Aluminum is a durable, yet lightweight, metal. These qualities make aluminum sheets a desirable material when it comes to industrial and manufacturing processes. Working with aluminum can be simple, but it does require careful attention to detail in order to preserve the quality and integrity of the metal itself.
You must be proactive in preventing corrosion and contamination to ensure the quality of your aluminum components.
Prevent aluminum from coming into contact with other metals.
If you work with more than one type of metal in your production facility, it's essential that you separate each metal component. Galvanic corrosion is a unique type of corrosion that occurs when dissimilar metals come into contact with one another.
If you will be pairing aluminum with other metals during manufacturing, be sure to utilize a galvanized rubber washer or gasket as a buffer between the two metals. This will allow you to prevent galvanic corrosion from compromising your aluminum over time.
Clean aluminum components thoroughly before finishing processes occur.
Finishing processes play a critical role in preparing metal components for market. Many finishing processes require that an aluminum component is coated with a protective paint layer. To ensure that this paint layer doesn't contribute to the corrosion of the aluminum in the future, you need to thoroughly and completely clean the surface of all aluminum components prior to painting.
Filiform corrosion is a type of corrosion that develops beneath a film of paint. Contaminants left on the surface of aluminum components before painting prevent the paint from completely adhering to the aluminum.
Improper adhesion allows moisture to seep underneath the paint film, resulting in corrosion. Proper cleaning can eliminate the potential for filiform corrosion.
Maintain separate tools for aluminum and steel.
Aluminum and steel are two metals commonly found in production facilities. While each of these metals has its merits, they do not interact well with one another. Using the same tools on both steel and aluminum could result in cross-contamination that could compromise the quality of your aluminum components.
You need to maintain separate tools for use on aluminum and use these tools exclusively for aluminum components. Separating aluminum and steel is the only sure way to eliminate the threat of cross-contamination from your production facility.
Aluminum, if handled correctly, can be a valuable asset in any manufacturing plant. Be proactive in preventing contamination and corrosion as you work with aluminum sheets in the future. For more information, contact an aluminum sheets supplier such as Garelick Steel.