Anodizing, or anodising, is an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. Anodizing increases corrosion resistance and wear resistance, and provides better adhesion for paint primers and glues than bare metal. Anodic films can also be used for a number of cosmetic effects, either with thick porous coatings that can absorb dyes or with thin transparent coatings that add interference effects to reflected light. Anodizing is also used to prevent galling of threaded components and to make dielectric films for electrolytic capacitors. Anodic films are most commonly applied to protect aluminium alloys, although processes also exist for titanium, zinc, magnesium, and niobium.
I mention this to you because my brother and I have invested in an anodizing workshop. Well, its mainly him, yet I'm giving him a hand in this. To break it down to you, anodizing is an acid burning effect with dye, that literally sinks into aluminum. This process not only strengthens the metal, but also converts it to any color you desire(excluding white).
First the object is stripped of any paint or other previous ano applied to the surface(metal bodies come pre ano'd black). Upon doing this the item then goes through a 'de-smutting' stage cleaning the surface of any impurities. Once the item is deemed clean, it is then submerged in the desired color of dye. It then soaks for a specific amount of time until the desired shade has been reached. It then soaks yet again in the sealant and Voila! You have an extremely durable, long lasting, ultimate quality coloring job. This will not chip, flake or wear anywhere near as easily as paint.
We are only in the beginning stages and are still experimenting, also building a website in hopes to offer this service to airsoft and paintball players alike. We are trying different color patterns and am hoping to branch into various camo patterns as well. Although that may take some time due to the fact it takes a very specific masking technique.
Another factor that we are working on is a polishing stage. This allows us to create not only any color in a gloss or matte finish, but also a chrome or gold.
We are experimenting on a number of paintball parts and other various aluminum samples. Once we have enough done with different styles and such, pictures will be posted as well. We are unsure of prices right now, but once we have figured the logistics of it, it will be posted.