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  • Low Voltage

    Hi All,

    I have anodized several small test pieces of 6061 1?dia. x 1 ?? long. They take color well and when passed through a rinse following dye bath (Caswell) very little dye leeches off into water. When placed in boiling water to seal very little dye leeches off into boiling water.

    When I try a piece of 6061 about 6? dia. ?? it takes dye well, but when placed in boiling water to seal some of the dye leeches off into the water, to the point that the water turns the color and there is dye residue in the bottom of the sealing bath.

    When I anodize the piece I use a 34 volt x 20amp c/c ? c/v power supply set to c/c. Following 720 formula for the 6? dia. piece I set the power supply at 2.6 amps. The volts start at about 8.8 and ramp up about .1 per 15 min. The volts never reach the voltage in the 720 formula. At 2 hours of anodize time the voltage is about 10 volts.

    My question is why are the voltage numbers are so low.

    Thanks, Jim

  • #2
    Re: Low Voltage

    I'm calculating your surface area to be 70.69 sq in. You didn't say what current density you're using - working backward from the 2.6 amps it looks like you're using 5.3 a/ft2?

    Someone with more experience will probably have some better ideas, but it looks to me like you're not getting good agitation. You might also try lowering the CD to 4.5 to get a smaller pore size.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Low Voltage

      I have come to the point where I mainly steam seal everything. 90% of parts will seal perfect when dipped in boiling water, it's the 10% that leaches dye all the way from the pores that is the problem. Most of the dye leaching from whati have seen is from cast aluminum, still it seems to work better for me to just steam seal everything, and then spray it down with wd40 I think it was acidraing who gave me the idea on wd40, it works

      Clint

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Low Voltage

        Without all the details I have read between the lines a little. It appears to be a couple of things off not much but together enough to cause your problem. Anodize time is directly related to the CD run. If you ran the part for 2 hours, that was enough time for a 1 mil coating at 6 ASF. I also calculated 70.69" SA, which at 6 ASF gives an amp setting of 3A (2.95A). Did you not calculate the edge of the part? With a 2.6A setting your anodize time was in excess and caused dissolution.(larger pore size mainly in your case). As for your low voltage. What was the tank temp. and how was your agitation? The higher the tank temp and the lower the amount of agitation will lower the voltage needed to push the set amperage and cause dissolution. What was your peak voltage during the run? The peak voltage calculated in the 720 rule has many parameters influencing it. A higher tank temp or acid concentration(possibly from low tank level from evaporation) and miscalculated SA will all lower you peak voltage.
        In general it sounds like the pore size is a little too large to hold the dye well. Let us know what you find out or if any of this was the problem.
        SS

        cameraman,
        FYI - higher CD's and lower tank temps will give smaller pore sizes.
        SS

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Low Voltage

          oops, thanks swee.
          What CD & temp do you use, for example on 'rf putters in misc colors' (in gallery)? Would you use a different CD for a light color as opposed to a dark color?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Low Voltage

            I normally use 8ASF @ 60* for 1 mil. I don't change anything in regards to color.
            SS

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Low Voltage

              Hi All,

              Thanks for all your replies. Will try some small changes on the next piece I anodize.

              Surface area was a guess as the part has complex shape. I used 60sq? as part size. Trying to figure out how to post picture, then surface area would be visible to all. I was trying for 6ASF and 1 mil thickness. Tank temp was 70? at start and 68? at finish (working outside and timed it for sunset in effort to control temp).

              Agitation used filtered shop air to alum tubing coil with 1/16? holes, maybe too much, as part was swaying in tank.

              The peak voltage 10.1 at two hours run time. Just set tank up, one part battery acid to one part distilled water; checked with battery hydrometer was 1100. Using 1/8? alum tig welding wire to hang piece.

              I?m please with the color of first real piece, now will try 4.5ASF and shorter run time. My results have been rewarding for the little experience I have, maybe I?m worrying too much about voltage.

              Thanks again, Jim

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Low Voltage

                Hi,

                Posted two pictures, if you view you will see why surface area was a guess.

                Jim

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Low Voltage

                  No problem with your tank temp. and the aggressive agitation doesn't hurt as long as it doesn't effect your hook-up. I can see the difficulty figuring the SA. The amount you were off was not critical. I don't know if I would drop the CD having trouble with pore size holding dye. The main problem is going to be the acid concentration. It's way to high for the current densities your running. It needs to be 1 part battery acid to 3 parts distilled water. Approx. 5% by volume. At the lower CD's, the higher acid concentration causes dissolution and the lower voltage readings.
                  SS

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                  • #10
                    Re: Low Voltage

                    Hi SS,

                    One of my problems is too much information from too many different sources. Reading too many articles before starting and adding information from one to another. Somewhere I read that someone was checking acid bath with battery hydrometer and setting acid concentration at 1100. Turns out to be about 1 – 1.

                    I though “Heck” I’ve got some battery acid, battery charger and battery hydrometer out in shop, I can try this. Got some Rite dye and tried it and got OK results.

                    That’s how I got going on a 1 -1 acid concentration. I have a small three gallon tank, so will be no big deal for me to reset acid concentration. Will end up with larger acid bath. That may be a plus. Kind of like horsepower If some is good, more is better and way too much is just right.

                    Thanks for the help. Jim

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Low Voltage

                      I went through the same thing when I started. The larger acid bath will do better when running the larger parts like the one in the pic you posted. The extra electrolyte helps maintain tank temp. by giving the heat generated more room to spread out. It with the aggressive agitation you have will help keep the part cooler and cut down dissolution. With 6061, I rinse over the dye tank and don't get any dye leach out in the boiling sealer that can be seen. With what you've said and the way the part looks in the pic, you're not far off the money.
                      SS

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Low Voltage

                        Jim or SS,

                        Are Jim's photos available publicly?
                        I do find them in the Anodizing Photos section &
                        I did not see them in this thread . . . . . .

                        thanks,
                        archi

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Low Voltage

                          Originally posted by Jim99
                          Got some Rite dye and tried it and got OK results.
                          Are you still using this? You'll get much better results with Caswell's dyes. I've read a number of posts about less than satisfactory results with Rit.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Low Voltage

                            Hi Cameraman,

                            I used Rite dye for my first two tries, as I could just drive to store and purchase. Set up small test tank 1/2 gal, battery charger and rite dye.

                            After getting some reasonable results I purchased Caswell dye and a c/c - c/v power supply.

                            Jim

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Low Voltage

                              Your tank concentration is off, and can't really be controlled with a hydrometer. A method called titration can tell you your acid and aluminum content, but really isn't necessary... just go with 1:3 battery acid/water, and make a mark inside your tank (a scratch mark works good) so that additional water can be added as evaporation happens.
                              At the correct acid/water concentration, at 6A/sq.ft. CD, 68F, 6061 alloy, good adjitation, your volts should be in the 11v to 13v. range.
                              I do things.

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