Chemical Solutions

Aluminum Pretreatment

Aluminum is a metal that will dissolve in acidic and alkaline solutions, so care must be taken when preparing it for plating or anodizing. The variety of aluminum alloys and cast aluminum add to the difficulty of selecting the best products. To help us make the most informed recommendations, please provide the following information:

  • Alloy of the machined, extruded or cast aluminum
  • Type of plating and/or anodizing process
  • Description of current pretreatment cycle
  • Type of parts being processed
  • Quantity of parts being processed at one time


Aluminum pretreatment can vary based on the alloy and the finishing process.  The most common pretreatment cycle looks like this, with good rinsing between steps:

  • Soak Clean – Chemistry options include acid cleaners, alkaline etch cleaners, alkaline non-etch cleaners & neutral cleaners
  • Etch – Chemistry options include acid etch & alkaline etch formulations
  • De-smut – Chemistry options include unique proprietary de-smut and commodity acid de-smut formulations
  • Deoxidizers – Chemistry includes unique proprietary and commodity options
  • Zincate – Used only in the electrolytic and electroless plating processes