Unlike painted or galvanically generated protective or decorative coatings, anodising does not apply a layer of foreign material to the surface of the component, but creates the layer by transforming the existing base material of the component. The workpiece is anodically treated in a suitable acid electrolyte and the process transforms the aluminium surface to aluminium oxide, which is semi-transparent and microporous in this condition. The resulting 15-25-µm layer consists of capillary-like pores. The pore structure has a particularly good capacity to absorb fluids. This effect is exploited to individually colour the anodised surfaces and the pores are filled with suitable dyes. After dyeing, the pores are closed by means of a chemical reaction that transforms the aluminium oxide to aluminium hydroxide. The anodised layer formed by this process is very hard and wear-resistant. Anodised layers do not have a smoothing effect in themselves, but various visual appearances can be achieved by means of chemical and/or mechanical methods of pre-treatment, such as honing, brushing, polishing or glass bead blasting.