Environmentally friendly Aluminum Finishing?

Hello all,

I’m working on a project with aluminum and I’m having a hard time finding a good finishing solution.

I would like to have color so abrasives finishing is out.

The part is extruded and has many cavities so a charged painting system (wet and dry) isn’t the best option due to the magnetic field created in small gaps keeping paint out

Anodizing is out unless someone can make a good case as to why it is “eco-freindly”

Any help pointing me in a good direction would be much appreciated.

What’s wrong with anodizing? There’s some acid involved, but it’s contained and reused. As long as you’re not doing it in some tiny crappy factory in China, where they are likely to flush their tanks into the river.

It uses some electricity, but not that much relative to the amount used to create the aluminum in the first place. You get some solid byproducts, but they are pretty harmless, and are often reused elsewhere. As long as you’re careful with your dye specification, I don’t see how it’s bad.

Hey, the Aluminum Anodizers Council thinks it’s OK:

Wikipedia too:

I understand that anodizing isn’t all that bad, and “The Aluminum Anodizer’s Council” says that it is environmentally friendly.

It would be irresponsible of me to not at least inquire into alternative methods. Also, if its a council set up with the sole purpose of supporting that industry and that is the only source online saying that it environmentally safe, then I have a hard time trusting that what they are saying is the god honest truth.

I appreciate your response but I was hoping for something a little more constructive.


Chris King has been making superior quality cycling components in a rainbow of anodized colors for years. They are also the posterchild for sustainable manufacturing in the industry. I recommend reading up on them.

Wow, great link. I’m a bike nut and had no idea that King Components was that dedicated!