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  • Fibergeek
    replied
    I'll take a crack at the different alloys of aluminum in the same batch question:

    I haven't tried different alloys in the same batch, so take this one as only an educated opinion (guess?).

    In the reference paper at the rear of the LCD instructions; the first anodization curve shows 3 different alloys done at 3A/sq.ft. These were done individually, not in the same batch. An effort was made here to insure that each sample was identical in every respect except alloy (same size, same prep, same connection method, etc.) Notice that the 3 curves almost overlay each other. Its reasonable to assume that the alloy content will have some effect for chemical reasons alone. But this curve leads me to think that its less than is generally assumed. Either that or the closed loop anodizing provided by the constant current source is compensating for the differences, or maybe both. If that helps any.

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  • duke
    replied
    MEGGA DITTO'S

    cheers

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  • Tim Wiltse
    replied
    48Buick,


    Well said!

    Later,
    Tim

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  • 48Buick
    replied
    Hi All:
    Interesting thread!
    Maybe a little advise if I could......
    Its easy to take offence and give offence over the internet when no one can clean your clock if they want to.
    I have found the best thing to do is simply sidestep the B.S. and let it roll right past you. It will wind up somewhere else and not on you.
    Best thing is to concentrate on what the forum is about and simply help each other the any way we can.
    Lord knows good forums that help each other are hard to find..........so lets make the effort to advance each others skills instead of taking pot shots.
    48BUICK

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  • mcaswell
    replied
    RED DYE PROBLEMS


    Seal must be at a boil @ 1oz per gal
    pH 5.5 - 6
    If not at a boil, or conc is weak & pH too high it makes red bleed a lot.
    If murky = pH too high. if clear & green = OK
    Other colors will not do this, so comparisons are worthless.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tim Wiltse
    replied
    All I am saying is that the "old" method works very well for me and for the size of parts I run. I just choose not to use the LCD method. If the old method is so awful and Caswell Plating is totally against it then I want all the money back that I spent here for them selling a defective prduct!. I believe both methods need to be supported as they BOTH work. Though I am sure it(LCD) has helped alot of people that are power source impaired. I thank you for all the time you put into the instructions as it was very good for me to read. You don't have to tell people that are here looking for help to " if you would read the instructions" or what you said to me. Just don't forget that alot of those here are just starting out. Don't scare them away because they are at the bottom of the learning curve. We all were there at one point. I also want to point out that I am not the only person here that feels this way just the one that is saying anything.

    Take care,
    Tim Wiltse

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  • Sid03
    replied
    Fibergeek- Please dont resign just yet....I know your the brawn behind the LCD anodizing and it's looking like I may need some advice from you!

    Could somebody give me a decent outline on the best method of detecting PAR with the LCD method? Another thing I was wondering.....if anodizing several different sized parts at the same time, do they actually all reach PAR at the same time? Thanks guys!

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  • Fibergeek
    replied
    Yes, most commercial shops use 12 - 18 A/sqft current densities, but they don't use the ignorant "let it rip" method. They ramp up the voltage, which mimics a current source, the same thing the lamp dimmer does. I am against "let it rip" not high current density.

    The slow peak in PAR only occurs at low current density; less than 6 A/sq,ft., it can be used at any current density. At 12 A/sq.ft. for example it is very apparent. I have a curve for 12 A/sq.ft. in my paper if you bothered to look. Don't feel bad, Ron missed that too.

    As for as the "quality aspect" of LCD, you might try actually following the instructions, it does seem to help.

    BTW, the dye manufacturer for Caswell does not recommend dyeing below 110 deg. F, 140 deg. F being recommended. They don't recommend room temp. dyeing at all. I wonder why that is?

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  • potsked
    replied
    well excuse me, but i belive most commercial electroplating shops use the higher current densities. if they are so unreliable, how do you account for the industry wide standard?

    also, i have come to appreciate what ron newman was saying about detecting PAR. when the part is near PAR, the voltage is varying extremely slowly. So while you may say its only a matter of detecting when it stops increasing and starts to decrease, that change is extremely small and would be hard to detect on anything without a very good voltage detector.

    While the LCD may help people deal with obtaining larger more expensive power supplies, ive yet to be won over on the quality aspect of it.

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  • Fibergeek
    replied
    Like I said; if you have effective current limiting, you don't need any Al content. The lamp dimmer provides the current limiting if your using it as instructed.

    The Al content doesn't hurt until it builds up to about 12 grams per liter, this applies to any anodizing method, not just LCD. The Al goes into solution at a rate of around 1 gram per sq.ft. anodized to 0.8 mils thickness. If you had 3 gallons of electrolyte, this translates to about 136 sq.ft. anodized. You'll toss the electrolyte long before you get that much because of dirt and crud that will find its way into your tank. That's why it wasn't mentioned. Anodizing with 12g/l Al content is reported to cause "mottling" problems in the anodized coating, but I have never experienced this.

    The "let it rip" method is essentially a craps shoot; it depends on the electrical system degrading the same way and to the same degree every time (fat chance). There is no way to conclusively tell when you are finished. If the proponents of "let it rip" actually understood electricity, they would realize how unreliable it is.

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  • Sid03
    replied
    What effect will the dissolved aluminum content have in respect tot eh LCD ano method? I have anodized several times in this bath, so it isnt NEW. On the other hand, the very first time I anodized with the old method turned out fine, so thats why im wondering how much the aluminum content in the acid bath makes. Plus, I didnt see it mentioned anywhere before.

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  • Fibergeek
    replied
    Yes, you do need some aluminum dissolved in the electrolyte, about 2 grams per liter. That's because dissolved aluminum reduces the electrical conductivity of the electrolyte.

    If you have effective current limiting, no aluminum content is necessary.

    If you're hooking up a battery charger and "letting it rip", the only things providing any current limiting are: aluminum content, the instantly damaged electrical connections, and the battery charger being pulled down by the almost dead short.

    You also can't possibly have any clue what the current density is you're anodizing at.

    One day; either the diodes in the charger will blow, or the transformer will melt a winding and short out permanently.

    Tim, I thought you knew better.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sid03
    replied
    I really dont want to change the ano bath mixture yet to go back to teh old method. One thing I hated with the old method is that I wasnt real sure how long to let the parts in. With the new method, it sounds like the connection to the part is a very large concern, which may run me into problems down the road. I just cant tap holes into alot of the parts that I will eventually be doing so that they have a super tight connection! Anyhow, anybody have advise as far as the LCD anodizing is concerned? Thanks!

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  • Tim Wiltse
    replied
    Sid03,


    I say go back to the old method!!! This LCD just seems to complicated. I have had no problems with using a battery charger and let it rip. I know what my times should be and everything works great. It colors real well and has great hardness with my set-up. I know because I'm anodizing engine crankcases that have crankshafts turning 20,000rpm+ with no signs of anodizing breakdown. I will say that if you are using a new batch of acid with your LCD set-up that could be some of your problems. You need a certain amount of Al. in your mix. I don't know way it just works better after you have run some "junk" parts through it first. Also red is in fact the hardest for me too. I guess just the nature of the dye, takes a long time to get nice and dark. Same thing with the gold.

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  • Sid03
    replied
    caswell spoke so highly of it.......easier with better results they said

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