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Deoxidize, Desmut, etch? on polished aluminum

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  • Deoxidize, Desmut, etch? on polished aluminum

    I’m a little confused, I’m having problems prepping my aluminum castings for plate.
    After polishing to a mirror shine what step do you take before plating or anodizing? I just can’t get the right combination to prep my parts without dulling the polished shine. Can someone outline the steps you take and maybe I can use as a baseline? does any have experience in this?
    I’ve tried SP degreaser, soft scrub paste, acid baths for a few....all dull the finish.
    I really need the help!
    Thanks, julian

  • #2
    Retaining a shine after the cleaning process is not easily achieved.
    This is what I do, and it works just OK. Others may have better methods to share. This is for 6000 series aluminum:
    A thoroughly polished part has had all of the surface contaminants removed, so I skip the etch and de-smut, but the part needs to be cleaned. I often use WD-40 to remove excess polishing materials that are packed into the cracks, then follow that up with mild soap and hot water.
    Now is when I connect the hanging wires. After the wires are attached, I don't touch the part with bare hands.
    Just before anodizing, I submerge the parts in 180F SP cleaner/de-greaser for just a few minutes, then thoroughly rinsing the parts with distilled water. A little bit of the shine goes away, but for dyed finishes, it's undectable.
    Hope that helps.
    I do things.


    • #3
      Re: Deoxidize, Desmut, etch? on polished aluminum

      Sorry for dredging up old posts but I'm only a newbie and searching the forum for advice. I'm not convinced that WD40 would be the best thing to use before annodising, surely it would contaminate the surface with different chemicals. Are you still using this and have you tried anything else such as acetone?,



      • #4
        Re: Deoxidize, Desmut, etch? on polished aluminum

        Acidrain didn't say to ue the wd40 just before anodizing. It was one in a few of the steps he used. The last of which was soap and water and DW. The WD40 is a pretty good cleaner because I belive it contains something like kerosene. But you're right, you can't leave it on becuause it's oily too. The soap and water it the key to removing the WD40. I'd choose not to go there at all.
        I think this will be about the fourth thread I've posted my opinion on this. I've never used the Caswell aluminum cleaner but if you say it's etching the aluminum then use "Spray Nine" houshold cleaner by "Knight(s)" available in Canada at Canadian Tire, probably lots of other places in the US. Scrub the part with a tooth brush. It cleans and degreases like a bandit and does not affect highly polished surfaces. Rinse it really well with tap water and if your local water is hard then before it dries follow with distilled water, leave it wet and go right to the annodizing tank. The part will pass the water break test perfectly. Has never failed me. Works great on REALLY greasy car parts too.

        PS> Some say Spray Nine is the same as "Fantastic". I cant vouch for that.

        Last edited by sage; 06-11-2006, 10:31 AM.