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Tips for Optimizing the Aesthetics and Durability of Your Aluminum Extrusions

If you’re looking to improve the durability and appearance of aluminum extrusions and tubing, you’ve got various options to consider. Whether you’re designing industrial machinery, medical equipment, or consumer products, several options can enhance durability while maintaining aesthetics. As experts in lean manufacturing and aluminum framing systems, FlexMation can share the options designers have to enhance both the durability and aesthetic appeal of aluminum tubing and extruded shapes. From the initial design stage to the final production, we’ll explore the various options available to ensure that you achieve optimal results that will last.

Application Selection

As a distributor for Bosch Rexroth, FlexMation employs a team of experienced engineers to assist customers with their needs. We also have a dedicated shop crew specifically for manufacturing modular aluminum extrusion projects. We offer aluminum extrusions cut to specific lengths or can design and build complete assemblies for our customers.

Before making a decision, it’s important to choose the right application for your aluminum extrusions. That’s where EcoShape aluminum comes into play. EcoShape is a modular framing system suitable for creating workstations, flow racks, carts, and more.

EcoShape’s lightweight aluminum tube comes in one diameter (28mm) and two styles (full round or one t-slot), which can be easily combined for a stronger project. Unlike steel tube systems, EcoShape offers T-Slot options that are simple to use and align, and can be connected to T-Slot aluminum framing. EcoShape’s innovative design requires only a few versatile connectors, reducing inventory cost and storage space. The dove-tail type clamp connections are easy to use, align, and secure.

Aluminum components are easy to cut, connect, and customize, making them ideal for a wide range of applications. They’re also quick to assemble and align perfectly. Plus, EcoShape systems are aesthetically pleasing, durable, and cost-effective, making them an excellent choice for:

Coating Selection

Adding a surface finish to your aluminum extrusions can improve water and corrosion resistance while boosting aesthetic appeal, making them better-looking and longer-lasting. Some commonly selected coatings include:


Aluminum tubing and extrusions are often enhanced with wet and powder paints to improve their cosmetic appearance and protect them from the elements or abrasion. When applying both types of paints, electrically charged paint particles adhere to the electrically grounded aluminum surfaces and are then heated in an oven to fuse the paint into a smooth coating. There are many options available for paints, including those that are architectural, UL-rated, and UV-resistant.


Anodizing is a process in which an electrochemical reaction creates a durable oxide layer on the surface of aluminum extrusions. If the durability of your extruded aluminum tube or shape is important, consider using hard coat anodizing. It can create a coating up to .004″ thick that can withstand thousands of cycles of use. This type of anodizing is ideal for linear slides, hydraulic cylinder wear surfaces, and actuating cams.

Commercial anodizing is a good option for industrial, medical, and recreational applications. Examples of anodized aluminum extrusions include bike rims, linear slides, and handguards. The anodized layer protects the aluminum from oxidation and scratches.

Prior to anodizing, mechanical finishes such as brushing, vibratory deburring, and bead blasting can be applied to enhance the appearance of the extruded aluminum.

Chemical Film Coating

Chemical film coating, also known as Alodine or Iridite, is a process that involves the application of a chromate coating to aluminum to protect it from corrosion. In addition to preventing corrosion, it also allows the coated aluminum to maintain its conductivity. Chem films are also used to improve the adhesion of paints or primers. RoHS-compliant options are available for non-industrial applications. After application, RoHS-compliant versions of the coatings remain clear, while non-RoHS versions have a yellowish hue.

Choose FlexMation for Custom Aluminum Extrusions

At FlexMation, we know that aluminum enclosures often need to be tailored to a specific product or process. That’s why we collaborate closely with you to create a unique concept or build upon your existing designs. With our team’s extensive expertise, we ensure that your custom aluminum extrusions are brought to life with the utmost precision and accuracy. That’s the FlexMation difference.

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