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Heat Anodizing Titanium
Article © MAIL User: Bative

Heat Anodizing Titanium


Hey all, this is my first article, and I'm afraid there are no pictures :( sorry. If you don't feel like reading further, feel free to press the back button.

For a bit now I've been playing with different methods of anodizing titanium with different sources of heat. Really, with titanium, there are so many variables that can affect the color, it's really hard to get a good, clear, constant color.
So far, the best way I've found is with a good old fashioned Zippo lighter. If you hold the piece of titanium (be it a coil, wire, whatever) near the tip of the flame, the wire may anodize too quickly, and you might not get the best color you want. Holding the Ti just above the blue part of the flame, as the flame begins to get yellow/orange heat, you will have the most constant temperature.
I've always found it neat to see what affects the colors and darkness of the different colors while the andozing takes place. I've found that quick short, frequent bursts of heat give the Ti a rather burnt, dark look, not really capturing how beautiful it can be. The best way I've found is to find a good source of constant, non-changing heat. A good example is an oven. These can be very useful for Ti, if only they weren't so big. (Just thinking of this as I'm reading over the article, if an oven is too big, has any one tried an easy bake oven?)
So far, the only real problems with trying to get Ti to turn some pretty colors, is that there are too many variables: how long you keep it under heat, how hot the heat is, what type of heat it is (i.e. alcohol, gasoline, element heat, etc). Another important variable is the condition of air in the room you're anodizing in. I've found that places with a lot of moisture in the air, can result in darker colors, as with more moisture, the temperature of the surface of the metal can fluctuate.
Overall in my experiences, the appealing words of 'Heat Anodized Titanium' weren't as pleasant as I had hoped. It's very hard to get very much noticeable color, even then it is pretty dark. I think it is definitely worth the trouble getting an electrical anodizer for your titanium.
Suggestions? email me, [url=mailto:bative@hotmail.com]bative@hotmail.com[/url]

Original URL: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=138