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First Batch. Some good, some bad...

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  • First Batch. Some good, some bad...

    Hey All.

    Finally had some time to get my kit setup and running.

    Running everything in 5gal buckets and large SS bowls (for dye and sealer) for now.

    Ran 3 different parts and got 3 different results.

    Ano tank is 3 gallons distilled, 2 quarts NAPA acid. CC/CV power supply. Dye was at 135* , and mixed one jar for 2 gallons. Sealer was mixed per instructions and was running at 200.

    all parts were scrubbed with phosporic acid (chrome cleaner), waterbreak tested, and then dunked for 2 hours in the ano tank. Ran about 2 amps through it. Came out flawless.

    Second part, the 4 lobe piece, same setup, but i think my dye was too hot? or not enough prep? not sure.

    third part, same but bare. Now this one, was hanging in the ano tank, but the wire broke and it fell to the bottom about 1/2 way through the cycle, so it sat in the acid, with no power, for at least an hour. I put it in the dye tank, and nothing. wouldnt take dye at all. did being in the acid somehow seal it without power going to it? Either way these were all just test parts.

    Guess i need to make sure to run the degreaser for sure, watch the dye temp more carefully. but other than that im pretty happy!!!

    Attached Files
    pulley, came out awesomeeeeee dye was too hot and the part on the right was at the bottom of the acid tank
    Last edited by Jesse Olson; 03-12-2018, 11:57 PM.

  • #2
    Yea, having a part break off the rack half way through the cycle means it only had half of its thickness at best. Even if you took it out of the bath at that moment it wouldn't have had enough coating to dye correctly. It may have taken up some dye, but it probably would be pale and faded looking. Having the part sit in the acid for another hour would have deteriorated the coating and made it thinner yet. The pores probably would have opened up as well making a bad condition worse.

    I can't speak to the second part except that it has a cool look to it even if it is a failed piece. How hot did the dye get?
    Process control doesn't give you good quality, it gives you consistent quality.
    Good quality comes from consistently doing the right things.

    Process control systems for Anodizers
    If a post helps you out LIKE the post
    I'm not an Amateur Metal Finisher. I've just been around the industry for a dozen years or so helping and consulting when and where I can.


    • #3
      2 amps for that part seems bit low.
      The red tinted part needs longer time or more amps.


      • #4
        1) make sure you're working with the same material. With my system I have to know exactly what series of aluminum in running or I run the risk burning the part and have to start over<br />
        <br />
        2) Before putting the parts in the ano bath, are you making sure you have good continuity between the part and the hanging mechanism?


        • #5
          so ive tried again tonight, and still no luck. I took a fresh 6061 part that was just machined, degreased it, and actually bolted the wire to it to try and get it to make a good connection. still dyed that same weird purple/green color. the only part that ive gotten to actually look BLACK was the first pulley, thats it.

          Im wondering if there is something wrong with my acid. Im using Lead 1/32 plates (2 of them), and usually 6061 wire, but a few times i used SS wire, would that have messed up something in the acid? I added more to up the concentration on the last batch, it read 1100 on my "battery tester" but im not sure where it actually is supposed to be.

          Ano tank is at 72F all the time. and has a bubbler at the bottom to aggitate it. Dye is at 140, sealer at 205. Ive been using the "1 amp per 50in2 for 4 hours or 1 amp per 25in2 for 2 hours method. It just seems like no matter what I try, it doesnt grow a decent film. Maybe ill toss this batch of acid and start over.

          A weird thing, when doing my first part, the ano tank turned a light bluish color (the acid), and after that it went to a weird goldish color, now its back to bluish. does that mean anything?

          Im not using a desmut/degrease setup at the moment, maybe thats the issue? I take the parts straight from the machine, hit them with hot water and a phosphoric acid solution to get any oil off (waterbreak test come out perfect), hang them on the rack in the acid for a few hours, rinse, dye at 140 for 20 minutes, rinse, seal at 205 for 10 minutes.


          • #6
            Richie ya ive actually bolted the wire to the part, and I run an aligator clip to the rod as well as hang it on the buss bar, so its got a failsafe.


            • #7
              Never seen a tank change color. Maybe some of the chrome cleaner got in the bath? Most of them are blue.


              • #8
                well i threw everything out the window last night and took a part, didnt clean or degrease it, its been sitting on the shelf for a few months, ran a piece of wire through it (5356 wire and 6061 part), let it run for a few hours, and it dyed perfectly. Im thinking the phosphoric acid cleaner is causing a film to build on the part that keeps the ano layer from forming. Gonna try more tonight and see.


                • #9
                  i was thinking about my issue today, and i think the SS wire has a lot to do with the problem, since it doesnt get a layer built up, it ends up basically stealing all the current from the part. Running another test now with AL wire to verify.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wes View Post
                    Never seen a tank change color. Maybe some of the chrome cleaner got in the bath? Most of them are blue.
                    ya it was bluish to start, the went gold, then back to bluish. maybe a reaction to the SS wire that i tried. I rinse well after the phosphor clean, but you never know i guess.


                    • #11
                      did some more testing tonight, had great results. looks like running the degreaser a little longer helped a bit, and then having a real good connection to the part with the wire, and using AL wire not SS wire, did the trick!!! time to order more colors.


                      • #12
                        this was the last part I did. 5 minutes in degrease, 2 hours at 3amps and 15V, 10 minutes of dye, and 10 minutes of sealer. came out sweeeeet.