In this post, we explain the process of anodising Café Racer parts
First thing first, what is anodising?
According to the Aluminum Anodizers Council, "Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish". In other words, it makes a metal surface smooth and resistant, which is perfect for your motorcycle. Aluminium is often the metal of choice for that process, even though other non-ferrous surfaces – like titanium and magnesium – can also be anodised.
In the case of aluminium, the anodic oxide is entirely made of aluminium oxide as it comes from the substrate of the material. Instead of being applied like paint and plating, this oxide is fully incorporated into the aluminium substrate located underneath. Therefore, this surface cannot be peeled or chipped in any way. The porous structure of the oxide allows for other processes like colouring and sealing.
In order to anodise a surface, the aluminium – or other non-ferrous metals – is immersed into a bath of acid electrolyte with an electric current running through it. The anodising tank has a cathode mounted on the inside and the aluminium acts as an anode. The electrolyte then releases oxygen ions which are combined with the aluminium atoms. This process takes place at the surface of the part being anodised. Therefore, anodising is simply a matter of controlled oxidation, which is nothing but the amplification of a natural phenomenon.
Thanks to his beautiful anodised finish, aluminium has become one of the most popular material in the world. It is present in the production of thousands of industrial, consumer and commercial products.
We hope that this article helped you to understand how the process of anodising Cafe Racer parts works. It is not that easy and will take some practice, but its results are fantastic! Good luck!