ArmyTek
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 127

Thread: Anodizing Titanium

  1. #1

    Default Anodizing Titanium

    Hi guys,
    I don't offer any of my stuff anodized but I have had a number of questions through the years about anodizing titanium and I have been meaning to take a quick video demonstrating how one might color their light or other titanium part. I just built a Ti UV light for myself because I let one of you talk me out of my UV PD. I wanted to make this light obviously different than the many white LED lights that are always laying around and I have used anodizing on some other lights to identify them as something other than "white".

    In the video, I also anodized a Ti-20 clip. The items seen in the video are these:



    I uploaded the video to YouTube, HERE.

    This thread can go anywhere you guys want it to including down into the dregs of ignored CPF threads.

    I would add that I think the clear oxide film of titanium along with the other refractive metals is fascinating in itself and how you perceive color by virtue of light waves interfering with each other and not due to the absorption of some of the spectrum and reflection of the balance.

    I consider anodized titanium for the most part to be a cosmetic feature and unless the anodized surface is reasonably protected or recessed, the film can and will abrade over time and show this wear. On the other hand, there are some situations where having the option of coloring a part does give you means of identification, beyond cosmetics.

    In the video, I touched on the point that when you anodize titanium, you don't want any other metal in the bath and part of the electric circuit. If there is another metal. It typically just bubbles away in the bath in that area and you don't get a good film growth on the Ti surface itself. I have used this feature in the past to confirm the claims of some items I bought which were stated to be "all" titanium. In many cases, the claims were false. It's probably silly but for me, there is a certain pride in purity in the fact that I can take one of my titanium lights, as is and even turned on, and throw it in an anodize bath and have it change color uniformly in all exposed surfaces. If you take the light apart, you can see where the seals sealed and there is no anodize color beyond.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Golden Poppy State
    Posts
    1,236

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    That was easy! I'll have to try it myself.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Quote Originally Posted by Drywolf View Post
    That was easy! I'll have to try it myself.
    I should point out that you don't want anything but Ti anywhere in the bath and that includes your anode and cathode leads to the part being colored. In my demonstration, I have a platinumized titanium cathode rack inserted in the beaker but a strip of titanium will work as well. The clamp and tweezers I used are both titanium.

    I got the recipie for the ammonium sulfate some where, probably close to 20 years ago and found some at the local chemical supply house. I guess it is a common fertilizer and available from nurseries as well perhaps. There are other solutions that will work as well and I have heard of some folks using Coke. It worked in a simple test I once did on a reported to be titanium rudder shaft as I mentioned on the video.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  4. #4

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Wow, very cool, and very straightforward!

    Thanks for sharing Don.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* London Lad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Suffolk U.K.
    Posts
    1,750

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Cool.

    I am amazed at how quickly it anodized.
    How resilient is the finish ?


  6. #6
    Moderator
    Kiessling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Germany, Old World
    Posts
    16,140

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    WOW !
    I thought it would take much longer and some really elaborated techie stuff, like Dr. Zarkov's lab or something like that.

    Thanx for sharing !

    bernie


    P.S.: I gave my wife a pink anodized ti light (La Petite Killer) and it lost its finish in a few weeks on the keychain almost completely except in the recessed areas. Beautiful, too, but not what I intended.
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* beach honda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Concrete Jungle Surrounds Me
    Posts
    901

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    too cool!

    That's soooooo Mr. Wizard style!

    LOL! Don Mcleish = Don Herbert ???????
    Last edited by beach honda; 05-23-2009 at 04:06 PM.
    -Chr1s-
    Got Lights? USE EM!!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiessling View Post
    WOW !
    ....I gave my wife a pink anodized ti light (La Petite Killer) and it lost its finish in a few weeks on the keychain almost completely except in the recessed areas. Beautiful, too, but not what I intended.
    Yeah,
    The oxide film is reasonably hard but it is really thin!! I think the best applications, cosmetic wise, are when the colored surfaces are below the typical contact surfaces. I have some wind chimes that I anodized many years ago and they still look like they did on day one but then they are not subject to any real contact beyond the elements which can't effect the surface (sand and hail storms not included).

    It is fun to play with because you basically get instant color. If you zap a part at say 40 volts and get a green/ gold color, that color will hold provided you don't subject the part to higher voltage. You could then unmask or cut through the anodize and hit the part at a lower voltage and get a new color anywhere the 40 volt oxide layer was not present. Variations in the surface texture will look different from each other even if anodized at the same voltage. The transition from bead blasted to polished, for instance.

    Maybe some of the chemists can chime in here on what is actually happening as the oxide layer is formed.

    If you can do your own anodizing then you are in a position to touch up any of your stuff in a jiffy.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* socom1970's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Heartland of America
    Posts
    1,157

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    WOW!!! That's excellent!

    So, how well would that work using the Coke-a-Cola and a 12v. DC source? Do you really just pour some Coke in a glass beaker and hit it with an anode and cathode at 12volts?
    "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

  10. #10

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Now you done it.
    Trees don't grow on money either.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Dan FO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    590

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    You can also get some wild patterns by using a torch on titanium.

    http://www.dbfraleyknives.com/images/mfl35.jpg

    http://www.dbfraleyknives.com/images...t_set_8x10.jpg

  12. #12
    Flashaholic Rico801's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Thanks for sharing the video! It was cool to see that light get anodized while it was turned on and all in one piece.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* gollum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    978

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    thanks Don

  14. #14

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Quote Originally Posted by socom1970 View Post
    WOW!!! That's excellent!

    So, how well would that work using the Coke-a-Cola and a 12v. DC source? Do you really just pour some Coke in a glass beaker and hit it with an anode and cathode at 12volts?
    I'll let you guys figure out if Coke-a Cola is a viable anodize bath. I don't drink soft drinks so I don't have any to experiment with. I believe you will find with 12 V you will get a gold or bronze color in the Ti. I remember trying to find an old model train transformer when I got the bug to experiment with anodizing the Ti but I ended up with the local electronics house guys aiding me in building my own variable power supply.

    One advantage to the anodizing with electricity over the heat coloring of Ti is the control and repeatability you have. I saw some sample chips at a big custom model shop a number of years back that looked like paint sample cards but they were Ti squares in a rainbow of colors you could order. This shop did the big sun for the new (at the time) Disney Adventure Park in So. Cal. The sun is titanium or at least I was told that this company was making the sun for Disney out of titanium. (zero maintenance and no need to refinish or paint!!)

    It was interesting because this guy I was talking to (business call for the company I was working for at the time) was a pretty sharp and interesting fellow and in talking to him he mentioned that titanium could not be polished to a high mirror finish. I said I guess it's relative and I went to my van and grabbed my shaving kit that I had fabricated out of Ti and some of the surfaces were mirror enough for me:



    He was surprised and admitted that he had no personal experience with trying to polish the metal but took it on the word of someone else. I would imagine that it would not be cost effective to polish up sheets of Ti for architectural applications but we've seen some of the work some CPFer's have done in polishing their Ti lights!!
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  15. #15

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium





    Great looking & beautiful !

    Thanks for the youtube demonstration.

    , now I've read the whole thread.

    I'll try it myself oneday.

    Last edited by octaf; 05-24-2009 at 07:40 AM. Reason: update
    light your lite . ...

  16. #16
    Moderator
    Kiessling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Germany, Old World
    Posts
    16,140

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    I can imagine anodised pistons in my lights ...

    The Sun made of anodised ti is really amazing.
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* luxlunatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    767

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    That is awesome!
    Thats for the vid Don.
    I have a few annoed Ti lights, well one anno and one coated. The coated one is a AlTiN PD-S, probably my favorite light, (besides the fact that it is a PD-S!) because the coating is durable, gives a nice grip with its rubbery feel, and it has a nice stealthy look that varies between black and purple depending on the surrounding light. The other is a blue anno Ti Nautilus that is just stunning.
    I find the colors that can be achieved through different techniques (acid bath or heat, or coatings) facinating, and some of the work done by our members here is just beautiful (my favorites would be from Peter Atwood), and it just adds to the verstility of this uber-cool metal.

    Here is a shot of my blue Nautilus with a naked Ti and a annoed aluminum.
    Though they are not all Ti with that brass peaking through!
    What are you people......on DOPE!?!

  18. #18
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    356

    Rant Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Don,

    if I peek in your YouTube channel I have the question: what's next? Anodizing turtles?

    ~ The one who owns the night makes the rules ~



  19. #19
    Flashaholic* The Coach's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    916

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Excellent video Don. I tried that once,


    ........once!!!!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Great demo Don.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Quote Originally Posted by luxlunatic View Post
    That is awesome!
    Thats for the vid Don.
    I have a few annoed Ti lights, well one anno and one coated. The coated one is a AlTiN PD-S, probably my favorite light, (besides the fact that it is a PD-S!) because the coating is durable, gives a nice grip with its rubbery feel, and it has a nice stealthy look that varies between black and purple depending on the surrounding light. The other is a blue anno Ti Nautilus that is just stunning.
    I find the colors that can be achieved through different techniques (acid bath or heat, or coatings) facinating, and some of the work done by our members here is just beautiful (my favorites would be from Peter Atwood), and it just adds to the verstility of this uber-cool metal.

    Here is a shot of my blue Nautilus with a naked Ti and a annoed aluminum.
    Though they are not all Ti with that brass peaking through!
    That blue Nautilus was ano'd by Peter Atwood. If you ever want to trade it, please let me know.
    Trees don't grow on money either.

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, Ohio
    Posts
    7,486

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    What voltage is orange! Also does leaving it in longer grow a thicker layer?
    Last edited by Sgt. LED; 05-25-2009 at 01:10 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. LED View Post
    What voltage is orange! Also does leaving it in longer grow a thicker layer?
    There are a number of colors that you can't seem to get. I don't recall ever seeing orange, for instance. My rig doesn't allow me to get the range that I have seen possible. For the best results, you want really clean and "fresh" titanium and I have messed in the past with "No-San" which is (was?) a substitute for hydrofluoric acid (really nasty stuff by all accounts) which etched the oxide film off the Ti leaving it relatively virgin. Even the No-San was a bit spooky as I noticed I couldn't store it in a pyrex beaker because it would eat away at the glass and loose its potency.

    Provided you have enough power, in a very short time, the film will grow to its final thickness (based on voltage) and extended exposure has no effect on the thickness or resulting color. If you say mask the part and start with a high voltage, you can expose bare metal then, at a lower voltage and not have the first color (higher voltage) change at all. Unlike iron oxide (rust) that can continue to grow into the metal, the titanium oxide film is relatively stable and protects the underlying metal from any change.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* GhostReaction's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,133

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    i smell a suspect.
    Thats about the only annodizing i ve ever dis and it can turn out pretty wild on ti.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan FO View Post
    You can also get some wild patterns by using a torch on titanium.

    http://www.dbfraleyknives.com/images/mfl35.jpg

    http://www.dbfraleyknives.com/images...t_set_8x10.jpg
    Don thanks for sharing the vid!
    Lights were once incandescent. And halogen bulb were great

  25. #25
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    632

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. LED View Post
    What voltage is orange!
    I get color that is near to orange at 65-75 VDC in a bath of baking soda and water. I prepare the titanium target with a soapy wash, alcohol bath, water rinse, short lye soak and a final water rinse.

    Here is a pic: From left to right, the first two missed the lye (drain cleaner solution) bath, the last three got the full treatment. Voltages:
    75, 70, 75, 70 and 65 VDC.



    The best orange is the second to the last, lye bath & 70 VDC in a solution of well water and baking soda.

    Notice how the first two, left to right, are pinkish, in spite of the fact that they got the same voltage in the baking soda bath. Those two, however, did not get the lye prepatory bath. So depending on the preparation your mileage may vary.

    This titanium anodization spectrum chart is an aid to me: http://www.bme.unc.edu/~bob/titanium-spectrum-web-2.jpg

    Thank you kindly Don.

    oregon
    Last edited by oregon; 05-30-2009 at 09:46 PM.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SoFla
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Fantastic thread, people. Thanks for all the info. I've always been fascinated by how Ti is annodized.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Oregon,
    Thanks for the spectrums and information.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* AndyTiedye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Tiedyed TI! I'm so gonna have to try this!

  29. #29
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    632

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    I wish I had a capable USB microscope so that I could get a real close look at the titanium surface before and after lye or acid immersion and share what I see online. I want to see what is going on at the micro level.

    Perhaps one of you has such a rig.

    Intel used to make a toy one that was priced affordably. I used an early version to do a series of edge comparisons when a micro bevel was added to the cutting edge. It was informative but I don't have access to that usb microscope any longer.

    Here is a link to the vendor for the DC power supply that I just began using (CSI12001X), I have no connection with them, and can vouch for: http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/7859

    oregon

  30. #30

    Default Re: Anodizing Titanium

    Thanks Don. That was interesting. Can't wait for the full-length feature film.
    Too many lights! Stop me!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •