for 50 years of service

50yr-sign3-webWausau, Wisconsin (May 2017) – In 1967, future president Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as governor of California, The Beatles released “Magical Mystery Tour” album and Mark Hall began his career with what would become Linetec. Reagan left the governor’s office in 1975 and The Beatles broke up in 1970, but Hall is still happily at work today.

“I was 19 years old and a year out of high school when I started at Wausau Metals (now known as Wausau Window and Wall Systems), making $1.75 an hour,” Hall says. “I was part-time at first and worked in shipping, crating windows and loading them onto the truck. For extra hours, I’d clean anodize tanks. In May 1970, we added color to the anodize tanks and I moved to third shift. I’ve been there ever since.”

Continuous Improvement

In 1968, Apogee Enterprises Inc. was formed as a holding company to oversee a growing number of profit centers including Wausau. In 1983, Apogee founded Linetec with a single paint line. When it added the anodizing line in 1986, Hall officially became a Linetec employee.

According to Rick Marshall, Linetec’s president, “Linetec is honored and thankful to have someone of Mark’s loyalty, commitment and expertise. He was the beginning and foundation of the anodizing business for Linetec.”

Hall has seen significant changes at Linetec throughout the half century. He continues to be amazed at the growth of the company and the pace of technology that has improved efficiency and quality. “I used to have four people working with me to manually move the anodize loads from tank to tank. We’d set timers for each tank load to move to the next tank. Buzzers were always going off. Now, it’s just me running the line and everything is automated. The loads are bigger, but they take less time.”

He continues, “Back then, normal rework was 30 to 50 percent. A day with just 25 percent rework was great. Today, our rework goal is less than one percent!”

Tankline2-webDependable Teamwork, Consistent Quality

One thing Hall says has not changed during 50 years is the quality of the people—something that, along with a reliable paycheck and good benefits, has kept him loyal and happy at Linetec for so long. “I’ve always worked with great people,” he emphasizes. “I appreciate our teamwork and have enjoyed training many of our current tank operators.”

“Mark has set the standard for not only tenure at Linetec, but also in quality and consistency of our color anodizing. He remains the most consistent quality anodize line operator Linetec has in its ranks,” praises Andy Joswiak, vice president of operations.

Tank-operator-web“During my 11 years as Mark’s supervisor, he has always been very professional and does his job very well,” reiterates Tim Lynn, “Drawing from his many years of knowledge and experience, he matches the customers’ requested color with one of the highest accuracy rates of all the tank operators throughout the anodize plant.”

Keep on Workin’

Outside of his work at Linetec, Lynn says many people in the Wausau area also know Hall as their former school bus driver. For 28 years, he drove for the Marathon School District as bus driver on the kindergarten route, after school routes and sometimes took teams to athletic events at night. It is highly possible that Hall transported multiple generations. In addition to driving the school bus, and never missing a single child on his route, Hall also drove an oil truck for several years.

Between his part-time driving jobs and his full-time position at Linetec, Hall has not found much time for hobbies or travel. Instead, he enjoys watching NASCAR and the Green Bay Packers, and focusing on his family.

“I have a lovely wife, two daughters and two sons. I worked so many hours my kids would want pizza for Thanksgiving so they could have an ‘everyday meal’ with their dad,” he says.

Hall has no plans to slow down or retire, but says, “If I ever retire, I’d probably help out at the Humane Society.”

Mark-Rick-TimLynn-webHall’s 50th anniversary celebration breakfast was held May 4. Jane Kessel, vice president of human resources, notes, “The 50 years of knowledge that Mark has helps us ensure our customers get the highest quality anodize finish. It’s also a tremendous asset to our newer team members—especially during the extraordinary growth the company is experiencing.”

 

Contact Linetec for your flat sheet needs

Linetec is a full-service quality source for your flat sheet and brake metal projects.

Some of the benefits you’ll receive by taking advantage of Linetec’s flat sheet service include:

  • Over 20 sizes of sheet in stock, and the ability to special order nearly any size and thickness required. Linetec Stock Sheet List
  • Both paint and anodize quality sheet available
  • Order in any quantity needed
  • Finished in nearly any color required, including custom color matches with Linetec’s in-house blending capabilities
  • Freight managed by Linetec through common carrier trucking. All sheets are protected with custom skids and polymask.

QUICK SHIP PROGRAM

  • Available in stock sheet sizes
  • Over 30,000 in-house blendable paint and anodize colors, including some mica and metallics
  • Orders less than 25 sheets

    Request Quote     –     Questions

shutterstock_flat-sheets-website

Architectural Anodize Data Sheet

Process  .  Warranty  .  AAMA Specifications  .  Guide Spec

Download Complete Data Sheet

architectural-anodize-data-sheet-1Architectural Anodizing combines science with nature to create one of the world’s best metal finishes. The coating produced is extremely durable, and the second hardest substance on earth.

The typical anodizing employed in the architectural industry is called two-step electrolytic.” The actual anodizing and coloring of the aluminum occur in separate steps…    read more

Class I and Class II Anodize

Class I and Class II anodic coatings are designations created by the Aluminum Association for the purpose of codifying the specification of anodized aluminum.

Class I coating has a mil thickness of 0.7 (18 microns) or greater
Class II coating has a minimum mil thickness of 0.4 (10 microns)

Class I coating is a high performance anodic finish used primarily for exterior building products and other products that must withstand continuous outdoor exposure. read more

Strengths of Anodizeimg_0137

  • Durability, abrasion resistance
  • Metal appearance
  • Excellent weatherability (Class I)
  • Color stability
  • Non-hazardous, produces no harmful or dangerous by-products

Anodize Warranty

Linetec’s documented testing allow us to offer warranties of 5 years, on Class I Anodize finishing, with confidence that your product will perform as intended.

In some cases, with prior approval and a minimal up-charge, Linetec can offer an extended anodize warranty up to 10 years.  read more

AAMA Specifications

In order to ensure the anodize performance expected for an architectural / commercial application, AAMA 611-14 specification should be referenced along with the anodize color.

Beyond the stringent standards and regulations, Linetec offers a downloadable guide spec with specifiable differences that contribute to a project’s long life, durability and sustainability.  read more

Cleaning and Maintaining your Aluminum Finish Guide

damaged_anodize-mcdonalds-door-brickwashThis paper discusses the recommended care of painted and anodized finishes on architectural metal and examines three levels of concern: care and cleaning, minor repairs, and more complex refinishing.   read more  

Logan airport garage’s dynamic façade features 48,000 metal panels finished by Linetec

Flapper2-webBoston Logan International Airport’s new, 10-story West Garage Extension features an attractive, kinetic exterior to distinctively screen the facility. Designed by Arrowstreet Inc. and manufactured by EXTECH, the dynamic façade system consists of more than 48,000 aluminum flapper panels that move in response to wind currents. Each flapper panel was finished by Linetec in Class I clear anodize.

The 6-inch square curved flapper panels are set within 353 extruded aluminum framing support assemblies that span eight stories high by 290 feet wide. Subjected to 130 mile per hour winds to test system resiliency, the system’s anodize finish also contributes to its durability. Class I coating is a high-performance anodic finish used primarily for exterior building products and other products that must withstand continuous outdoor exposure.

Logan3-webAnodizing successfully combines science with nature to create one of the world’s best metal finishes. Because it is an integral part of the substrate, the anodic coating provides excellent wear and abrasion resistance with minimal maintenance.

Choosing clear anodize to create the unique façade for Logan Airport’s West Garage Extension not only contributes to its lasting performance, but also accentuates the intended sense of movement as the light reflects off the aluminum flapper panels that seem to dance in the wind.

“Various shapes, material thickness and finishes were tested, resulting in the curved anodized aluminum pieces that reflect light and ripple with the breeze,” noted David Bois, principal at Arrowstreet. “Our partnership with EXTECH allowed us to develop and fabricate a system for the facade that would have been difficult – if not impossible – without their collaboration.”

Logan2-web3Before finalizing the facade design, EXTECH provided Arrowstreet with several mock-ups for the Massachusetts Port Authority’s (Massport’s) review and approval. The self-supporting Massport owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, and receives no state tax money to support its operations or facilities. In the last decade, Massport and its airline partners have invested more than $4.4 billion to build a new runway, roadways, terminals, taxiways and garages.

Massport relied on Arrowstreet to lead a multidisciplinary team that evaluated and integrated the new garage within the existing Central Parking, walkways and adjacent terminals. Situated over the existing Hilton Hotel parking lot, it is the airport’s tallest parking structure and offers 1,700 more parking spaces. The resulting garage optimizes the experience for passengers and its dynamic facade enhances the view for the travelling public and visitors of the nearby 9/11 Memorial and Hilton Hotel.

Turner Construction Company served as the general contractor. Construction on the 68,880-square-foot building started in June 2015. Massachusetts-based glazing contractor, Ipswich Bay Glass Company, began installing the dynamic façade in November, and worked through the winter to complete the exterior in Jan. 2016.

flapper-web“The local glazing contractor installed the custom, prefabricated kinetic panels in record time. We believe this is a working relationship between architect and fabricator provides opportunities for innovation within our client’s budgetary and schedule constraints,” added Bois.

He concluded, “The move from the mass-produced to a more custom approach in design and construction provides for new possibilities which parallel clients’ rising expectations. Without the collaborative process, this unique installation could not have occurred within the budget or the project schedule. Simple, common components come together to form an uncommon result.”

Logan International Airport, Walkway and West Garage, 200 Terminal B, East Boston, MA 02128

Linetec celebrates facility expansion in Wausau, Wisconsin with government, community and company leaders

Architectural finishing company adds a third anodize line, jobs, capacity, capabilities

RibbonCutting-2-webOn Dec. 4, Linetec joined with government, community and company leaders to celebrate the opening of a third anodize line at its facility in Wausau, Wisconsin.

In addition to Linetec’s president Rick Marshall, other company leaders and employees were in attendance. Honored guests at the event included: Jim Porter, CFO of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., Linetec’s parent company; Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple, Wisconsin State Rep. Dave Heaton, plus other representatives from the State of Wisconsin, the City of Wausau and the Wausau Regional Chamber of Commerce. Marshall expressed his appreciation for all involved in the expansion’s success.

Rick-MajorTipple-webAs one of the largest architectural finishing companies in the U.S., Linetec completed its 180,000-square-foot addition and associated improvements to expand its existing capacity and capabilities by more than 50 percent. In January 2014, Linetec opened a 30,000-square-foot building addition and a 33 percent capacity increase to its existing anodize lines, which are operating at full capacity.

“As our industry and customers have continued to grow, Linetec has continued to expand our facilities and processes,” said Linetec’s president Rick Marshall. Linetec’s Wausau campus now spans more than 750,000 square feet and provides room to further enhance production flow throughout the facilities. The estimated $15 million investment in Linetec’s growth also brings at least 90 jobs to the city of Wausau, 80 of which already have been filled. New finishing capabilities are another anticipated benefit.

RibbonCutting-5-webLinetec’s anodize is specified on architectural aluminum products, such as window and door systems, storefront framing, sun shades, light shelves, canopies, column covers, panels and flat sheets. Unlike other finishes, anodizing highlights aluminum’s metallic appearance. Because it is an integral part of the substrate, the anodic coating results in a hard, durable substance providing excellent wear and abrasion resistance with minimal maintenance.

The addition supports Linetec’s anodize customers across North America. Local, Wausau-based customers include Arow Global of Mosinee, Gordon Aluminum Industries of Schofield, Graham Architectural Products of Merrill, and Wausau Window and Wall Systems, Kolbe Windows and Doors, and Greenheck Fan Corporation of Wausau. “Our successful supply chain partners also attract more businesses to the area, such as Polywood Fabrication and Southern Stretch Forming,” added Marshall.

RibbonCutting-catwalk-web“Anodize capacity in the industry remains very tight. Our third line provides additional anodize capacity. This helps our customers continue to benefit with short and reliable lead times, supporting their growth and their clients’ project timelines,” he continued. “The strategic investments we’ve made to better service our customers have positioned them for a successful future as U.S. construction industry gains strength and national demand for aluminum is estimated to increase 20-30 percent with federal fair trade enforcement.”

Marshall emphasizes that strong, long-lasting customer relationships are at the core of the company’s success. For some customers, Linetec serves as an off-site warehouse that manages inventory, pulling the exact quantities to finish when needed. This saves time, reduces waste and provides a very high-level of consistent quality.

RibbonCutting-4web“Our anodize consistency is truly the best in the world,” Marshall boasted. “The new anodize line, like Linetec’s other anodize lines, are fully automated and use the most recent technology, giving us the best-in-class color consistency and the tightest color ranges in the industry.”

Linetec also pioneered environmental innovations in anodize that resulted in its industry-leading, eco-friendly anodize process. Compared with traditional anodize, Linetec’s process reduces waste by as much as 80 percent, decreases energy use, creates recyclable byproducts and enhances the durability and lifecycle of the finished product.

With the expansion completed, Marshall proudly stated, “Linetec has twice the anodizing capacity as any other anodizer in the U.S. under one roof. We have three anodize lines with 30-foot tanks and four anodizing baths in each line. When running at full capacity, we will have the capability to anodize up to 24,000 pounds of aluminum per hour.”

Marshall concluded, “Over the past year we have expanded the capacity of both our paint and anodize facilities. Linetec is dedicated to supporting our customers growth and will continue to make the investments necessary to keep our capacities at pace with our customers’ requirements.”

For more information about Linetec’s facility and finishing services, please visit http://www.linetec.com.

Located in Wisconsin, Linetec serves customers across the country, finishing such products as aluminum windows, wall systems, doors, hardware and other architectural metal components, as well as automotive, marine and manufactured consumer goods. The company is a subsidiary of Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOG). Linetec is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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Linetec to expand with a third anodize line in Wisconsin adding jobs, capacity, capabilities; maintaining lead times

LinetecAnodize_web-300dpiLinetec, one of the largest architectural finishing companies in the U.S., is expanding its capacity and capabilities with a third anodize line. The 120,000-square-foot addition and associated improvements are estimated to cost $15.3 million and to bring nearly 100 jobs to the city of Wausau, Wisconsin. In January 2014, Linetec opened a 30,000-square-foot addition, with an additional 30% anodize capacity, to its existing anodize lines, which are operating at full capacity.

“We plan to have this additional line fully functional by Summer 2015 and are breaking ground immediately to get the site work completed prior to the cold, winter months. This will make us the only company in North America to have three architectural anodizing lines,” said Rick Marshall, Linetec’s president. “As the market continues to show strong recovery, our customers continue to experience tremendous growth and we are expanding to meet their needs.”

Linetec’s vice president of sales, Jon Close, added, “We are making this significant investment to stay ahead of demand. As our industry continues to recover and grow, we are seeing finishing lead times, particularly for anodize finishes, being pushed out to lengthier waits. This expansion will ensure ample capacity to give our customers the high-quality anodize finishes, consistent lead time and reliable service that they have come to expect from Linetec, as well as giving us the freedom to introduce new finishing capabilities.”

LinetecAnodize_web-300dpiLinetec’s anodize is specified on architectural aluminum products, such as window and door systems, storefront framing, sun shades, light shelves, canopies, column covers, panels and flat sheets. Unlike other finishes, anodizing highlights aluminum’s metallic appearance. Because it is an integral part of the substrate, the anodic coating results in a hard, durable substance providing excellent wear and abrasion resistance with minimal maintenance.

The new anodize line, like Linetec’s other anodize lines, are fully automated and use the most recent technology. Linetec also pioneered environmental innovations in anodize that resulted in its industry-leading, eco-friendly anodize process. Compared with traditional anodize, Linetec’s process reduces waste by as much as 90 percent, decreases energy use, creates recyclable byproducts and enhances the durability and lifecycle of the finished product.

Once the planned expansion is completed, Linetec’s Wausau campus will span 670,000 square feet and provide room to further enhance production flow throughout the facilities. Along with its anodize lines, this space houses a comprehensive breadth of finishing and related services including liquid paint and powder coat finishing, thermal improvement and stretch forming services, warehousing, packaging and distribution.

For more information about Linetec and our services, please call 888-717-1472, email sales@linetec.com or visit www.linetec.com.

 

Care and Cleaning of Anodized Aluminum

TODAY’S HIGH QUALITY ANODIZED ARCHITECTURAL FINISHES ARE EXTREMELY DURABLE. But even the best finish needs a little TLC, and with the most careful treatment of the windows, curtain-wall or storefront during installation and daily use, occasional damage will occur.

Maple Grove Public Works, Maple Grove, MN Photo courtesy of Dri-Design

Maple Grove Public Works, Maple Grove, MN   Photo courtesy of Dri-Design

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

As with any finished building material, aluminum requires reasonable care prior to and during installation and periodic cleaning and maintenance after installation. Although anodized aluminum is exceptionally resistant to corrosion, discoloration and wear, its natural beauty can be marred by harsh chemicals, abuse or neglect. Such conditions usually affect only the surface finish but do not reduce the service life of the aluminum. All exterior surfaces collect varying amounts of soil and dirt, depending on geographic area, environmental conditions, finish and location on the building. These factors and the owner’s attitude regarding surface appearance determine the type and frequency of cleaning required. The aluminum cleaning schedule should be integrated with other cleaning schedules for efficiency and economy. For example, both the glass and the aluminum curtain wall can be cleaned at the same time.
Cleaning may be required more often in one geographic area than another when appearance is of prime importance. More frequent cleaning will be required in heavy industrialized areas than in rural areas. Seasonal rainfall can affect washing frequency by removing water-soluble deposits and less adherent soil. In foggy coastal regions, frequent cycles of condensation and drying can create a heavy buildup of atmospheric salts and dirt, which may adhere resolutely. In climates where the rainfall is low, the opportunity for atmospheric washing of the surface is minimal.
In both wet and dry climates, recessed and sheltered areas usually become more heavily soiled because of the lack of rain-washing. More frequent and longer periods of condensation also occur in protected areas, increasing the adhesion of the soil. This is particularly true of soffit areas on overhangs, bottoms of facia panels, sheltered column covers and the like. Periodic maintenance inhibits long-term accumulation of soil, which, under certain conditions, can accelerate weathering of the finish.
Cleaning Procedures

 Cleaning procedures for aluminum should be initiated as soon as practical after completion of installation to remove construction soils and accumulated environmental soils and discolorations.

Cleaning work should start at the top of the building and proceed to the ground level in a continuous drop. Using a forceful water spray, an area the width of the stage or scaffolding should be rinsed as cleaning proceeds from the top down.

Because surface soils may be light or heavy, several progressively stronger cleaning procedures may be employed depending of the severity and tenacity of the soil. Only trial and simplest procedure to remove the soil is the one that should be used.

For light soils, the simplest procedure is to flush the surface with water using moderate pressure. If soil is still present after air-drying the surface, scrubbing with a brush or sponge and concurrent spraying with water should be tried. If soils still adhere, than a mild detergent cleaner should be used with brushing or sponging. Washing should be done with uniform pressure, first horizontally then vertically. Following the washing the surfaces must be thoroughly rinsed by spraying with clean water.

If it is necessary to remove oil, wax, polish, or other similar materials, MEK or an equivalent solvent is recommended for clean up. Extreme care must be exercised when solvents of this type are used since they may damage organic sealants, gaskets and finishes. These solvents should never be used on anodic finishes protected by clear organic coatings unless the organic coating has deteriorated and should be removed.

Removing heavy surface soils may require the use of an abrasive cleaning pad. In this procedure the pad is thoroughly soaked with clean water or a mild detergent cleaner and the metal surface is hand scrubbed with uniform pressure. Scrubbing action should be in the direction of the metal grain. Scrubbing with a nylon-cleaning pad impregnated with a surface protectant material is also recommended for removing stubborn soils and stains. After scrubbing, the surface should be rinsed thoroughly with clean water to remove all residue. 
In some circumstances it may be desirable to wipe the surface with a solvent. The surface is then permitted to air dry or is wiped dry with a chamois, squeegee or lint-free cloth.

Using power-cleaning tools may be necessary to remove unusually heavy soils from large areas including panels and column covers. When using such tools, the surface must be continually flushed with clean water or a mild detergent cleaning solution to provide lubrication and a medium for carrying away the dirt. After an area has been machine scrubbed, it must be rinsed with clean water and thoroughly scrubbed with a fairly stiff bristle brush. The surface may then be air dried or wiped dry.

Inspection
Care must be taken to see that metal seams, crevices, sills and other areas that can trap water, cleaner or dirt are carefully cleaned and dried. A final inspection, by a qualified representative is recommended, to ensure that no discoloration or stains remain on the surface.
Cleaning Precautions

Certain precautions must be taken when cleaning anodized aluminum surfaces. Aluminum finishes must first be identified to select the appropriate cleaning method.

  • Aggressive alkaline or acid cleaners must never be used.
  • Cleaning hot, sun-heated surfaces should be avoided since possible chemical reactions will be highly accelerated and cleaning non-uniformity could occur.
  • Strong organic solvents, while not affecting anodized aluminum, may extract stain-producing chemicals from sealants and may affect the function of the sealants.
  • Strong cleaners should not be used on window glass and other components where it is possible for the cleaner to come in contact with the aluminum.
  • Excessive abrasive rubbing should not be used since it could damage the finish.
On-Site Touch Up and Correcting More Severe Damage
It is almost a given that some damage will occur and touch-up work will be required during or after installation. But the good news is that both painted and anodized surface damage can be easily repaired if the damage is slight such as a scratch or rub mark. Minor painted surface damage can be sanded prior to touch-up painting with excellent results. Sanding of anodized material that is going to be touched up is not recommended. The anodized surface is aluminum oxide, which is generally harder than the sandpaper. Some rub marks on an anodized surface can be removed with a mild abrasive pad such as the Scotch-Brits pad prior to touch up painting.Touch-up paint is supplied in small aerosols or bottles with a built in brush for easy application and is to be applied very sparingly. It is intended to cover small blemishes or to touch-up exposed cut ends on fabricated parts. It is not intended for use on large areas of more than a few square inches. The color will closely match the factory applied painted or anodized finish, however the finish is not as hard nor performance the same as the baked on finishes. After cleaning the area to be touched up, wipe the area with denatured alcohol to remove any moisture or cleaning residue and apply the touch-up per the finisher’s instructions. Use caution as excessive use of touch up paint may void the original finisher’s warranty.

Poplar Creek Church photo4CORRECTING MORE SEVERE DAMAGE: (Calling in the Pros) At times a window, curtain-wall or storefront frame will become damaged or discolored beyond the point where simple field touch-up will correct the problem. Damage can result from a variety of sources including final cleaning of the building facade without proper protection of the aluminum surfaces, environmental impact from sea-coast or corrosive atmosphere exposure, long term neglect, or selection of the wrong finish at the time the material was finished and fabricated.
Linetec employs field service professionals who are trained in the proper preparation and application of field applied architectural finishes. Coatings that meet AAMA 2605 specifications and which can be field applied are available to these professionals. The highly specialized coatings, known as ADS Systems, can be tinted to match an anodized finish color.
Special cleaning and pretreatment procedures are critical to achieve the desired long-term results. The ADS paint must also be formulated to closely match the characteristics of the existing finish, particularly if only a portion of the existing surfaces will be refinished. Specifically, the new coating should be formulated to have approximately the same fade or chalk characteristics as any exposed original finish so that the entire project will have a uniform appearance for many years.Completion of a field repair can be handled in several ways, but in general, will begin with an initial contact with the field service professional to describe the problem. The scope of a field-refinishing project varies greatly, involving anything from a single door or window to a building elevation or an entire building. Usually, for all but the simplest repairs, the field service professional will recommend a site visit to examine the problem.

Following the site visit the field service professional will prepare a quotation for the work to be completed and also a sample color chip for approval. At times preparation of an on site sample for approval (a single door, panel or window) will be recommended. Following acceptance of the quotation and samples and preparation of a contract for the work to be completed, the work will begin. Field repairs can generally be performed at temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The field service professional will handle all of the details such as permits, sidewalk protection and barricades.

Contracting for the services of a professional who specializes in the refinishing of architectural metals will assure that the work is completed using the correct methods and proper materials, assuring satisfaction with the long tern results guaranteed.

For addition information you can purchase the AAMA CW-10-12 Care and Handling of Architectural Aluminum from Shop to Site guide or AAMA 609 & 610-09 Cleaning and Maintenance Guide for Architecturally Finished Aluminum.