By Willie Alexander
The simple answer is “it depends”. But there are three key factors that affect anodizing costs.
1. Coating Thickness
If no specific thickness is required for the coating type it is considered “basic” and is the least expensive.
Controlling precise coating thickness affects cost. If coating thickness specifications include upper and lower limits, the narrower the range, the higher cost. As an example, +/- .001” is less expensive than the tighter range of +/- .0001”.
Maximum coating thicknesses may also cost more because they take longer to produce.
Racking is critical to quality. Qualtek uses aluminum or commercially pure titanium racks to make electrical contact. If the job does not specify racking requirements, we utilize the most cost-effective method to gain the highest yield. Particular racking requirements may limit the number of parts processed at one time and the cost per part may go up.
The size and shape of a part also affects the quantity per run, which affects cost. When the shape of a product part is unique, Qualtek can build custom racks to maximize part runs but that may impact cost.
The number of parts processed at one time is affected by power supply limitations. Anodizing is performed at ~15 or ~30 amps per square foot (ASF). Therefore, there is a maximum surface area able to be processed in each run.
Customers often require additional tasks to augment the anodizing process. When parts need simple or complex masking or if holes need to be plugged, those services add labor and time. While those services add value, they also increase the total cost of anodizing the part.
The cost of anodizing aluminum parts depends on the thickness of the coating, the size and shape of the part, and extra services desired.