Did you ever wonder how Apple makes its unibody MacBooks and iMacs so tough, durable and so uniformly beautiful? Ever wonder how Apple manages to make their iPods so colorful? It’s all through the electrochemical magic of anodization. In other words? That brand new Apple gadget you’re so proud of is just as corroded as a piece of rusty iron.
Here’s how it works. When Apple gives us a new Mac or iPod, what they do is take a piece of aluminum and anodize it. But what does that mean?
Anodization is essentially corrosion. What Apple does is take the aluminum they make your MacBook Pro or iPod out of and corrode it until a honeycomb of pores open in the surface. They then ‘paint’ it with colorful dye and boil the aluminum until the pores seal, locking the dye into the metal irreversibly.
The result? A uniform color of silver on your MacBook, and brightly colored iPod nano and shuffle. And because the process gives aluminum the toughness of many hard gemstones, it makes your Apple gadget extremely resistant to nicks and scratches.
The process is even cooler with titanium, which doesn’t need dye to color: you simply grow a layer of oxide to a certain thickness, which causes light rays to bounce and reflect in different ways, giving the appearance of certain colors. Too bad Apple doesn’t make titanium laptops anymore, huh?