Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,032,930) for “titanium surfaces with improved color consistency and resistance to color change.” The tech giant offers a titanium Apple Watch, but we may see titanium Macs, iPads, and iPhones.
Issues with processing electronic device enclosures
In the patent, Apple says that enclosures for electronic devices may be processed in a variety of different colors so as to increase consumer appeal. However, when these enclosures are subjected to environmental exposure, the exposure may alter the colors of these enclosures and leave these enclosures susceptible to significant staining.
What’s more, certain metals, such as titanium and alloys thereof, are far more susceptible to staining when subjected to oxidation in harsh environments. Apple says this uncontrolled variation in the appearance of these enclosures “is generally undesirable in the consumer electronics industry.” The tech giant wants to avoid the in any updates to its hardware line-up.
Why go titanium?
Titanium is heavier than aluminum. However, it’s stronger, so a far thinner piece can be used to accomplish the same strength and stiffness. The result would be a lightweight, durable case.
The summary of the patent
Here’s the summary of the patent: “This application relates to a method for forming an enclosure for a portable electronic device. The enclosure includes a metal substrate having a first b* value. The method includes forming an anodized layer that overlays and is formed from the metal substrate, wherein the anodized layer has a second b* value that is no greater than 0.3 of the first b* value and no less than 0.3 less than the first *b value.”