At P&E Manufacturing, we take quality seriously with our Anchor Hatches brand. In our early days, we could build hatches cheaper and faster, but they didn’t last! Even by using 1/4″ 5086 H112 marine-grade aluminum (which is one of the best combinations of aluminum to combat corrosion) it still wasn’t durable enough for our client’s harsh environment in the humid, salty waters off Canada’s east coast.
Then, we raised the bar in the industry by anodizing our hatch covers; and it made a world of difference to our clients! Since the hatch covers wouldn’t corrode, the gasket would stay adhered, prevent leaking, and would extend the life of the hatch 2-3 times of what it used to be. We take pride in knowing that our produts are rugged and sturdy, but also are a long-lasting investment on your boat. To our knowledge, we may be the only hatch supplier who takes this extra step in all our products. We cut and form the hatch before this pro-grade protection to ensure that the critical bolt holes and edges get anodized.
Here is a detailed description of the anodizing process from our supplier:
Anodizing involves the formation of a protective aluminum oxide film on the aluminum surface by means of an electro-chemical process, giving it a durable non-toxic and easy to maintain surface. The aluminum goes through a variety of chemical baths to clean and prepare the surface for anodizing. In the anodizing tank the extrusions are immersed in an electrolyte (water containing 5% sulfuric acid) and when an electric current is passed through, negatively charged anions migrate to the aluminum where the oxygen from the water combines with the aluminum to form an aluminum oxide film approximately 4 to 7 microns thick (Clear Anodized). From this process a further step can be taken if an electrlyte coloring (two step anodizing) is specified. The aluminum is immersed into a bath where an alternating current is applied to deposit a metal coloring agent at the base of the pores of the anodic coating. The coloring agent consists of tin sulfate and sulfuric acid. The AC voltage is applied from 20 seconds to ten minutes, depending on the color required. Colors range from champagne, light, medium, architectural & dark bronze and black. The final step is to seal the open pores in a high temperature sealing solution to close the pores for the anodic coating. The sealing provides protection against weathering, fading and corrosion resistance.