How to maintain and clean aluminium Aeropark waiting area seatingAeroPark
Aluminum materials are known for their lightness, strength, resistance to corrosion, durability
and formability that gives them a wide range of product forms and extensive use in
engineering works. Some aluminum alloys tend to be quite soft and for this reason, some
simple steps should be employed during cleaning and handling aluminum to avoid staining and
The best way to keep aluminum looking immaculately clean is to stop the buildup of dirt by
regularly cleaning the surface. Leaving the surface for an extended period of time causes
grunge that can in turn cause staining which will require a stronger cleaning system to remove
the stain depending on the extent of staining. When cleaning aluminum it is best to start with
the mildest method possible and then move progressively to harsher treatments if necessary.
Below are cleaning methods arranged in increasing order of harshness:
● Plain water
● Mild soap/detergent
● Solvents such as kerosene, turpentine, or white spirit
● Non-etching chemical cleaner
● Wax-based polish
● Abrasive wax
● Abrasive cleaner
The aluminum surface should be washed thoroughly and dried to prevent streaking after
cleaning. Take special care to remove any trace of cleaner from edges and joins. When using
proprietary cleaning products pay attention to manufacturer’s recommendations and always
Abrasive cleaners can cause changes in the appearance of polished aluminum or aluminum
with a ‘grain’ finish. Clean with the grain at all times If the aluminum has a grain.
Receiving Aluminium Deliveries
Aluminum components are usually supplied with a polished surface that is covered by a
strippable plastic or paper coating that offers protection. Inspect the coating upon receipt for any
damage that might have been transferred to the aluminum below.
Also, inspect material for signs of wetness to avoid the possibility of water staining. This should
cover looking for wet packaging or pallets.
Materials should be stored in dry conditions indoors. This should be done immediately on damp
or rainy days.
Materials handling is very important in relation to preventing damage. Aluminum is no different.
To prevent damage to the surface of aluminum components, great care must be taken during
handling. This includes:
● Avoid scraping against hard or sharp surfaces
● When stacking/unstacking or moving sheets, two people should be used to avoid
dragging them over one another
● Do not drag or throw the aluminum components
● Use soft slings when lifting heavy components to avoid distortion or damage
● Do not walk over sheets while moving them.
If the aluminum component is to be stored over a long period of time, lightly oil the surface and
store vertically for proper air circulation over all surfaces.
Store aluminum in a clean, dry, dust-free environment away from contact with other materials.
Water staining is known to be a common problem for aluminum. Water staining is a white
powdery substance that appears on the surface of the aluminum. It may have an opalescent
appearance depending on the alloy type or amount of oxidation. Water staining is caused by the
entrapment of moisture between the surfaces of closely packed aluminum. Severe cases of
water staining occur in high magnesium alloys. Water staining doesn’t alter the mechanical
properties of aluminium but has a detrimental effect on its appearance.
Material delivered wet, should be allowed to dry thoroughly before they are stored. Drying is
best done by evaporation using dry air. Removing the moisture prevents stains from occurring
and stops the propagation of any existing water stains.
Surface roughness is used to determine the extent of existing stains. Light staining (smooth
surface) can be removed by brushing while extensive staining, usually rough surface, can be
removed by dipping the material in an aqueous solution of 10% by volume sulphuric acid and
3% by weight chromic acid.
Installation and delivery of aluminum components should be well planned and managed to
avoid accident staining and/or damage. Installation and delivery on-site should be delayed
Newly installed aluminum components usually require cleaning due to carelessness with
nearby work procedures resulting in staining from things as mortar, concrete, and paints.
Protecting aluminum surfaces with a clear lacquer or light oil help avoid or minimize this
undesired outcome. If ever the aluminum is tainted with a wet product, first remove the product
before drying and washing thoroughly with water. In the case of dry mortar, plaster, or paint that
requires removal from aluminum by scraping, use a plastic or wooden scraper.