Anodizing is a finishing process for aluminum and magnesium that uses an electric current passed through the part while it is in an acidic bath to create an oxide coating on the part.
Eco-Pro: Durable. Doesn't effect recyclability or produce harmful byproducts when part is melted
Eco-Con: If not done properly, the manufacturing process can produce acidic waste
Question the premise of the finish: If I changed to stainless steel, could I get away with no finish at all?
Alternatives: Alodine, clear coat,
Same finish, better method: Anodizing methods have been developed which minimize and sometimes even eliminate byproducts of the process by adding chemicals that make the byproduct usable again, or by using the byproduct in another process in their factory. Ask your manufacturer if they currently implement a method like this.
Materials: Aluminum. Magnesium.
NOTES: The oxidation that occurs during anodizing is what would eventually occur naturally when exposed to
the elements, but controlled anodizing allows this coating to be
consistent, and also allows for custom colors by using various
additives in the electrode bath.