How to Store Aluminum Parts Prior to Anodizing Aluminum

Posted July 01, 2016
By Jack Tetrault

Top 5 Ways to Store Aluminum Parts to Prevent Corrosion

We realize that every facility has its own unique physical attributes and each organization operates with its own processes. Either of these variables can wreak havoc on or facilitate the proper care and storage of aluminum parts. Given that there are many possibilities that can impact the proper storage of aluminum parts (prior to and after anodizing aluminum), let’s talk about the top 5 best-care practices you can implement to prevent corrosion.

Proper_storage_of_aluminum_parts_prior_to_anodizing_aluminum.jpgBut first, consider your current methods and ask yourself whether you know the main conditions that cause corrosion and damage—and if you have some of these elements in your facility that might be compromising your aluminum:

  • Contamination from machine oils
  • High temperature and humid conditions
  • Damp environments
  • Compromising gases
  • Proximity to ozone, UV rays, or radiation

Store with Care 

Even though aluminum is valued for its durability and corrosion resistance, it still requires proper care regarding storage and handling. Why are maintaining proper controls and environments for aluminum storage so vital? When aluminum is compromised and corroded prior the anodizing process, it creates many problems. The surface of aluminum is very reactive and such conditions can cause severe pitting, dissolution, and oxidation of the surface, and deterioration of the mechanical properties of the part.     

Top 5 Ways to Store Aluminum Parts 

  1. Aluminum parts should be free of all stamping and machining oils, especially those containing sulfur compounds. This material is often referred to as sulfurated oil and is typically dark in color. 
  1. Aluminum should not be stored in high temperature or where there is a high level of humidity. A good temperature range for storage is 40F – 95F, and less than 75% in relative humidity. This helps ensure that condensate does not form on the aluminum. 
  1. Aluminum should not be stored in damp conditions where water, saltwater spray, or oil spray are present. You want to store it indoors in an area with good air circulation, while avoiding placement near doors, windows and pipes with condensation on them. 
  1. Do not store aluminum in an environment where certain gases are found (i.e., hydrogen sulfide, sulfurous acid gas, nitric acid, chlorine gas, ammonias or bromine gas, etc.), or where there is any airborne mist, such as from a painting operation, etc. 
  1. Aluminum should not be stored near sources of ozone, ultraviolet rays, or radiation. 

DCHN has over 40 years of expertise and experience in providing unsurpassed metal and aluminum anodizing finishing excellence. From the minute we receive your aluminum parts, we take proper care of all handling and storage, using all best-care practices. We discussed sources of contamination that can affect the quality of anodized aluminum finish in a recent blog and hope that this information helps round out the variables you need to consider in the proper storage and handling of aluminum. 

At DCHN, we know that many questions arise when considering aluminum anodizinghardcoat, and other metal finishing jobs. Our white paper, “12 Proven Tips to Save Time & Money for Aluminum Anodizing, Hardcoat, and Other Metal Finishing Services," is a guide full of great tips to help you save time and money. Download it now.

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