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Adding surface friction to Aluminium?

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Excuse the title, I didn't know how best to summarize this. It's a bit odd.

I have some Aluminium. For the sake of example, lets says it's box section or round tubing. Now, it's very smooth to the touch and your hand just glides over it. How can I make it so that it's a lot more grippier? easyier to grip onto and pull/push?

Is there something I can coat it with that will be grippier, but also withstand a lot of wear and tear?

I tried sanding it with some rough grits, but still not what I am after.

This has to be a coating on the Aluminium ... I can't just use gloves!
 

novocaine

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you can apply grip tape, but if it's what I'm thinking it will be then it maybe hard to apply it neatly. Keying the surface isn't going to be a whole lot of good (as you've already found out) but you could try knurling, again if it's something awkward shaped then this might not be easy but can be acheived in a similar way to checking on a gun stock with decent files.

if you can get to an end then something like heat shrink put over it and then heated will provide a strong surface that will be a bit better in terms of grip.
 

Beau

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You could probably do it the way non slip is done on Windsurf boards. You cover it in epoxy and sprinkle course grained sugar or salt on the surface while wet. When it's cured wash off the salt/sugar and the epoxy now has a rough texture to it.
 

sunnybob

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If its round section then knurling is your answer.
If its box section then its either coat it (garage floor non slip paint) or checker it.

But remember the aluminium is almost certainly anodised when you get it. Cutting that surface will open the raw ali to the elements and it will discolour and corrode fairly quickly.
 

ED65

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transatlantic":1reo8ynw said:
I tried sanding it with some rough grits, but still not what I am after.
What grit did you go down to and in what direction(s) did you sand?

Knurling works obviously and you can crudely mimic the effect with cross-grain sanding scratches if they're coarse enough. I've done it with 80 or 60, can't remember which, but I think you could go lower. Ain't pretty! But it does the job okay.
 

ED65

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Beau":20gy7ig9 said:
You could probably do it the way non slip is done on Windsurf boards. You cover it in epoxy and sprinkle course grained sugar or salt on the surface while wet. When it's cured wash off the salt/sugar and the epoxy now has a rough texture to it.
So that's how they do that texture! I've always wondered but never bothered to look it up, ta.
 

Beau

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ED65":2t25s0vh said:
Beau":2t25s0vh said:
You could probably do it the way non slip is done on Windsurf boards. You cover it in epoxy and sprinkle course grained sugar or salt on the surface while wet. When it's cured wash off the salt/sugar and the epoxy now has a rough texture to it.
So that's how they do that texture! I've always wondered but never bothered to look it up, ta.
It's how we redo it. Not sure how it's originally done in the factory

Edit. This gives some good info on how boards are done https://boardlady.com/nonskid.htm
 
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Thanks guys - food for thought!

As for the sanding, I think I was using about an 80 grit.

As for the use case, it's wheelchair wheel rims. I have a set that are what I believe to be anodized aluminium. They look very smart and shiny, but have no grip! drives me crazy! (I don't do gloves)

I was hoping there would be some kind of clear solution I could paint onto them to provide more grip. Like a clear varnish type thing.
 

Trevanion

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What about that anti-slip floor spray in a can that you can get? I think that stuff dries clear and gives more grip, not sure how good it would be on metal though. Must be pretty hard wearing stuff if people are treading on it all the time though.
 

novocaine

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so exactly what I thought.

rules out heat shrink then.

anything you apply is gong to wear out either itself or your fingers pretty darn quick, might be better to dip your hands in rubber instead. :)

there are some rubberised vinyls you can apply but you'd need someone to cut arc segments for you with a vinyl cutter. you could most likely do the same with grip tape but it's going to eat through scissors and knifes (the stuff holds up to skaters so can't see why it would hold up to this).
I'd personally go with something rubberised like car body underseal (shultz) or rubber paint, that way you can spray it on and it isn't going to eat your hands. something like plastidip spray.
 
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Thanks - I think I'll try a spray.

sunnybob":1b097d8k said:
https://www.curbfreewithcorylee.com/2016/11/14/wheelchair-push-rim-covers/
Yep - I'm aware of those, that'll be my plan Z .. not a fan of the silly colours. Although I did come across a black set
 

ED65

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If you want to try Plasti-Dip transatlantic I think you want to make sure to get the dip and not their spray, which apparently is about as durable as wet tissue.
 
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ED65":3t2wonjl said:
If you want to try Plasti-Dip transatlantic I think you want to make sure to get the dip and not their spray, which apparently is about as durable as wet tissue.
]

Ah balls, I ordered the spray as I was thinking I would only need a fine layer. The dip looks excessive for my needs.
 

ED65

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According to the complaints I've read the issue is that the spray deposits too thin a layer and of course it's much more durable in a really thick coating like you get from dipping in a can. If the stuff in the spraycans is at heart the same as in the tins though you should get to the same point if you apply enough layers, although that may mean something silly like 10 coats or more. But I suppose like anything it'll depend on how much and how hard the use is, some users of the dip complain it wasn't durable enough while others tell of pliers they dipped 10+ years previously that are still going strong.

Don't know if the instructions specify but in case not, be sure to scuff the ali before spraying to give it some texture to cling to.
 
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