Aging aluminum

It can happen again and again that partial mechanical work has to be carried out on an aluminum component. Then, or if an aluminum component should basically be used or "antique" look, it is advisable to artificially age the aluminum. How to age aluminum is explained below.

There are a lot of reasons to age aluminum

There are many different reasons why aluminum components should look "old" or used, even though they are new. For example, carved aluminum reliefs or busts can look so antique. But in other areas there are countless reasons:

  • Aluminum frame (picture frame)
  • a mechanically machined spot on an aluminum motor
  • the aluminum plates on guitars
  • Homogeneous appearance of a device when parts have been replaced (table leg)

The appearance of aluminum depending on the machining

So, first of all, it's important to know what aluminum looks like after certain treatments. By polishing aluminum gets an intense shine that can match that of stainless steel or steel. By grinding aluminum, it becomes dull and darker.

Age different artificial aging

This can also be achieved for the brushing of aluminum. But sandblasting can also make aluminum look older. If it really gets perfect, grind the aluminum first and then sandblast it again briefly and carefully. Instead of sandblasting, you can press a sandpaper with a relatively coarse grain also with pressure on the aging aluminum (by hammering or careful hammering).

In addition, additionally oxidise aluminum and / or patinate

Another possibility that should be considered in addition to artificial aging is the oxidation of aluminum. This gives the aluminum a typical patina for this light metal. Certain components made of aluminum can also be patinated after aging.

Patinating aged aluminum with motor oil

Engines or other aluminum components, especially in vehicle construction (aircraft, ship or old-timer automobiles, for example) must always be partially machined mechanically, so that the aluminum block suddenly shines at one point. First rough the aluminum to the desired degree. You can also grind the aluminum completely smooth and then patinate it several times.

Choose suitable products

To patinate, you can use new or even old engine oil. If you need old engine oil (because it is black), the used oil from a diesel engine is recommended. Then the spot in question is simply lubricated several times with a cloth with the oil. It may also make sense to patinate the entire component in this way.

Tips & Tricks

Instead of aging or patinating aluminum or an aluminum sheet, you can also paint it if necessary. Explicitly when varnishing aluminum sheet or aluminum bodies you have to choose the varnish as aluminum, for example, expands more under the influence of temperature than other metals.

Video Board: Aging Aluminum Cold Water Process