Have you ever tried to scratch colored aluminum gadgets? Did you successfully remove color or even get a layer of it in your nails? No, it is hardly possible with colored aluminum products. Many aluminum products like titanium anodes are available in the world with an extensive range of colors. You can have any hue in aluminum products. Whether it is about mobile phones, laptops, hiking tools, or any product, all of them are available in different colors and shades. But how do they color this metal, which is very shiny and hardly lets any liquid stay on it?
That’s what you can learn in this blog because we are going to share a simple set of steps about anodizing aluminum with different colors. Besides, titanium anodizing is also standard, where you can get supplies from a reliable titanium anode cathodic supplier in China. Due to the massive usage of titanium products in the world, its anodization process also takes part in a large number. Meanwhile, you can start the steps of anodizing aluminum below.
Removing Impurities from the Surface of Titanium Anode
In the first step, the aluminum part, which needs to be anodized, is cleaned. It is done either by a bead blasting process or by using caustic soda to rinse the aluminum pieces. It depends upon you which method suits you the best. In the bead blasting method, you can obtain a smooth surface of aluminum before you do anodization. It will remove every impurity or corrosion from it. Even when you rinse that aluminum piece with caustic soda, its chemical reaction will do the same by removing all the additional layers of corrosion. Once you complete the surface cleaning process, you can start the anodization process.
Anodization of Titanium Anode
In the next step, you will perform the anodizing process to apply a protective layer of oxygen to the aluminum. It will require some equipment so you can complete it correctly. Without this equipment, it is not possible to perform anodization. It is similar to electrolysis but with a slight difference. Below are the supplies you need for this process.
· Anode (Piece to be plated)
· Cathode (Raw aluminum)
· Chromic acid or sulfuric acid (electrolyte)
· Metal wires
You will fill a bucket or a container with electrolyte, which is a liquid solution. This electrolyte could be sulfuric acid or chromic acid, depending on your type of anodization. Since there are three different types of anodization, you can choose accordingly. After it, you will connect those electrodes with the battery and dip them in the electrolyte. Then, the current will be passed, and the ionization will start.
Once the current is passed, oxygen molecules will start collecting towards the anode plate (piece to be plated). This is also called oxidation or the formation of an oxide layer on the aluminum.
2 Al + 3O = Al2O3
The amount of voltage also decides the color of aluminum. For instance,
· 9V for golden color
· 18V for brown color
· 27V for blue color
· 54V for the light yellow color
· 74V for pink color
· 81V for violet color
· 90V for purple color
Since there are three different types of anodization, you can use it according to the layer you need. Type-1 is the weakest, and type-3 is the strongest.
Chromic Acid Titanium Anode
In this anodizing method, we use chromic acid as an electrolyte. It applies a standard anodizing layer for light application. Its thickness ranges from 0.0005 mm to 0.08 mm. Type-1 is enough for general aluminum items for a thin layer of color.
Sulfuric Acid Titanium Anode
This one is stronger than type-1, where sulfuric acid is used as an electrolyte. Its layer’s thickness ranges from 0.005 mm to 0.025 mm. For better resistance against UV rays, this method is beneficial for many aluminum products.
Hard Sulfuric Acid Titanium Anode
This is the most complex type, where the same sulfuric acid is used but with some additional effort. It forms a layer of color oxidation with a thickness ranging from 0.0127 mm to 0.115 mm. Many heavy-duty aluminum items with the most petite color range require this coating. There are not many options for color in it.
Coloring Process of Titanium Anode
Once you complete an anodizing step, then you will have to clean it for the coloring process. Due to the residual electrolyte, it is hard to apply dye to it. So, you will have to clean the surface first.
Clean the Surface Before Coloring
With deionized water, you will have to clean the surface of the anodized aluminum part. Once you wash it with deionized water, it will get rid of any residual chemicals on it.
By Electrolysis Method
You can use the electrolysis method with the help of metals like magnesium, zinc, niobium, titanium, etc. Here, the color range is very small since you can’t use dye on it. In this method, you will have to use specific elements to get their colored coating on aluminum. Moreover, this method will provide you with a UV-resistant layer on it.
By Dipping Method
In this method, you will mix special-anodizing dye in water and dip that anodized aluminum part in it. Make sure the water has a boiling temperature when you dip that piece in it. Leave it for a few minutes after it. It is a non-UV-resistant dyeing method, by the way.
Step 4 (Surface Finishing)
Now, the last step is about giving it a final touch. In this method, we will seal the surface of anodized aluminum with deionized water. All we need to do is dip that colored aluminum part in that water at room temperature or cold temperature. The main reason is to close all the pores of the aluminum, which are filled with dye in them. Since the anodizing process opens up the pores of the aluminum, it is necessary to close them at the end. After you perform that last step, your anodizing method of aluminum coloring will finally finish.
Some Applications of Aluminum Coloring
Numerous products are made up of aluminum, and when it gets color coating, people love to buy more of these products. There are some very common applications that we often see in our daily lives.
Metallic Surfaces of Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are not in black, silver, or white color anymore. Metallic surfaces of aluminum in the colored form are way more attractive than traditional surfaces. People prefer mobile phones of unique colors instead of black and white.
Metallic Surfaces of Laptops
Just like that, laptops’ surfaces are made of aluminum, and colored laptops attract us the most. You might have noticed people using red, yellow, blue, or even multi-colored laptops. How is that possible? The same above process is the key to getting those aesthetic metallic surfaces in the laptops.
Colored Aluminum Parts in Automobiles
Automobiles have different customization options, and every automobile modifier uses colorful aluminum parts in various spots of a vehicle. With the help of a wide range of dyes, they can customize better than before.
Aluminum Bottles and Bicycles
You might have seen bicyclists using vibrant color bicycles with customized water bottles of aluminum. They are also the result of anodization, where numerous colors are use to fulfill the demand of buyers.
If you are looking for some other anodizing methods, you will need its supplies to perform the process. For that, you may look for a well-known titanium anode supplier for the titanium anodization process.