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  • Help!!!

    I am new to anodizing, and I am having trouble getting anything in the way of consistent results. I know that my set up is anything but top notch( battery charger, 5 gal. bucket, ect), but I have had SOME good results, my biggest problem seems to be dye related, I can only seem to get Teal colored parts, I have also tried Red and Navy, no luck. Could this be a PH problem?
    Also what is PAR?
    I tried a piece of square Al. tubing last night and it did not take at all, could this have clear cote on it? Or is it the grade of Al. and I need more amps?
    thanks for any help

  • #2
    Re: Help!!!

    The most important part (imo) to anodizing is good connections. Coming in a close second is clean parts.

    While it's possible that your problem is pH, it's much more likely that you're not getting a good anodic layer; the dye needs something to 'stick to' - if the pores aren't there, the dye isn't going to come out well. The teal looks ok because it's such a light color that you don't realize that the layer is thin.

    PAR is peak anodic resistance and deals with the relationship of the growth of the anodic layer versus the dissolution (the dissolving of the layer into the solution). The manual explains it better than I can; I started off using CC (constant current) to minimize problems.

    I've noticed different results with different alloys, but have always managed to get something out of each; cast parts generally look darker and with lower consistency. 6061 gives the best results of the alloys I've used. 5052 does well, has a golden hue to it out of the ano tank but dyes well (most of my stuff is shades of blue). I have some unknown alloy from the hardware store that comes out looking dark with black streaks, but dyes ok (albeit to a darker color).

    I suggest bolting the wire to your parts for awhile, as opposed to jamming it into holes and relying on tension to make the connection, to minimize that as a problem source. Make sure the metal is clean and passes the water break test. Now that you've done a few runs, look back over the manual - things that you may have glossed over before will probably make more sense now. Make sure you've got good agitation and your various solutions are in their respective temperature ranges.

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    • #3
      Re: Help!!!

      Thanks for the info, but you must have misunderstood, the parts that I tried to dye Red and Navy would not take those colors, the same parts when I tried them in Teal DID take!!!! This was on the same run,not a re-anodized part. When the parts would not take the Red or Navy, I then put them in the Teal dye and the color DID take, this is why I thought it might be a PH problem.
      Thanks again,
      Canute

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      • #4
        Re: Help!!!

        another thing is with darker colors like navy it sometimes requires a thicker annodize layer...Black is like that and most of the time needs to be done alittle longer then other colors because it requires more dye
        www.125customs.com - Quality custom anodizing for simple and complicated jobs.

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        • #5
          Re: Help!!!

          Canute7,
          Without any details of the run, it's hard to say what the problem may be. How was the part surface prepped?
          Was the part etched or deoxed?
          Run details: tank temp, CD, time run, part SA, agitation

          The setup doesn't have to be fancy to get good results but the basic rules we all have to follow. I started out with a battery charger and a board full of light bulbs.

          SS

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          • #6
            Re: Help!!!

            Thanks for all the info, details, details...O.K.
            1. scrap part 6061 bar end,degreased w/ dishsoap and distilled water, 15 min. soaktime, followed by about 10 min of scubbing and agiation
            2. part then rinsed w/ distilled water
            3. part then rinsed w/ distilled water, again
            4. part was then echted in caustic soda (8Table spoons)and distilled water(1gal), for 6 min (bubbling , but not TOO much) white-ish apperance
            5. part was then rinsed in distilled water
            6. part was then rinsed in distilled water , again
            7. part was then placed into acid( 20 percent) and distilled water solution
            8. power was then applied for 1 hour, 12 volt battery charger set on 2 amp slow charge
            9. part was then rinsed in distilled water
            10. part was then rinsed in distilled water, again
            11.part was then placed in dye, Rit, Scarlet #5, and distilled water PH unknown temp. 140 degrees in dye for 20 min
            12. rinsed in distilled water
            at this point all the dye came off, I was a little upset, and then I thought I'll put in the Teal dye that my 1st part looked so nice with, I placed the part in the Teal dye for 20 min it TOOK very nice mettalic Teal!!
            I repeated this process step 4 step and used Navy Blue, I now have 2 VERY NICE mettalic Teal bar ends, so while my process may need some improvement I seem to be on the right track and that is what I'm after. This is only my 3rd attempt my 1st piece came out good, thin, but good, my 2nd I seem to have clearcoted the part(cold in my buddies barn in March)
            but all this is what leads me to think my problem is PH...yes, no ,maybe?
            Again, Thanks to all for the help
            Canute

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Help!!!

              1. scrap part 6061 bar end,degreased w/ dishsoap and distilled water, 15 min. soaktime, followed by about 10 min of scubbing and agiation
              2. part then rinsed w/ distilled water
              3. part then rinsed w/ distilled water, again
              4. part was then echted in caustic soda (8Table spoons)and distilled water(1gal), for 6 min (bubbling , but not TOO much) white-ish apperance
              5. part was then rinsed in distilled water
              6. part was then rinsed in distilled water , again


              To here you are ok. The white-ish appearance is normal using an etchant. I started out using drain cleaners listing sodium hydroxide (lye) as the main ingredient.


              7. part was then placed into acid( 20 percent) and distilled water solution

              Problem here. Your acid concentration is too high. The LCD 3:1 (distilled water / battery acid) ratio is only 5% acid concentration. It will work on CD's up to 12 ASF. The higher concentration you have now will eat the coating faster than it can grow and making the pore size too large to hold dye.

              8. power was then applied for 1 hour, 12 volt battery charger set on 2 amp slow charge

              Problem. Only a manual charger will work. If it says automatic, it will not. Using a charger by itself is a let it rip method that will not give consistent results. You will need to control current with auto light bulbs or the charger plugged in to a dimmer switch. You also need a couple of DMM's to keep tabs on your voltage and current. The best no headache way is a CC capable PS. Caswell has a 3A, 5A, and 20A CC/CV PS.
              http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/rect.htm
              A standard rectifier won't work, it needs to be CC/CV.

              9. part was then rinsed in distilled water
              10. part was then rinsed in distilled water, again
              11.part was then placed in dye, Rit, Scarlet #5, and distilled water PH unknown temp. 140 degrees in dye for 20 min

              Last problem. RIT dye. I have tried it. You can get some colors to work but not consistently and it will not hold up to UV light. I only got light colors or pastels using it and that was at 2X and 4X the recommended concentrations. When I got my dye from Caswell, it made night and day difference.

              12. rinsed in distilled water
              at this point all the dye came off, I was a little upset, and then I thought I'll put in the Teal dye that my 1st part looked so nice with, I placed the part in the Teal dye for 20 min it TOOK very nice mettalic Teal!!
              I repeated this process step 4 step and used Navy Blue, I now have 2 VERY NICE mettalic Teal bar ends, so while my process may need some improvement I seem to be on the right track and that is what I'm after. This is only my 3rd attempt my 1st piece came out good, thin, but good, my 2nd I seem to have clearcoted the part(cold in my buddies barn in March)
              but all this is what leads me to think my problem is PH...yes, no ,maybe?

              I tried most all the ways to get around spending money I didn't have. Most of them cost me more in the long run than if I had just gone the right way to begin with.
              A few changes and calibrations and you can get it down.
              What was the dimensions on the 6061 drop you tried?
              SS

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Help!!!

                Hello to all, and thanks again for the info.
                SS, you are right about the money thing, but I'm just trying to get an understanding of the process, before I spend what little I do have, ie: can I do this? My answer seems to be yes, even if it needs tweeked.
                I am looking at this as a bussiness, as I am a machinist and we are no longer needed in my area(nearest jobs that pay anything are about 1 1/2 hours away)
                The drop was 1X3 6061 barstock that I turned down so that I would have a more real life situation, short of a "real" part to work with(and make a mess of).
                Thanks to all who helped
                Canute

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Help!!!

                  I know first hand the machinist trade has been down for a long time now in my area. No doubt you can do this. If you go for it, look to spend first on a PS and dye. They are the main things that can be worked around but are cheaper to just go that way right off. Have you read the Caswell LCD instructions. They explain the process well. Let us know how it goes.
                  SS

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                  • #10
                    Re: Help!!!

                    Thanks SS, and others,
                    I'm going to try another part to night, will see what happens

                    Canute

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                    • #11
                      Re: Help!!!

                      Hey everyone,
                      I tried that piece of sq tubing, it did not take, I think it was to cold. My buddie's barn is not heated, and it still has not warmed up here yet.
                      I also have ordered some better dye, can't wait for it to get here!!
                      I have a couple questions:
                      1. the manual says that the acid solution is 3 parts water and 1 part acid, is my math off or is this a 25% acid solution?
                      2. what is the resistor in the electric system for? is this necessary for the system to work?
                      thanks
                      Canute

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Help!!!

                        What is the temp?

                        The 3:1 acid concentration is approx. 5% acid (4.8% to be more precise). If your using battery acid, the sulfuric acid concentration is not 100%, Commercial battery acid is 35% by weight, and 19.2% by volume.

                        The resistor is used to be able to check current with a DMM set to amps. It is not necessary to run but to know how much amperage your using if your not using a CC/CV PS.
                        Last edited by sswee; 04-06-2006, 10:58 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Help!!!

                          Thanks for the quick response and info,
                          What is DMM?
                          Also my dye is due here on Monday, can't wait to "play" with it.
                          The temp that day was around 50 F, I have gone back and tested my part and it seems that I put a very thin clearcote on this test piece, won't conduct electricity.
                          Also can/will you give me any info on "fade" finnish, as I don't see much on this.
                          Thanks again
                          Canute

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Help!!!

                            DMM is digital multimeter. I bought a couple of the cheap ones for my setup. Ran about ten dollars a piece.

                            You need to get all the basics covered so you don't get disappointed with the dye results. Did you get your acid concentration right? Do you know the SA of the part, so you know how much current to use?

                            Your only 10* too cold. Did you try rubbing the tank really fast to warm it up. LOL

                            acidrain can tell you to best way but one way is to hang the part in an empty bucket and siphon the dye into the bucket with the part. You can vary the flow rate for different looks.

                            SS
                            Last edited by sswee; 04-07-2006, 11:09 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Help!!!

                              Hey everyone,
                              SS, I am making upgrades to my system while waiting on the dye to arrive, I now have the dimmer switch and some 12 v lights to add to my set up.
                              In response to your questions:
                              1. my solution is now 3 parts distilled water and 1 part acid (part=gal)
                              2. SA of my part is 23.538, according to the 720 rule to get .7 mills, I need 6 amp CD, current set at .98 for 84 mins, with a peak voltage of 15 v

                              This brings me to a couple of questions:
                              1.can you explain how to "set" the current, I read about this but I'm not quite sure if I am understanding.
                              2. The 720 rule says peak voltage is 15 v, I have a 12 v charger, as usual I'm a little short( I'm 5'7" tall) is this a problem?

                              Also checked with my "tech" and he informs me that rubbing the tub is not an option, this next week temps should be coming up to about 70F, so that should help.

                              I would like to thank you for shareing the "fade" info with me, and also would like to thank everyone here for your help, I may have gotten there on my own, but it would have taken a lot longer!
                              Thanks
                              Canute

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