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Dimensional Growth During Anodizing

Written by Bob Wood

Does anodizing cause dimensional growth?

Anodizing is the process of electrochemically converting the surface of an aluminum part to aluminum oxide. Aluminum oxide occupies about two times the volume as that of raw aluminum. Therefore, anodizing will cause parts to grow dimensionally. This factor should be taken into consideration when designing parts that will be anodized.

Typical standard clear and color anodizing creates an aluminum oxide film in the range of .0002 to .0008 inches, (.005 to .020 mm), on each surface. Hard anodizing is typically in the range of .0005 to .003 inches, (.013 to .076 mm), the most common being .002 inches. (.051 mm).

The process of hard anodizing a part to .002 in. film thickness will therefore grow .001 in. on each surface or .002 in. in overall dimension.

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