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How to Anodize Titanium?

Edit: Baoji Jinshan Titanium Industry Co.,Ltd    Date: Feb 17, 2017
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How to Anodize Titanium:

We are often asked for a general description of the process steps to define “how to anodize titanium.”   Here is an overview of what a typical industrial titanium anodizing line would involve.  Note that we are assuming the parts have already been thoroughly cleaned and either rack-mounted or placed in an appropriate basket or other fixture prior to the chemical processing done here.  Here is an overview of  the titanium anodizing process:

How to Anodize Titanium for color Anodizing:

Looking at these steps more closely:

Step 1:  Place in the cleaner tank for 1 to 10 minutes to remove dust and light oils and then rinse.  We like to have the parts dipped into and out of the cleaner tank a number of times while processing to be sure they are completely clean and free of water break.

Step 2:  Place in the etch tank for 10 to 30 seconds, depending upon the aggressiveness of the etch solution, then rinse thoroughly.

Step 3:  Dip two or three times to work any air bubbles out of the parts, then place in the titanium anodize tank.  Start the rectifier and let it ramp for 10 seconds to 1 minute.  Ramp time could even be higher if there are blind holes or recesses where the off-gassing can create a pocket.  Vigorous air and solution agitation (if not mechanical agitation too) is required for full, consistent coverage.  After the 10 to 30 second process time (at full target voltage), pull the parts and rinse them very well.  Note that high voltages are present when anodizing, so extreme care should be taken and electrical contacts should not be touched while the power supply is turned on.

Step 4:  Most of our customers like to follow the “normal” final rinse with a heated final rinse to be certain the parts have been completely rinsed off.  The reason for the heat is to help “massage” air and chemistry out of the parts with a slight amount of thermal expansion, but it also aids in a quicker drying time which can help reduce spotting or staining.


How to Anodize Titanium for Type II

How to anodize titanium with AMS2488 or Type II (sometimes referred to as gray anodizing, conventional titanium anodizing or anti-galling anodic coating) is very similar to the type III color anodizing, except for step 3.  Note that the electrolytes (the chemistries in the anodizing tank) are different for type II and type III, and the process times and rectifier parameters are different, but many of our customers use the same IPEC Global titanium anodizing line to do both types.

Instead of step 3 above, substitute the following:

Step 3:  Dip two or three times to work any air bubbles out of the parts, then place in the titanium anodize tank.  Start the rectifier and let it ramp up to target voltage or amperage.  Ramp time should be on the higher side if there are blind holes or recesses where the off-gassing can create a pocket.  Vigorous air and solution agitation (if not mechanical agitation too) is required for full, consistent coverage.  Once the amperage drops off to zero (approx. 25 min. to 45 min.), pull the parts out of the anodize tank and rinse thoroughly in the following rinse tank. Note that high voltages are present when anodizing, so extreme care should be taken and electrical contacts should not be touched while the power supply is turned on.


Here is the overview of how to anodize titanium for the AMS2488 or Type II Titanium Anodizing Process:

See our article on AMS 2488 Type II Titanium Anodizing for more information on how to anodize titanium for AMS 2488 Type II Titanium Anodizing.

Note that for commercial, industrial, Mil-spec and medical Type II production, there are a handful of steps that have been ommited to keep this discussion on how to anodize titanium as brief as possible, including sandblasting the parts to remove the powdery residue after doing type II titanium anodizing.

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