SAF adds acid-etch aluminum anodizing process

Atlanta-based Southern Aluminum Finishing Co. introduces an acid etch process that meets or exceeds all AAMA 611 specifications to its aluminum anodizing services, according to a May 27 release. The acid etch process is more environmentally friendly and yields better color consistency than traditional caustic soda etch.

Acid etched aluminum is expected to better meet the needs of SAF’s extrusion, fabrication and finishing customers in the construction industries throughout North America by reducing color variation. Storefront, curtain wall, and door manufacturers have already noted the improved uniformity of this process, and its ability to hide select metal defects that caustic soda can’t.

“An acid etch makes for a more uniform appearance and hides metal imperfections better than the caustic etch.” said Penn McClatchey, SAF marketing manager, in the release. “It requires less etching time which significantly reduces the amount of metal lost in the anodizing process. This is helpful to our customers who charge by the pound.”

The acid etch process also is more environmentally friendly, resulting in less waste sludge disposal. Additionally, the process accommodates the use of a higher percent of recycled content in extrusion billet while still maintaining high uniformity of finish.

While SAF continues to supply caustic soda etch, the acid etch treatment offers a superior uniform matte finish and an anodic coating free of the streaks or flow lines. The lower gloss reading of an acid etched reduces anodized color variation, according to the release. Other benefits include:

  • Reduced etch time
  • Reduced aluminum removal. Better for the environment and better for engineering.
  • Effectively hides extrusion lines, scuffs and die lines.