Anodizing Services Explained: A Comprehensive Guide for Houston Fabricators


If you're looking for anodizing services in Houston, you've come to the right place. Anodizing is a popular process that enhances the durability, appearance, and corrosion resistance of metal parts. Here's a quick glance at what anodizing entails:

  • Electrochemical Process: Turns the metal surface into a protective, durable aluminum oxide layer.
  • Improved Durability: Boosts wear resistance and corrosion protection.
  • Aesthetic Enhancement: Offers cosmetic finishes, with various color options available.
  • Non-Conductive Property: Ideal for electronic applications.

Anodizing uses controlled oxidation to convert the metal surface into a decorative, durable, and corrosion-resistant finish. This process primarily benefits aluminum and ensures a finish that won't chip or peel over time. Diamond Metal Finishing offers premium anodizing services that help manufacturers in Houston produce high-quality, long-lasting products.

Benefits of Anodizing - anodizing services infographic pillar-4-steps

What is Anodizing?

Anodizing is an electrochemical process that transforms the surface of aluminum and other nonferrous metals into a durable, corrosion-resistant aluminum oxide layer. This process is unique because it doesn't apply a coating but rather enhances the metal's natural properties. Here's how it works:

  1. Surface Preparation: The metal part is cleaned to remove any impurities.
  2. Anodizing Bath: The part is submerged in an acidic electrolyte solution.
  3. Electric Current: A cathode is applied to a metal electrode in the solution. When an electric charge is passed through, positive ions from the metal react with negative oxygen ions in the solution.
  4. Oxide Layer Formation: This reaction creates a porous aluminum oxide layer on the surface of the part.

Benefits of the Aluminum Oxide Layer

  • Durability: The aluminum oxide layer is much harder than the base aluminum, making it resistant to wear and tear.
  • Corrosion Resistance: This layer provides excellent protection against corrosion, significantly extending the lifespan of the part.
  • Aesthetic Versatility: The porous nature of the oxide layer allows it to be dyed in various colors, offering both functional and cosmetic benefits.

Nonferrous Metals

While anodizing is most commonly used on aluminum, it can also be applied to other nonferrous metals like titanium and magnesium. However, aluminum remains the most popular choice due to its widespread use and excellent anodizing results.

Anodizing Facility in Houston - Anodizing Services

This process is particularly beneficial for industries that demand high performance and aesthetic quality, such as medical, dental, automotive, and recreational sectors. Diamond Metal Finishing leverages advanced anodizing techniques to ensure that each product meets the highest standards of quality and durability.

Types of Anodizing Services

When it comes to anodizing services, there are several types to consider, each with its own unique benefits and applications. Let's break down the main types: Type II, Type III, and Hard Anodize.

Type II Anodizing

Type II anodizing is the most common form of anodizing. This process involves creating a protective aluminum oxide layer on the surface of aluminum parts. It is performed in a sulfuric acid bath and typically results in a coating thickness of 8 to 12 micrometers for clear finishes and 12 to 16 micrometers for colored finishes.

Key Features of Type II Anodizing:- Colors Available: Clear, black, red, blue, orange, gold.- Surface Preparation: Can be applied to as-machined, bead-blasted, or brushed surfaces.- Glossiness: Available in both glossy (above 20 GU) and matte (below 10 GU) finishes.- Thickness: 8 to 12 micrometers for clear finishes, 12 to 16 micrometers for colored finishes.

This type is ideal for applications requiring a combination of corrosion resistance and aesthetic appeal. However, it's important to note that Type II anodizing may leave visible machining marks if the parts are anodized directly after machining.

Type III Anodizing (Hard Anodizing)

Type III anodizing, also known as hard anodizing, is designed for applications where durability and wear resistance are crucial. This type involves a similar process to Type II but uses lower temperatures and higher voltages, resulting in a thicker and harder oxide layer.

Key Features of Type III Anodizing:- Colors Available: Black, natural (thicker layers will appear darker).- Surface Preparation: Can be applied to as-machined or bead-blasted surfaces.- Thickness: 35 to 50 micrometers.

Type III anodizing is perfect for parts that will undergo heavy wear and tear, making it a popular choice in the aerospace, military, and automotive industries. The thicker coating provides excellent protection against abrasion and corrosion.

Hard Anodize

While hard anodize is often used interchangeably with Type III anodizing, it's worth noting that this term specifically emphasizes the enhanced hardness and durability of the coating. The process is the same as Type III, but the focus is on achieving the maximum possible hardness.

Key Features of Hard Anodize:- Increased Hardness: Provides a surface that is exceptionally resistant to wear and abrasion.- Thicker Coatings: Typically ranges from 35 to 50 micrometers, similar to Type III.- Applications: Ideal for components exposed to extreme conditions, such as hydraulic pistons and military hardware.

In summary, whether you need the versatile and colorful protection of Type II anodizing or the rugged durability of Type III hard anodizing, Diamond Metal Finishing has the expertise to deliver high-quality results tailored to your specific needs.

Next, we'll delve into the benefits of anodizing, highlighting why this process is an excellent choice for enhancing the performance and appearance of your aluminum parts.

Benefits of Anodizing

Anodizing offers several key benefits that make it a popular choice for enhancing aluminum parts. Let's explore these advantages:

Corrosion Resistance

One of the primary benefits of anodizing is its ability to protect against corrosion. The anodizing process creates a thick layer of aluminum oxide on the surface, which acts as a barrier to moisture and other corrosive elements. This is especially valuable in industries where parts are exposed to harsh environments, such as marine or automotive sectors. According to US Anodize, anodized parts show increased protection from corrosion, making them more durable and longer-lasting.

Wear Resistance

Anodized coatings are not just for looks; they also improve wear resistance. This is crucial for parts that experience friction or mechanical wear. The anodized layer is much harder than the base aluminum, making the parts more resistant to scratches and wear. US Anodize highlights that their anodizing services provide better wear resistance, ensuring that components maintain their integrity and functionality over time.

Aesthetic Enhancement

Anodizing isn't just functional; it also offers aesthetic benefits. The process allows for the addition of dyes, resulting in vibrant, long-lasting colors. This is particularly useful for consumer products and decorative items. This makes anodizing a great choice for products that need to be both beautiful and resilient.


Another important benefit is that anodized aluminum becomes non-conductive. This is achieved by the aluminum oxide layer, which is an excellent insulator. This property is vital in applications where electrical insulation is required, such as in electronics or electrical enclosures. US Anodize points out that anodized parts will no longer be conductive to electricity, adding an extra layer of safety and functionality.

In summary, anodizing offers a range of benefits from corrosion and wear resistance to aesthetic enhancement and non-conductivity. These advantages make it an ideal choice for various industries and applications.

Next, we’ll explore how different industries benefit from anodizing services.

Anodizing Services for Different Industries

Anodizing services have broad applications across numerous industries. Here’s a closer look at how different sectors benefit from this versatile process:

Medical and Dental

In the medical and dental industries, anodizing is crucial for creating durable and hygienic equipment. Soft anodize coatings are often used for surgical instruments and dental tools. These coatings can be dyed in various colors, making it easy to identify different tools. Anodized coatings also provide excellent resistance to wear and corrosion, ensuring the longevity of medical devices.


The automotive industry relies on anodizing to enhance both the functionality and appearance of vehicle parts. Hard anodize coatings are used for engine components, valve bodies, and other parts that require high abrasion resistance. These coatings can withstand harsh environments and high temperatures, making them ideal for automotive applications.


Recreational products, such as bicycle components, climbing gear, and outdoor equipment, also benefit from anodizing. The process adds a protective layer that increases the durability and lifespan of these items. Additionally, the ability to dye anodized parts in vibrant colors makes them more visually appealing. This is especially important for products that need to stand out, like custom bicycle frames or high-visibility climbing gear.


The optics industry uses anoptical anodize to create coatings that are UV-resistant and have low reflectance under infrared or UV light. This makes them ideal for optical instruments and devices used in environments where exposure to UV light is a concern. Anoptical anodize coatings are also thermally stable, making them suitable for use in vacuums and other extreme conditions.

Anodizing services offer tailored solutions to meet the specific needs of various industries. Next, we’ll dive into the step-by-step process of anodizing.

Anodizing Process Steps

Anodizing is a detailed process that transforms the surface of aluminum into a durable and decorative oxide layer. Here’s a simple breakdown of the key steps involved:

Surface Preparation

Before anodizing, the surface of the aluminum part must be thoroughly cleaned. This step is crucial because any dirt, oil, or oxidation can interfere with the anodizing process.

  • Cleaning: The part is cleaned using a series of chemical baths to remove contaminants.
  • Media Blasting: This technique uses materials like stainless steel beads to smooth out imperfections and create the desired texture. It can range from dull matte to fine satin finishes.

Anodizing Bath

Once the surface is prepped, the part is submerged in an acidic electrolyte solution. This is where the magic happens.

  • Electrochemical Reaction: A cathode is placed in the anodizing bath, and the aluminum part acts as the anode. When an electric current passes through the solution, it causes a reaction that forms a porous aluminum oxide layer on the part’s surface.


After the anodizing bath, the porous aluminum oxide layer can be dyed to achieve vibrant colors.

  • Organic Dyes: These are commonly used for a wide range of colors. However, they can fade under UV light.
  • Inorganic Dyes: These dyes, like those used in anoptical anodize, are more stable and resist fading even under prolonged UV exposure.


The final step is sealing the anodized layer to close the pores and lock in the dye.

  • Hot Water Sealing: The part is boiled in deionized water, which hydrates the aluminum oxide and seals the pores.
  • Cold Sealing: This method uses nickel acetate or other chemicals to seal the pores at lower temperatures.

Sealing not only enhances the durability of the anodized layer but also improves its resistance to wear and corrosion.

Each of these steps is vital for producing high-quality anodized parts that meet specific industry standards. Next, we’ll explore the customization options available in anodizing services.

Customization Options in Anodizing

When it comes to anodizing services, customization is key. Here are some of the options available to make your anodized parts unique and functional:

Color Options

One of the most exciting aspects of anodizing is the variety of colors you can choose from. At Diamond Metal Finishing, we offer a broad palette, including:

  • Black
  • Clear

Custom colors are also available upon request.

These colors are achieved by adding dyes during the anodizing process. The color is absorbed into the porous anodized layer, making it long-lasting and resistant to fading.

Surface Finishes

Anodizing isn’t just about color; it also enhances the surface finish of the metal. We offer various surface finishes to meet your specific needs:

  • Matte Finish: For a subdued, non-reflective look.
  • Glossy Finish: Adds a shiny, reflective surface.
  • Textured Finish: Provides a unique tactile feel and visual appeal.

Our Medisafe Anodize option, available only in black, is designed for medical and dental tools that require frequent sterilization without degrading the coating. It meets or exceeds the functional criteria of a Mil 8625 Type II coating.

Masking and Plugging

Not all surfaces or features of a part may need anodizing. In such cases, masking and plugging become essential.

  • Masking: Used for larger surfaces or irregular shapes. This can be applied by hand using paint, adhesive precut discs, tapes, or custom die-cut shapes.
  • Plugging: Ideal for small diameter holes or threads. Plugs are inserted to shield these areas from the anodizing process.

Once the anodizing is complete, the masking or plugging materials are removed, leaving those areas free of the anodized layer.

Media Blasting

Before anodizing, parts often undergo media blasting to prepare the surface. Different media types can be used depending on the desired finish:

  • Aluminum Oxide: Ideal for aggressive cleaning and surface preparation.
  • Glass Bead: Provides a smoother, satin finish.
  • Ceramic Bead: Excellent for achieving a uniform texture.
  • Steel Shot: Best for heavy-duty cleaning and peening.

Using these media in conjunction with our chemical pre-anodize options allows us to offer a variety of attractive finishes for your products.

These customization options ensure that your anodized parts not only meet functional requirements but also stand out aesthetically. Next, we’ll address some frequently asked questions about anodizing services.

Frequently Asked Questions about Anodizing Services

How much does it cost to anodize?

The cost of anodizing can vary widely. Basic anodizing services may start as low as $50, but the price can go up depending on several factors:

  • Type of anodizing: Type II is generally less expensive than Type III (hard coat) anodizing.
  • Size and complexity: Larger and more complex parts require more time and resources.
  • Customization: Special colors, finishes, or masking can add to the cost.

For a precise quote, it's best to request a quote tailored to your specific project needs.

How long does anodized coating last?

Anodized coatings are known for their durability. The lifespan of an anodized coating can vary based on several factors:

  • Type of anodizing: Type III coatings are thicker and more durable than Type II.
  • Environmental conditions: Coatings exposed to harsh environments may wear faster.
  • Usage: High-wear applications can reduce the lifespan.

Generally, anodized coatings can last for many years, providing excellent protection against corrosion and wear.

Is anodizing expensive?

While the initial cost of anodizing might seem high compared to other finishing methods like painting or plating, it offers long-term value. Here’s why:

  • Durability: Anodized coatings are more resistant to wear and corrosion, reducing maintenance costs.
  • Aesthetic options: Custom colors and finishes can add value to your product.
  • Non-conductivity: Ideal for electrical applications.

In the long run, anodizing services can be a cost-effective solution due to their longevity and minimal maintenance requirements.


In summary, anodizing services offer a robust and aesthetically pleasing finish for aluminum parts. From enhancing durability to providing a range of custom colors, anodizing is a versatile and valuable option for many industries. Whether you need corrosion resistance for medical devices or a sleek finish for automotive parts, anodizing can meet your needs.

At Diamond Metal Finishing, we pride ourselves on delivering top-quality anodizing services. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to meeting the highest standards of customer satisfaction. We understand that time is money, and our efficient processes ensure your parts are delivered on time, every time.

We also take environmental safety very seriously. Our on-site water management facility ensures we meet and exceed all state and federal water management regulations. Clean air and water are integral to our operations, and we are committed to minimizing our environmental impact.

By choosing Diamond Metal Finishing, you’re not just selecting a service; you’re partnering with a company that values quality, customer satisfaction, and environmental responsibility. Get in touch with us today to see how our anodizing services can add value to your projects.

Anodized Metal Parts - anodizing services

For more information, visit our services page.