Acorn Surface Technology
Now we are Aalberts Surface Technology - previously Acorn Surface Technology

We have been a part of the Aalberts group for over 15 years, but we have now changed our name to Aalberts Surface Technology Ltd., with effect from 1st January 2021. 
We are a supplier of Specialist Surface Engineering process - we are the country's leading Anodising and Hard Anodising businesses. Here you will find information on common themes, questions and technical issues relating to advanced treatments for Aluminium and other metals our customers ask us about.
We recognise that such information often becomes most useful when directly related to your own application or product so please do contact us, via the help line or directly to one of the team, and we will be happy to discuss and advise on any specific issues you may be interested in.


Tartaric Suphuric Anodising (TSA)

At Acorn Surface Technology, we continually review new and up and coming technologies, with a view to supporting our customers current and future needs.

Within our Industrial Services group, SGI-France, have established a tartaric sulphuric anodising (TSA) facility, which is a REACh compliant chromic anodizing replacement.  This process is now in production for aerospace applications at the Villers-Cotterêts facility

TSA is planned for implementation at Acorn Surface Technology for operations from early 2018.

Clients We Work With

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(previously Acorn Surface Technology Ltd)

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masking of IVD coating
Hard Anodising

Hard anodising produces a relatively dense, thick oxide layer. As a result, the film will tend to be darker in appearance although the final colour is largely dependent on the alloying constituents (elements) of the base material and, in its natural state, can be anything from light green/gold to dark grey/charcoal. 

The use of Hard anodising has become very important where weight saving (e.g. by the use of Aluminium instead of Steel) combined with good corrosion protection and wear resistance are required. Also unsealed anodic coatings can absorb and retain oil when used on sliding surfaces for cylinders and pistons etc, providing longer lasting lubrication. 

IVD coated components
Aerospace IVD with NADCAP and AIRBUS approval.

Ion Vapour Deposition, known as IVD or Ivadising, is a physical Vacuum deposition process which is used to apply a pure Aluminium coating to various substrates, to improve the resistance to atmospheric and bi-metallic corrosion. 

IVD Aluminium is a smooth, uniform coating of pure aluminium, produced by vacuum deposition and is currently used in  aerospace and defence  applications where critical corrosion resistance with electrical conductivity is paramount or where dissimilar metal contact can cause galvanic attack. 

Typical components currently processed with an IVD Aluminium coating include – Engine and Airframe fasteners (Steel and Titanium), high tensile Steel airframe parts, Titanium bearing shells, landing gear components and assemblies, sintered magnets and electrical connectors. 

We have approvals from all the large OEMs. See our Approvals page for more details. 

selective paint spraying
Selective Coating
In many cases there is a need to combine more than one treatment on a component in order to meet the performance requirements e.g. Hard anodising for corrosion protection with Chromated areas to allow electrical conductivity for earthing. 

This is a specialist area which is a key part of our capability and service. The techniques we use will depend on the processes that need to be combined, the size/shape and volume of components and the manufacturing route. 

In principle we need to mask certain areas while the rest of the component is treated, and then reverse the process to apply the second (or third/fourth etc!) treatment. Masking can be achieved with purpose-made hard masks, chemically-resistant paint, high temperature waxes, specialist tapes and plugs/bungs etc.