02 Dec 2019

How Anodizing Gives Your Aluminum Bleachers A Long Lasting, Easy To Maintain, Protective Finish

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aluminum bleachers

Aluminum bleachers with protective anodized seat blanks near a high school swimming pool.

Quality aluminum bleachers manufactured using anodized aluminum planks will last longer, retain their finish, and are easier to maintain and keep clean.

As you may know, quality aluminum bleachers are always the safest and most economical choice for mass seating solutions.

Additionally, those rows of aluminum bleachers consistently make a statement to all spectators when entering a venue.

The strategic placement and use of aluminum bleachers combine smart seating choices with functional design, whether it’s in a sports venue, conference facility, campus activity building, or a neighborhood meeting center.

Combine that functional use with consistent, long-lasting appearance, and you have seating capacity that you just can’t get from fold-out chairs, makeshift benches or even wooden bleachers.

Starting with a quality American made, aluminum product, manufactured by experienced aluminum professionals that offer an anodized finish in key areas of bleachers like seat planks and end caps will help your aluminum bleachers retain their signature finish while also making cleanup and maintenance easier.

Anodizing Aluminum Bleacher Blanks: It’s All Science

When aluminum bleacher planks are initially extruded, they are produced with a standard mill finish. An oxide coating forms on the exterior of the mill finished aluminum as it is exposed to the environment.

This oxide coating is natural and works as a base type of protectant coating on the aluminum. Leaving the mill finish on aluminum risers and foot planks eventually leads to a consistent, evenly colored product.

Anodizing is an additional, electrochemical process that creates a more durable, yet thin, hardened barrier on the standard, mill finished aluminum.

The anodizing process transforms the aluminum, giving the surface a decorative, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish that structurally integrates itself with the original mill finish.

It’s a process that works on many metals, providing a superior surface for bonding primers and paints.

But out of all the metals able to be anodized, aluminum has proven to be the ideal partner for the anodizing process. They are so compatible, in fact, that anodized aluminum has become the preferred choice for many consumer, commercial and industrial products.

When anodizing aluminum for the manufacturing of bleachers, the aluminum planks are immersed into an acid electrolyte bath that has an electric current passed through it.

A cathode is securely attached to the inside of the dip tank.

The aluminum acts an anode so that oxygen ions are released from the electrolytes to combine with the aluminum atoms on the surface of the aluminum planks in a controlled, enhanced oxidation process.

Anodized aluminum is mainly used on bleacher seating planks.

With a mill finish, initially there can be a chalky type of buildup or residue that forms when the metal oxidizes. This staining will vary but will generally blends in overtime after long-term exposure to the sun.

Some facility managers chose to purchase anodized seat planks with a less expensive mill finish for the footboards.

Additional Benefits Of Anodizing Aluminum Bleacher Planks

  • Protects aluminum bleacher seat planks from the constant exposure to cyclical weather patterns and harsh environmental conditions.
  • Stands up to the sustained repetitive use and rowdy emotional behavior of active sports fans.
  • Increases the durability and longevity of the preferred aluminum bleacher finish through an electrochemical bonding process.
  • Allows the manufacturer to color the aluminum planks if desired without having to worry about future flaking or peeling.
  • Provides an environmentally safe, recyclable, long-lasting, protective finish on the aluminum bleacher seating planks.
  • Provides advanced protection from abrasion and galling, the normal wear and tear caused by friction.
  • Creates a quality finish that lasts indefinitely with regular cleaning and maintenance.
  • Anodizing costs less and saves money when compared to other advanced finishing choices.
  • Anodized aluminum finishes are exceptionally responsive to a simple cleanup process using only a mild detergent and freshwater rinse

How To Care For Anodized Aluminum

One reason that anodized aluminum bleachers last longer is simply because they are easier to maintain and clean. Using products that you probably already have on hand, you can clean and care for your aluminum bleachers and keep them looking great for many years.

  • Remove general surface dirt by wiping down any anodized surfaces with a damp sponge, then go over and dry if necessary. This will help prevent further dirt and dust buildup
  • Get a deeper clean and rinse off the anodized surface by pressure washing or using a high-power nozzle at the end of any standard hose.
  • For more thorough cleaning on stained areas, use mild dishwashing detergent and clean with a slightly abrasive sponge or scrubbing pad. Harsh cleaning products can damage, scratch, or react with the aluminum, so only mild detergents are recommended.
  • Perform a final cleansing rinse on all anodized parts and towel dry.

Aluminum Bleachers Manufactured By The Experienced Professionals

As with any investment, it’s worth your time to research not only the product you need but also the company that will be supplying and installing them as well. Quality, American made aluminum bleachers will be manufactured, sold and installed to be safe, reliable, and code-compliant by experienced, licensed professionals with quality references.

  • AluminumBleachers.com offers a wide range of quality manufactured aluminum bleachers to fit your specific space and budget needs.
  • All of the in-shop connections on the aluminum bleacher units are welded to meet AWS (American Welding Society) standards.
  • Bleachers are IBC- Compliant.
  • All bolts, nuts, and other connecting hardware on aluminum bleacher units will be hot-dipped galvanized.

With all the care that goes into the manufacturing and installation of quality aluminum bleachers, the choice of using anodized aluminum planks for the seating areas and end caps should be an automatic addition to preserve the fan-friendly, easy to care for finish for years to come.

By Gerald Dlubala





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