Question about Anodizing Titanium Article
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Question about Anodizing Titanium Article
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Posted on Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:52 pm
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I recently purchased some titanium wire and wanted to anodize it. Since I've never done this before, I wanted to make my first attempt as close as possible to the method used in the article. The problem I have is the electrolytic solution. The article uses "a roughly 5% aqueous solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP)." I got some TSP from the store, but it apparently doesn't contain any phosphate. Can I still use the phosphate-free TSP as my electrolyte, or should I use something else? If I need something else, what would you suggest?

FYI: The article I am referring to is this.

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Posted on Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:37 pm
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I have used the "phosphate-free" TSP to anodize titanium and it worked fine for me. As far as 5% goes, I just dumped a little bit in and stirred it around. If you put too much in it won't dissolve. So basically, just mix in as much as it will take then stop.

Far more important than the electrolyte solution is to make sure your rings (or wire) is totally free of grease and oil. Soap and water gets rid of the oil. Then I do final cleaning with alcohol immediately before anodizing.

There is an expensive etching solution you can use, I never tried it so can't say if it is useful or worth the cost. Keep in mind that titanium always has subtle earth tone colors when anodized. If you want really bright colors then use Niobium.

This picture is 16ga Titanium CP1 that I saw cut, cleaned, and anodized myself as described above (without etching):




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Posted on Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:21 pm
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Yep, the "not" TSP works fine. I mix one tablespoon per cup of water.
I have never used the Multi Etch that Reactive Metals sells either, but Pfeiffer is right, the metal should be as clean as you can get it.
One thing I do know for sure, the shinier the metal is before you anodize, the shinier the colors will be after you anodize. The layer of oxidation is actually clear with the color coming from what is called light interference. So the shine of the metal can be seen through the color. Tumbling first really makes a difference.


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Posted on Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:45 pm
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if your looking for a better option to clean your part then soap and water, i've found if you go to your local auto parts store, and buy a gallon of carburetor cleaner, it works really well, and normally they come with a little basket you can put the parts in and submerge into the can. (paint style can) what we do is submerge the items in the carb cleaner for a few mins then pull the basket out and submerge it in a bucket of water to rinse the part, and then its ready to ano. just be careful handling the parts after wards, because the oil of your fingers can ruin the ano as well. after being cleaned and rinsed we use latex or simuler gloves to handle the parts. the cost of the carb cleaner is about 20$

now i haven't anoed TI, this works well for anoing aluminum, and i dont see why it wouldnt work for TI no NB as well.

now on a side note, the carb cleaner will begin to eat away at the aluminum if left in to long, but i do not see this being an issue if working with TI or NB.

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Posted on Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 pm
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Dravin wrote:
just be careful handling the parts after wards, because the oil of your fingers can ruin the ano as well.

Does that mean AnoTi jewelry will lose its color over time?

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Posted on Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:22 pm
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AnoTi and AnoNb do NOT lose their basic anodized color with time, but the 'crispness' of colors will get lost to some degree with use, but usually in maille applications not in such a high degree that it would be noticeable at all.

Explanation: The colors achieved depend on the thickness of the semi-reflective oxide layer placed upon the anodized pieces during the process. A surface with high polish will show the 'cleanest' colors, as a high percentage of lighting will go through the reflection/interference process, that produces the colors. A matte, bumpy, micro-scratched surface will scatter more light, that will become quasi optically inactive and result in a simple diffuse 'white' reflection, resulting in 'washed-out' colors.

In effect Niobium, that usually has a fine polished surface, most times has more vivid colors as Titanium normally has, as Ti is often just not available in really smooth polished surface qualities. Given, it would be possible to achieve high-polish surfaces on Ti, using simple means, it would be possible to achieve the same vivid colors with Ti as seen on Nb pieces. OTOH, the Ti anodizing colors, once achieved, last much longer than the Nb ones, as the Ti oxide is more sturdy and scratch-resistant than its Nb counterpart - in fact it's so sturdy, that even the thin 'natural oxidation' raw-Ti surface oxide layer is already very effective hindering most tumble-polish activities...

-ZiLi-


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Posted on Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:22 am
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No Vorondil, what i meant was that the oils your fingers deposit onto the wire could hinder the oxidation process. granted this pic is of an aluminum part and i'm not sure if the same results would happen with TI or NB, its still better to take caution rubber gloves are cheap Razz



this image shows the result of an oily fingerprint between dyeing stages, the part fell off the hanging wire and my partner picked it up and put it back on the wire with an ungloved hand, and it prevented the next dying steps to take color in that area. now granted this is in the dying stages, but it can also happen during the oxidization process as well. say if you touch a part then try to ano it after it has been cleaned. the oils from your skin can prevent the oxide layer from forming in that area resulting in a raw aluminum fingerprint, that will not take color.

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Posted on Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:06 am
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There is quite a difference between anodizing 'large' pieces, and rings for mailleing. If a 'solitaire' piece gets a fingerprint that denies proper coloring, it will obviously result in a reject. If rings are anodized, the possible couple of rings not achieving the right color, or having fail spots is simply sorted out - by the ring maker, or by the mailler, except complete batches get rejected due to bath contamination, omitted cleaning step, or so. But anyway: It's always good to use proper techniques, to avoid rejects and need for sorting work, if possible - and for getting reproducibility...

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper Mfe.s Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Pj Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hi

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: December 19, 2009
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Posted on Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:05 pm
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ZiLi wrote:
There is quite a difference between anodizing 'large' pieces, and rings for mailleing. If a 'solitaire' piece gets a fingerprint that denies proper coloring, it will obviously result in a reject. If rings are anodized, the possible couple of rings not achieving the right color, or having fail spots is simply sorted out - by the ring maker, or by the mailler, except complete batches get rejected due to bath contamination, omitted cleaning step, or so. But anyway: It's always good to use proper techniques, to avoid rejects and need for sorting work, if possible - and for getting reproducibility...

-ZiLi-


that's true a fingerprint on a coil will only result in a few rings being scrapped out, and also anodizing TI and NB is a lot faster process then anodizing aluminum. but also like you said using the proper techniques will result in a higher yield, and less time needed to be spent at the ano station and more time to mail. but also, having a good standard work practice in place will also help with trouble shooting if a problem does occur. just look back to what changed, or if you deviated from from the standard work.

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Posted on Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:33 pm
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i just acid etch the titanium first then electrocute it in a simple solution of distilled water and Epsom salt. works great!

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Posted on Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:44 am
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With all this talk about anodizing Ti, I'm going to have to try this when classes calm down.

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Posted on Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:08 pm
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Huh, I wonder whether anyone's *intentionally* applied oil (or wax, etc) to a Ti surface in patterns before anodizing, analogously to batik.

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Posted on Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:11 pm
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symmetry wrote:
Huh, I wonder whether anyone's *intentionally* applied oil (or wax, etc) to a Ti surface in patterns before anodizing, analogously to batik.


This is usually done by applying non-conductive 'anodizers tape' or another substance that would retard the electricity to a certain portion of the piece prior to its bath.

Reactive Metals sells the tape.


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