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The Difference Between Anodizing & Billet Aluminum

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In 2009, Oxford University scientists briefly created transparent aluminum, a substance previously only existing in “Star Trek.” As a lightweight metal, aluminum is both versatile and ubiquitous. Proving useful in both highly processed and simple forms, aluminum shields houses from the elements as aluminum siding and protects leftover food as sheets of foil. Does this Spark an idea?

Aluminum Billet

  • Aluminum billet, also called aluminum “bar stock,” is one of the raw products from an aluminum mill. Aluminum billet indicates a bar or rod of aluminum or aluminum alloy produced for shaping into other products. Making parts from billet gives manufacturers more control over the shape and finish of the product than does casting, a process that involves pouring molten metal into a hollow cast.

Anodized Aluminum

  • Anodized aluminum goes through a process that gives it a hard, corrosion-resistant surface and seals in dyes used to color the metal. The surface of anodized aluminum is harder than the underlying metal, and brightly colored electronics often feature anodized aluminum shells. Anodizing gets its name from the fact that the treated aluminum piece becomes the anode — the electrode where oxidization occurs — of an electrochemical cell. The oxidation of the aluminum in this process creates crystallized aluminum oxide.

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