When it comes to appearances aluminium can certainly be finished in style with a number of different effects. Also, depending on the application, aluminium is often used in its natural state.
All our aluminium materials and products are available in mill. After production into sheet or extrusion form, the aluminium surface is said to be mill finish. This untreated finish can be semi-bright in appearance and sometimes quite shiny. Rolling marks (on sheet), extrusion lines (on profiles) and other markings, including surface abrasions, are also commonly visible.
On perforated and patterned sheets these markings are normally much less noticeable.
For general applications, when the finished appearance is not of primary importance, then mill is often selected as the most economic choice.
Anodised aluminium provides an attractive matt metallic easy to maintain effect that will normally last for many years. The anodic film is extremely durable, corrosion resistant and light-fast.
The anodising process interacts with the surface of the aluminium. For this reason you should be aware that variations can occur in the shade of the anodic film. To ensure the best possible finish is achieved it is important that a suitable aluminium alloy together with a good surface finish is selected. Ideally the material would be from the same production run.
Most of our aluminium is kept in anodising grade suitable for processing, and we also stock pre-anodised items, ready for immediate dispatch.
You can also rest assured that GA’s sales team will suggest alternatives when the anodising process might not be appropriate.
Organic Powder Coating
For many uses aluminium looks great in mill or anodised finish. There are occasions however when a colourful alternative may be required and that’s where GA’s ‘Spectra Bond’ powder coating (available in RAL colours) comes into its own.
The long-term performance characteristics of the environmentally friendly solvent free powder coating process, ensure wide usage for architectural projects. Often selected as the preferred option for fabricated items because the thickness of its coating often covers surface abrasions and processing marks. The thermally cured powder coating process provides a tough, easy to maintain and knock-resistant finish.
Automated equipment applies satin brushed effects on flat sheets. These treatments provide a directional grained appearance and help remove surface defects while developing a more consistent look.
Satin brushing is normally chosen as a finishing option when the items are ‘out of reach’ and therefore unlikely to be touched by hand. This is because satin brushed surfaces (unless sealed with a clear coating) can ‘finger mark’. Perforated ceiling panels would be a typical application for satin brushing.