Common Questions

Common Anodising Questions - Including repairing damaged anodising, white anodising and anodising steel, and others


Here are some common question we are asked about anodising;


Can you repair my damaged anodising?

The answer is both no and yes.  NO, we cant fix the existing anodised coating but yes we are able to strip of the existing anodising and re-anodise the part to look like new.  We frequently see parts that are faded or damaged due to age & general wear and tear.  We able to strip these parts, tidy if required and then re-anodise and colour.  For example we are commonly sent motorbike rims that are natural anodised, we strip, buff, anodise and lastly colour these to the colour of the customers choice.  This is a great way of avoiding having to spend extra money buying new coloured rims and also making the rims look like new.

As mentioned above the answer can also be YES.  Where a surface has been re-machined, spot anodising can be done.  A new layer of anodising will readily grow on the machined surface as the overall resistance is much lower than the rest of the surface.  However the new anodising will not stitch with the old anodising and so a boundary mark/line will be present.  In a lot of instances it may be easier to strip the whole part and start again.  Although care will be need to be taken where there are critical dimensions.  Surface finish will need to be another consideration as stripping anodising may result in the finish becoming more matte.  Obviously not an issue for items already mat but it could be if a bright/glossy finish is required - Extra polishing may be required.


Can my parts be anodised white?

Unfortunately the answer is no.  You are able to get most any other colour but white is not available for anodising.  If you would like to read more about what colours are available, please go to 'colours' page


Can you anodise steel?

Steel or any other iron based metal cannot be anodised.  Anodising is effectively controlled oxidation.  For aluminium the anodising process leads to the very hard and corrosion resistant aluminium oxide.  Iron on the other hand would turn to Iron Oxide (rust) which would just flake off the surface - not good.  There is a process for 'anodising' stainless steel, although technically not true anodising as it is not a conversion coating but rather a type of chrome plating.  This process covers the stainless in a very thin coating of Chrome and a range of colours can be achieved - brown, blue, yellow, reddish brown, purple and green.  This so called 'anodising' of stainless steel does not enhance in any significant way the corrosion or wear resistance of the stainless steel and is purely done for the look.  We are not aware of this process being available in New Zealand.


Do you anodise car trim?

All original car trim was bright anodised and if you are looking at restoring that classic look then you will need to get this redone.  Bright anodising involves putting the parts through a chemical polishing tank called 'bright dip' prior to the parts being anodised.  Excellent surface preparation is required prior to ensure the best possible look.


While a high gloss finish can be achieved with mechanical polishing alone followed by anodising the look achieved by this on car trim can quite often be milky or cloudy.  While glossy it will lack the evenness and brightness that can be achieved with the bright dip process.  Advanced Anodising is not able to offer bright dip as an anodising option, so in answer to the question,we do not anodise car trim.


Can you colour match?

To be suitably vague, the answer is that is depends.  Yes we can try to match a colour but we will need a sample of the colour.  If the colour sample is not an anodised one then we may only be able to achieve something that is close or will go with the sample.  If matching to something that is already anodised then to better achieve a match the most important factor is the alloy being anodised as this is most critical factor in determining how the item will dye.  If you are going to be supplying several different alloys then it is very likely that there will be some colour variation.


Yes we can attempt to colour match but this cannot be guaranteed.  If in doubt give us a call to discuss your requirements and read our page on colour anodising


If you would like to know more about the anodising process, we would recommend you read our page on 'what questions will my anodiser have?' .