It became known that Apple filed a patent for a technology that allows you to create a black matte finish on an aluminum surface. This technology can be used to paint MacBooks’ cases or some of the company’s other devices in “true black.”
The report notes that existing methods of anodizing or painting aluminum surfaces produce different colors, but they are mostly glossy. It is much more difficult to create a black aluminum surface, since in most cases, only a dark gray shade will be obtained. The company believes that this color cannot be considered truly black, so the developers have created a new technology.
The company believes that simply applying dye particles to the anodized layer’s pores is not enough to give the surface a true black color. Part of the problem is that the surface is glossy, which allows it to reflect a lot of light. If you make a layer that can absorb light, this approach will help you achieve true black. Apple suggests using a metal pickling process to form the light-absorbing layer. Light that is not absorbed by this layer is diffusely reflected from the surface. As a result, it becomes less shiny and more matte.
One of the patented options involves creating a matte black surface by electrochemical anodizing aluminum or aluminum alloy. Another option allows you to achieve this effect in the process of deposition of the coloring elements on the metal oxide layers. In this case, the metal substrate can be made of any suitable material, including aluminum, titanium, or steel.
Even though the patent application dates from 2019, Apple has not applied this technology in practice before. However, it is possible that in the future, the company will release a matte black MacBook or some other device, the body of which will be painted in real black.
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