Clear Anodized, Class I – Stock
Dark Bronze Anodized, Class I – Stock
Custom Earth Tones – Special Order
Anodizing is an electrochemical process of converting the aluminum surface to aluminum oxide (controlled corrosion). Each extrusion is treated in a series of baths: 1. Cleaning 2. Etching 3. Desmutting 4. Anodizing 5. Coloring (if needed) 6. Sealing. Rinsing is done between each step to minimize chemicals being transferred into the next step.
The anodizing step involves passing an AC current through the extrusions, using the sulfuric acid as a medium. The oxide layer is formed and pores are created. For colors, the element is trapped in the pores then sealed. This process produces a hard surface that is long lasting, resists scratching and abrasion, and provides excellent protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Because this coating is an integral part of the aluminum, it will not peel or chalk, but, because the surface is still aluminum, it has minimum resistance to alkaline and acid.
An anodized finish can have a rich aluminum tone called clear anodized, or an earth tone color can be added. Anodizing gives aluminum a deeper, richer metallic appearance that is not possible with paint. Anodizing is less affected by sunlight than paint. Because of variables such as temperature, aluminum composition, etc., slight variations in color and gloss will exist. This is to be expected, and it is important that this characteristic be considered when choosing anodizing. The unique process of anodizing reveals the natural character of extruded and fabricated aluminum, especially Clear Anodize. To accentuate the natural beauty of clear anodizing Fleetwood adds a unique, proprietary process before anodizing. The process manipulates the aluminum surface to soften “cooling lines” commonly found in most aluminum products. If exact color uniformity is required, painting is a better choice. One reason clear and dark bronze have become the industry standard anodized colors is because they have the least amount of color variation and are therefore easier to reproduce and match earlier batches.
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), in its performance specification AAMA 611, designates anodized coatings as Architectural Class I and Architectural Class II. They represent the thickness of the anodized coating. Commercial Class anodized material has an average of .2 mil coating thickness, while Class I is .7 mil or greater. Thicker anodized coatings are less susceptible to weathering and more resistant to corrosion and scratching. Fleetwood’s stock Dark Bronze and Clear anodized are Class I.
To keep your anodized windows and doors looking new, follow Fleetwood’s Care & Maintenance Instructions.
When considering anodizing over paint you have to be realistic about its nature. By nature, paint is consistent in finish color and sheen whereas anodizing is inconsistent in both. However, it is this irregularity that exudes the natural “character” of anodized finishes. As one looks at an anodized finish they are actually looking at the metal surface behind the finish whereas painting hides these imperfections. Get samples of both before you make your final decision. If a custom shade is desired (Medium Bronze or Light Bronze), expect a full shade variation on each side of the ordered color. Our Authorized Dealers have samples to show you and upon request we will be happy to mail you some.
As illustrated in the three images below, even dark bronze anodizing appears to change color under different light and angles. The fourth image is of natural wood flooring that shows desired color changes from plank to plank. Similarly, anodizing is a natural material and is therefore an artistic finish.