Aluminum Anodizers Conference Wrap Up


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The 13th Annual Aluminum Anoziders Conference and Exposition held September 27-30 in Atlanta, Georgia, was an international affair, with representatives from the United States, Canada, Denmark, El Salvador, England, South Africa, China and Germany.

Presentations focused on the fundamentals of anodizing, environmental issues, analytical procedures and quality assurance and technical developments. Richard Mahn of Houghton Metal Finishing presented sessions on anodizing from A to Z, with Mark Jozefowicz of Clariant covering coloring and Terry Sjostrum of Henkel handling sealing of aluminum anodized products.

Eric Blackwell presented a paper on test methods for evaluating anodized aluminum, covering the eddy current process and new advances in technology that allow for improved accuracy readings over curved surfaces. Chris Hanthorn of Henkel showed attendees how to troubleshoot the anodizing process, pointing out that a common problem in defects that occur on the surface of, within or below the anodic coatings. In his presentation, Anodizing Advancements and Innovations, Jianping Liu of Henkel described an improved two-step electrolytic coloring process and nickel-free cold sealing method.

Environmental issues were also a hot topic at the conference, with Charlie Simmons of the law offices of Charles T. Simmons, providing attendees with a performance-based analysis of the current administration versus the opposition with respect to issues affecting the anodizing industry. Other environmental topics included a regulatory roundup, information on legislation applicable to chemicals in Canada, which covered Canada's new Domestic Substances List (DSL). The presentation on whole effluent toxicity testing covered a controversial biomonitoring procedure used to evaluate the relative acute or chronic toxicity of wastewater.

A representative of Boeing Commercial Airplane presented a paper on a rinsewater reduction calculator. Regulatory and cost drivers forced the Boeing plant in Auburn, Washington, to focus on rinsewater reduction. The first step was to consider the amount of rinsewater needed for a given process. For this, Boeing developed a rinsewater reduction calculator, which uses a Microsoft Access database to model single, double and triple countercurrent rinse tanks. Water use was then controlled using timers instead of subjective methods, reducing rinsewater used more than 50%. The tool is available on the Boeing Company web site.

In addition to the conference and exhibition, two plant tours were offered. One was to the William L. Bonnell plant in Newnan, Georgia, and the second was to the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics plant. For more information on the conference or the Aluminum Anodizers Association, contact the association at (847) 526-2010 or e-mail atmail@anodizing.org.


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