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  • What to do when still not getting results

    I have posted two or three threads here over the last couple of months and been through literally ever part of my process, and I am still not getting results.

    At this point, I have got to find a way to do some baseline tests where I can at least get some good results - a point to start from.

    I am not going to go into every single detail of my process in this thread, but I will cover the major things.

    1, Degreaser: mixed correctly and at the correct temp - 190-200F. Part stays in for about 5 minutes.
    -Spray off with distilled water until clean
    2. Deoxidizer / Desmut; mixed correctly and 95-100F. Part stays in for about 3 minutes.
    -Spray off with distilled water until clean
    3. Anodize tank. Everything is mixed correctly to my knowledge. Lead GP plates are in tank on either side, negative wire mechanically connected. i have a pvc pipe aeration system in and running during the process. Part is mechanically connected to a new hanging wire every time, and mechanically connected to the tank bar. The positive wire is mechanically connected to the tank bar. Everything is checked with a multimeter, and has near zero resistance. The connection is not the problem. Bath temp is 65F today. I've done my math for the part, and I am applying the required current for the required amount of time.
    -When finished, spray off with distilled water until clean, Then dip in water and baking soda mix to neutralize, and spray off with distilled water until clean again.

    I am going for red - which is heated to about 135F. At best I get a very slight pink.

    The only thing I can get out of this is that I am not growing enough of an anodize layer for dye to soak into.

    I don't know how to test the electrolyte strength. I am sure it is mixed correctly, but I am questioning everything at this point.

    My first rectifier was sent back to Caswell and tested as bad, so that was the original issue. I now have the 30 amp rectifier.

    What would you adjust and or change if you got the same results?
    Last edited by Theirons84; 11-16-2017, 05:20 PM.

  • #2
    Here's what I would change for starters

    Degrease tank temp - 140 deg - 5 mins. - with agitation
    Desmut tank - Room temp 3 mins - with agitation
    Ano tank - Starting temp - 70 deg before first run (warm tank first with a dummy run if you have to)
    Red dye bath - TEST FOR CORRECT pH range (red dye is problematic and uptake is imperative that the pH be in the proper zone - pH 5.5 - 6)
    ​​​​​​​Ditch the Bicarb rinse, it causes more problems then you know, just rinse well.
    Electrolyte strength is important but if it's close that's ok, it will still work.

    Once you have made these changes do a test run and then dye it black. This will tell you things like how thick your coating is and if there are any issues. Black is one of the easiest colours to use and will show you right away if there's a problem. If it comes out looking grey after 10 minutes in the dye then you know your crystal growth is low and it's the electrolyte (This of course is assuming your black is pH corrected too).

    I said this before and I can't stress this enough, if you want consistent results you must take the extra step and learn all aspects of the process - Bath titration and pH values of the rest of the chemistry is an absolute must!

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    • #3
      I was doing everything like Caswell's instructions stated. That is the reason much of this has been so frustrating.

      I read through the sticky threads at the top, and I saw where PH was important. I will definitely check that. I will also try a different color like black - I had thought of this but I had not done it yet. Thanks for the reminder.

      I will have to to read up on ways to check PH. I have one of the garden soil testers, maybe that will work.

      As far as bath titration, I need to read up on this too. I did see in the old ano method thread where someone was using a battery tester to get specific gravity. I did the same and my checks say mine is mixed right. I know that this is probably not 100% accurate but I was hoping that it would at least tell me if it was way off.

      I appreciate the help with this. There is hardly no info on this process online. I have looked everywhere. There are a lot of threads from many years ago, but not much recent stuff.

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      • #4
        Theirons you can source a decent ph meter at a local pet store. PH is important to aquarium health. There are numerous different style testers but I plan on buying a digital instant read pen style. Typically about 40 dollars

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        • #5
          Word of advice, make sure the pH meter can be calibrated. You need to be able to set the slope with reagents 4 & 7 so don't cheap out.

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          • #6
            Ok. I Will check out a PH meter today. I tried my soil PH meter and it didn't do anything.

            I am going to try some black today. I have to run to the store and get more distilled water.

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            • #7
              UPDATE.

              Black seems to be working, but is not completely black. I have a dull bluish grey color. I assume this means that the ano is not sufficiently grown on the surface?

              This is good. This means I am getting somehwere. What should I try next?

              I wish I had some bigger parts, but I don't. I have some bar stock aluminum, and I am cutting pieces that I know the exact size of, so that I can calculate the surface area correctly. This particular piece was cut where it would work out to exactly 5 sq. In.

              On the 720 rule calculator, this put me at .2 amps for 120 min, at 6 ASF. I had trouble holding it at .2 for the entire time, and it crept up to .3 for some of the time.

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              • #8
                The bluish grey colour can mean one of two things. The pH of the dye is to high or your not developing a thick enough coating in the tank. Your pH meter will rule out the dye issue but you still need to test your tank for the proper electrolyte density. I can't even tell you what that should be as I don't run the LCD method. As for your 720 rule I can't help you there either as I run my setup like the commercial shops at 12 ASF and the parts dictate what amperage they want to draw so there's no math required.

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                • #9
                  After being in the dye for a good 45 minutes, I then sealed in the sealer and it is a true deep black. It looks great.

                  I guess the obvious question then is why am I struggling so much with red. No difference in the process really vs. the initial degreaser temp. I have a lot of colors, so I thought I may try some other colors to or row and see what kinds of results I get. PH meter is on the way, should be here wednesday.

                  Whether it is LCD or not, I just need to get the process sorted out for the other colors. I'm not against running a little higher ASF.

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                  • #10
                    45 minutes in the dye is a looooong time and shouldn't take that long but I guess you got the results you wanted. You say your meter is on the way, hopefully you got the reagents 4 & 7 to calibrate your meter too or you are wasting your time. Red is one of the hardest colours to work with, your not the only person to have a hard time with it coming out pink. As for running higher ASF that's all fine but you'll have to change the strength of your electrolyte and methods to do so.

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                    • #11
                      I simply left the black part in the dye because once the fifteen minutes or so had passed, I still had to wait on the sealer to come to a near boil. I figured it would not hurt.

                      Tested orange and yellow today, both with fantastic results. I will try again with red tomorrow. I am curious if the 140F degreaser temp that I have done with these last three succesful colors will change anything, because it is the only major change from prior attempts that were not succesful. The near boil I was initially doing then seemed to really get after the part, maybe too much?


                      Last edited by Theirons84; 11-21-2017, 09:11 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Tried red again today. PH meter came with reagent and could be calibrated as required. Initial check on dye said 7.0. I used acetic acid to get it down to the required 5.5.

                        This red test part used the same process as the other three parts above. Again, it came out just like all my other red tests. This tells me that this test part should have the exact same pore structure and anodizing qualities as the other three.



                        It is obviously a dye issue, or the whole process will have to be changed to higher ASF to get results for red.

                        What should I try next?

                        Also saw where bordeaux was more red than the deep red which I am currently using. Could this be any less troublesome or are both reds generally a pain?

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                        • #13
                          It's likely the dye, I remember another board member going through the same aggravation as you with red dye he bought from Caswell. My recommendations is to buy another bottle of the red and add it to your existing bucket. I'm not implying the red dye was cut too fine but it seems that's the case here.

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