Well, Color Me Anodized

This one ties in my last post, if you care to read that one. I actually wrote this one first, but then “misplaced” it on my laptop for a while, somehow. Anyway…

So, you know those little carabiner clips? Like the one you probably have on your key chain? The ones that rock climbers use to clip to their rope and such? You know how you can find them in all kinds of crazy colors? Have you ever wondered, “Gosh, how do they make this metal pink?” (Or green or blue or whatever.) I always assumed is was just something that was added after the fact, like some kind of fancy paint or something. Well, we all know what assumption does*.

Turns out that “fancy paint or something” is actually infused into the metal itself. (Also, just for the record, those colorful carabiners are made of aluminum, for the most part.) How does the coloring get inside the aluminum, you ask? Through a process called “anodizing”. I don’t 100% understand how it works, but it’s something to do with putting the completed aluminum object is a special solution and adding electricity.

How that does what it does, I have no idea—everything I know about it, which admittedly is not much, I learned from a website offering aluminum anodizing services that I randomly came upon a few weeks ago. Hooray for the rare occasion when I happen upon information that can actually answer a legit question I previously had in my noodle.

And hooray for anodizing, I guess…

* It makes an @$$ out of you and umption.