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Anodized aluminum

ford4v429 said:
I put up a thread a while back over at asking ford to do something about the way raw aluminum oxidizes, another guy suggested offering engine appearance upgrades just like "IUP" for the interior..."EUP" option. IT WOULD SELL.

"GET-E-UP for your ponycar!"
"Get EUP"? Oh man that's terrible. Terrible terrible pun! I love it :)

I do aluminum anodizing for a living. We can chemically polish and anodize aluminum so that it looks almost as shiny as chrome. *However* it does not condict electricity, at all. Completely insulated, except the tiny spots that were actually touching the rack that held the part in the solution. Also, although you can anodize die cast aluminum it looks like crap and doesn't take much dye. Picture parts the color of garden soil, with perhaps a *slight* reddish tint, if you were hoping for red parts.

Other than that, any billet aluminum can be made very nice. 6061 and 7075 look best and are the most common alloys for machined parts, IME. Most sheet metal and bent parts, made of sheet metal, are 5052 and also anodize fine. 2024 looks good but has some problems with pitting if you are trying to go for a very dark color.

Awful lot of heavy, auto-parts are die cast or 356 alloy. If it is 356, we can certainly make it look prettier but if it wasn't machined, after casting, it doesn't look so good in any color but black.

I'd guess valve covers are die cast, when I think back on how they look, on the inside. Wouldn't try to anodize my own, anyway. But if you could polish them up really shiny, I could do a chromate conversion on them and they would be very protected from chemicals, but not abrasion, like from wires or vacuum tubes, under the hood. Also, chromate conversion retains the part's ability to conduct, electricity, if you need it to. The only downside is that the process involves hexavalent chrome. Ever see the movie "Erin Brockovich"? Yeah, that stuff. I don't know if it is bad to touch the parts after we process them. I wouldn't know, b/c I don't touch them :)

Hope this helps,
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