Anodising setup
View previous topic | View next topic >
Post new topic Reply to topic
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Knitting Circle
   
Author Message

Joined: September 02, 2003
Posts: 115
Submissions: 0
Location: Darwin, Australia

Anodising setup
Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:16 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

So I want to do a variable-voltage anodising setup. Confused, not an engineer type. Stupid questions:

1) If I go for the 110V mains 0-120V SMT Micro Anodizer which is 0-1A but fused at 3A, should a 300W step down transformer for ~240V mains be sufficient? ie like this? http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/240v-110v-Step-Down-Stepdown-Transformer-Converter-300w-/370732976235#ht_3445wt_1139

2) I can't order the MultiEtch stuff sold by TRL & Reactive Metals. Do I have to use hydrofluoric acid to clean titanium or is there anything easier AND safer anyone's used successfully? What can I use on niobium?

3) Can I anodise ANY alloy of titanium? Very stupid question but want to double check before I think about ordering titanium bits and bobs.

4) AC Variacs are a no - yes? I can't find a cheap DC variac in Australia. Or is there an easy & safe way to use a rectifier with this?

5) Does the preparatory etching make the metal more matte? Niobium?

6) It's a given that I'm going to get colour variations without trying, yes? How do I deliberately try to do a rainbow on a single piece?

7) Apparently if you go above 120V you can get a pink colour on niobium but the SMT in particular doesn't do higher voltages. Is this a reliable/nice/safely-obtained colour worth thinking about?

Apologies if I'm reinventing the wheel - didn't find much when I searched here. Thank you SO much if anyone has any suggestions from their experience.

Joined: December 22, 2007
Posts: 4610
Submissions: 106
Location: Hampton, Virginia USA

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:28 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

DEEEEEEEE ELLLLLLLLLLLLL!?


"I am a leaf on the wind." ~ Wash
Lorraine's Chains
Gallery Submission Guidelines

Joined: September 02, 2003
Posts: 115
Submissions: 0
Location: Darwin, Australia

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:54 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

DL? Confused

Also, another herpaderp question:
8 ) There's an article here that says there should be more stainless steel on the surface area of the anode, than there should be of titanium on the cathode. True? ETA: Okay apparently there's a large stainless plate supplied with the SMT Micro from both TRL & Reactive Metals. Surface area of rings should be pretty easy to calculate.

I hope any answers/links/pointers here help anyone else as clueless as I am.

Joined: December 22, 2007
Posts: 4610
Submissions: 106
Location: Hampton, Virginia USA

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:39 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

DL=Daemon_Lotos or resident electrician

I bought Reactive Metals Anodizing Kit.
http://www.reactivemetals.com/http___www.reactivemetals.com/Home.html
It comes with the Variac ( 0-120volts, 1amp) with some extra stuff. You need to supply an electrolyte bath (I use their Not TSP with the appropriate amount of water) in a glass container with a sheet of stainless steel sheet around the entire inside of the container, attached to the cathode. I cover the stainless steel sheet with plastic mesh that you can get at any craft store so that the anode never touches the cathode (ZAP! OUCH!).

This is a good page to read:
http://mrtitanium.com/anodizing.html

I anodize rings after I cut them in a homemade niobium basket of niobium sheet with holes punched into it, attached to the anode.
http://www.mailleartisans.org/board/viewtopic.php?t=12768

You can use the same set up to anodize titanium.


"I am a leaf on the wind." ~ Wash
Lorraine's Chains
Gallery Submission Guidelines

Joined: May 07, 2008
Posts: 3615
Submissions: 149
Location: Germany, Herxheim

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:37 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

OK, I cannot answer all questions but maybe some of these.

1) If your outlet gives you 220-240V (I assume that for Australia), then get a variable PSU that works directly, when fed with that voltage - one piece of equipment less. Mine is from circuitspecialists.eu (model CSI12001X), and is else identical to the ones for North America that are fed with 110V.
2) Getting MultiEtch in Europe is an issue as well as for Oz - I could not yet manage to get some 'smuggled' to me. So I bit the bullet, and got some (expensive and difficult to get here) Sodium Fluoride, and Ammonium Persulfate locally, to make basically a functional clone of MultiEtch - the riddle to solve is to find the proper concentrations of the mix. And the etch solution is used here, irrespective whether I treat Titanium or Niobium with. Maybe ask another Aussie mailler who works in AnoTi/Nb, how/where (s)he got the Multietch or alternative solution locally.
3) I do so - Grade 0/1/2 CP Titanium as well as Grade 4/5.
4) dealt with in 1)
5) Imho no - the colors get more brilliant, and that is paramount.
6) Experiment, make your own voltage/color reference charts. Once you have found a working voltage for a particular color you like, it's a fairly reproducible process, given you have a PSU that provides its output voltages reproducible and precise.
7) Forget voltages above 120V - the business is done below.
8 ) Have the cathode area as large as possible. If the construction of your anodizing bath allows only a comparably small cathode, your anodizing times will be longer. But your Amps display on the PSU will show you when you're finished - it's the moment when the Amperage levels off to a constant low-level value. And note that in case you want to anodize rainbow patterns on single pieces like clasps or ear wires, it can be even of advantage to have a small cathode, as this slows down the process. I have a single 16swg Stainless wire loop cathode for that purpose, to replace my standard plate cathode when doing this.

Add-on tip: Make your setup as safe as possible. Half of safety deals with making the cathode touch-safe. I have sewn my cathodes into Dacron bags, wtin insulated/covered connector and cable - and have a plastic strainer as additional shortcut protector in my bath, between work zone and cathode - the cathode is shown here not yet sewn into the fabric bag. The second image shows my personal voltage/color reference chart for unetched wire - the etched-wire chart shows much more brilliant colors especially in the upper half of voltage range.


Do my answers suffice?

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

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 22, 2007
Posts: 4610
Submissions: 106
Location: Hampton, Virginia USA

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:16 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Sorry caylx, my answer wasn't very helpful. I wrote it right before going to bed. But Zili's answers are excellent.

I mainly anodize niobium. I find that if the raw nio wire or rings are shiny, then the anodized rings will be shiny. I have not used Multi Etch yet. If I ever anodize titanium again, I will definitely be buying some though. Titanium is much harder to get good colors with. I have occasionally been disappointed with the nio I have bought from TRL. I have always been happy with the nio I have bought from Reactive Metals and Metalliferous.

When I anodize something with multiple colors, I choose the highest voltage first, dip a little bit of the piece in. Turn down the voltage, dip a little more in. Turn down the voltage, dip a little more in, etc, until I have the whole piece multicolored. I usually just do random colors. Once you have anodized at a higher voltage, you cannot bring that color back down to a lower voltage. However, when you have anodized at a lower voltage, you can anodize at a higher voltage to change the color.

Here is a picture of the colors I get at 5 volt increments on clean (not Multi Etched) Titanium. The volts range from 5 to 95.



Here is a picture of the colors I get at 5 volt increments on clean (not Multi Etched) Niobium. The volts range from 5 to 105.



Here are some toggle clasps that I anodized multiple colors.



I'm fairly certain that all the wire used in these pictures came from TRL. In my opinion, Multi Etch isn't really necessary for anodizing niobium, but would probably really help with anodizing titanium. It really is a shame that they are not willing to help those in other countries besides the US and Canada get it.


"I am a leaf on the wind." ~ Wash
Lorraine's Chains
Gallery Submission Guidelines

Joined: May 07, 2008
Posts: 3615
Submissions: 149
Location: Germany, Herxheim

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:59 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

To honor TRL's efforts: Jon tried, and the package 'bounced' somewhere in transit - and was returned to him. So no joy, but not TRL's fault.
Maybe some US/CA mailler might buy the stuff, and then ships it unmarked (quasi illegal, due to broken transport regulations, NOT due to forbidden import/export regulations) to elsewhere. But there seems no way to get it transported, except by surface shipping - and even that seems to fail. Sad

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

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 22, 2007
Posts: 4610
Submissions: 106
Location: Hampton, Virginia USA

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:01 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Oh, I didn't mean to say that it's TRL's fault. TRL is buying it from Reactive Metals. And their story (RM's) is that they can't ship it to individuals outside the country because it is considered to be hazardous material. What RM's needs to do is find a business in other countries, like TRL, who are willing to buy enough of it to sell to individuals.


"I am a leaf on the wind." ~ Wash
Lorraine's Chains
Gallery Submission Guidelines

Joined: September 02, 2003
Posts: 115
Submissions: 0
Location: Darwin, Australia

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:08 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

BRILLIANT! Thank you SO much for the answers to my questions.

The CSI 12001X .eu unit is exactly the same as the TRL/Reactive Metals one from comparing the look of it!! http://www.circuitspecialists.eu/low-cost-single-output-bench-power-supply-csi-12001x

Shipping is pricey, even more than from TRL or Reactive Metals, though the unit is cheaper. I wish Australia had affordable units. Do you think a cheaper (for me) Chinese model might be dodgy (or the wrong specs)? http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC-220V-to-DC-0-120V-0-1A-Adjustable-Variable-DC-120w-Power-Supply-Regulator-lab-/150768556316

Auuuusssssiiiieeeeessss, help?!

I will try to get some Sodium Fluoride & Ammonium Persulfate. I have the feeling that might be tricky locally, haha. That's great to hear what the components of Multi Etch basically are.

The plastic sieve & dacron is a great idea for safety. As is the plastic for the anode. This will definitely be a balcony job, away from baby & the pets.

Those colours are lovely and inspiring, Lorraine, thank you, and thankyou so much for describing how to get different colours. Have you ever tried loosely sandwiching loose rings with a cathode, with a small steel anode, to get a random coloured effect, or does this end up with a fairly uniform effect anyway? Also, that is good to know about the niobium quality from suppliers.

ETA: Oh look google searching is amazing & effective. Paint-brush cathodes Smile
http://www.shimmeringdreams.com/The_Metals.htm

This is where I saw the pink high-voltage niobium, from Caswell Plating forums:


I hope other semi noobs are reading this and learning as I do Smile

Joined: December 22, 2007
Posts: 4610
Submissions: 106
Location: Hampton, Virginia USA

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:35 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

http://www.circuitspecialists.eu/power-supplies/bench-power-supplies/low-cost-single-output-bench-power-supply-csi-12001x
That's what I THINK you want. I'm talking to Cynake in IRC (he's being an ass as usual. I love the guy but... ASS! Very Happy) I can't tell you anything about the Chinese model. I just don't know. The chemicals for etching titanium? I don't know enough about it to be safe. Sad

This is my anodizing bowl. It's made of glass (although plastic if fine too), It holds about a liter of fluid. It's hard to see but it is lined with some stainless steel sheeting with a tab over the side for the cathode and that's where the black cathode clip is attached when anodizing. You don't want the red anode clip (the clip, or in my case the basket clipped to the anode) to come into contact with the cathode, so I have some plastic mesh circling the stainless steel sheeting. There is also some gunk buildup in the bottom of the bowl and a ring or two, but that doesn't seem to matter. Smile Also, wear plastic gloves while doing this! You can get a nasty ZAP if you are not careful.



"I am a leaf on the wind." ~ Wash
Lorraine's Chains
Gallery Submission Guidelines

Joined: September 02, 2003
Posts: 115
Submissions: 0
Location: Darwin, Australia

Reply with quote
Posted on Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:33 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Thankyou, and thankyou for asking Smile And it's great to see how you set up your bath to avoid the electrodes touching. That's the right model, they charge nearly $150 Australian to ship though... decisions to make! I think the Chinese model is not worth the risk as it's not *that* much cheaper. Bet it costs $30 or so wholesale in China...

Joined: March 11, 2016
Posts: 6
Submissions: 0
Location: Netherlands

Reply with quote
Posted on Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:32 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

A multi-etch clone is available for those who live in Europe :
http://www.biketweaks.com/titanium-etching-multi-etch-europe

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Page 1 of 1
All times are GMT. The time now is Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:25 am
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Knitting Circle
Display posts from previous: