Industrial and commercial barges serve many purposes and are often in environments that have a significant amount of water or other slippery substances collect. If boats or machinery are nearby there is even a potential for oil to collect and cause slippery walking surfaces. Example barge deck applications are the top decks of watercrafts, such as floor plates on passenger ferries and ferry ramps. Products used in these barge applications include ladders, ramps, stairs, top decks and general decking.
Aluminum plates for top decks are an appropriate solution for slip resistance in order to provide a lightweight, corrosion resistant safety surface, especially in salt water applications. Anodized aluminum is another option that is a popular solution for fireworks barges, anodizing the surface black will prevent reflection as the fireworks launch.
The anodized surface solution is a custom application, it is important to note that plate products may bow from the anodizing process; bowing is a function of coil memory within individual plates and therefore cannot be predicted. The anodized aluminum layer is created by passing a direct current through an electrolytic solution, with the aluminum object serving as the anode. The current releases hydrogen at the cathode and oxygen at the surface of the aluminum anode, creating a build-up of aluminum oxide.
Alternating current and pulsed current is also possible but rarely used. The voltage required by various solutions may range from 1 to 300 V DC, although most are 15 to 21 V. Higher voltages are typically required for thicker coatings formed in sulfuric and organic acid. The anodizing current varies with the area of aluminum being anodized, and anodizing is usually performed in an acid solution which slowly dissolves the aluminum oxide.
Aluminum alloys are anodized to increase corrosion resistance, to increase surface hardness, and to allow dyeing (coloring), improved lubrication, or improved adhesion; the anodic layer is non-conductive. To find out more about specifying a slip resistant barge deck with an anodized aluminum surface, please contact SlipNOT®.
“Anodizing.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Oct. 2012. Web. 02 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anodizing>.