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  1. #1
    9100's Avatar
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    Default Source for black anodizing dye

    Looking for a supplier of one of the better black dyes for sulfuric anodized 6061T6. This should be one that produces a deep black finish with good sunlight fading characteristics. There seem to be hobby kits available, but they don't specify the type of dye. The one local commercial supplier I found wants $170 for a pound, more than I need and more money than I want to spend.

    Bill

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    Zahnrad Kopf's Avatar
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    RIT leather and fabric dye. In your local cobbler's shop, or failing that your local grocery.

  3. #3
    9100's Avatar
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    RIT is an organic dye that fades. Already tried it.

    Bill

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    I'd like to know a source of a good black dye too. I tried the Dylon brand black fabric dye....it ended up a very nice copper colour kind of like the Marantz Hifi "Champagne" instead of the black I was after.

    Also tried converting white sugar to carbon by over caramelizing on the stove which gives a black carbon rich liquid that dyed aluminium a brass colour.

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    MBG
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    Don't use rite aid or anything. It has no uvv protection..

    Look up us speciality coating dyes and call up and find a dealer.

    Good stuff. Cost you anywhere from 20 to 40 a lbs. But its 10 grs a liter so don't know how
    Big your tanks are so should last a while.

  6. #6
    MBG
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    Looking for a supplier of one of the better black dyes for sulfuric anodized 6061T6. This should be one that produces a deep black finish with good sunlight fading characteristics. There seem to be hobby kits available, but they don't specify the type of dye. The one local commercial supplier I found wants $170 for a pound, more than I need and more money than I want to spend.

    Bill
    What 170 a lb... man call alert sales in miami,fl and they will sell you about 5lbs for 100 bucks shipped fedex.

  7. #7
    metlmunchr is offline Diamond
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    Ron Newman at focuser.com sells industrial quality anodizing dyes in small quantities. He manufactures telescope parts and does his own anodizing. Pics of his shop on the home page. Pics and info on anodizing at Anodizing Aluminum His contact info is about 1/4 of the way down from the top of that page too. Nice guy and very helpful.

  8. #8
    Zahnrad Kopf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    RIT is an organic dye that fades. Already tried it.
    Bill
    Wow. Interesting. Used to know a guy that used it for his firearms parts and swore by it. How long before it faded? (piqued my curiosity now)

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    9100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    Wow. Interesting. Used to know a guy that used it for his firearms parts and swore by it. How long before it faded? (piqued my curiosity now)
    I had enough trouble getting it to take in the first place. The dyes are rated by fading qualities and anodizing web sites give it a low rating. No doubt I need to learn more about dying, but I didn't pursue RIT because of the poor opinion of it. The parts I am getting are for medical equipment so the customer wants the best quality.

    Bill

  10. #10
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    If you are doing this for medical take it to a real shop and get it done right. Professional shops have enough problems getting the parts to look right and be durable that trying to do this yourself for a paying customer is nuts. I am a cheap bastard but gladly give my anodizer/passivator a grand or two a month so my parts look good and don't get screwed up.

  11. #11
    MBG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey_D View Post
    If you are doing this for medical take it to a real shop and get it done right. Professional shops have enough problems getting the parts to look right and be durable that trying to do this yourself for a paying customer is nuts. I am a cheap bastard but gladly give my anodizer/passivator a grand or two a month so my parts look good and don't get screwed up.
    I agree if your thinking about rit aid you probably haven't put to much thought in how much amps you are using or sealing.. are you di sealing or nickel acetate? For black anodixe you need a mil thickness .001" temp around 68 to 72.


    I owned a plating shop for 3 years till I got tired of dealing with sulfuric and nitric acid. Machining is much nicer and more forgiving. Make a bad part just machine it again.

  12. #12
    maxh is offline Hot Rolled
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    You might want to look into type III anodization (also called hard coat.) Type III gives a black layer without dying. It's about 10 times thicker and provides a much harder, more durable layer than the more common type I cosmetic anodization you see every day, which is the type you see dyed multiple colors. Type I produces a thin, porous layer. The porosity is what allows it to be dyed; dye molecules fit into the pores, then boiling seals the pores, trapping the dye in. Type III is more of an industrial coating for parts where the coating will actually be put to use; we use it frequently in the semiconductor industry.

  13. #13
    MBG
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxh View Post
    You might want to look into type III anodization (also called hard coat.) Type III gives a black layer without dying. It's about 10 times thicker and provides a much harder, more durable layer than the more common type I cosmetic anodization you see every day, which is the type you see dyed multiple colors. Type I produces a thin, porous layer. The porosity is what allows it to be dyed; dye molecules fit into the pores, then boiling seals the pores, trapping the dye in. Type III is more of an industrial coating for parts where the coating will actually be put to use; we use it frequently in the semiconductor industry.
    type I is chromic which is used for military involving chromic acid instead of the sulfuric acid in type II and type III

    Also, the "black" from the type III is depending upon the alloy you are plating usually the darker is the thicker the coating. Although, you can dye type III hard coat.

    If you do ask for a type III make sure you don't ask for a "hard coat anodize"
    Also, make sure they do it at 32 degrees and use the higher amps. Some platers like to get away using an chemical additive at 55 degrees which doesn't give off as hard of coating.

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    maxh is offline Hot Rolled
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    Well I'm sure you know more than I do. I was just going off of what they told me where we get our parts done. Our 6061 parts always come back very black without dye, and the layer is rather thick and hard; no fun to machine if you discover you have to.

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    9100's Avatar
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    From a purely economic viewpoint, Mickey is probably right. A lot of things are best left to the professionals. In this case, without going into a long dissertation, there are customer relation reasons for being able to anodize on demand, often just a couple of parts. I have done very little with anodizing but I have done a fair amount of plating, some of it fairly exotic, like silver plating beryllium copper, which is childishly simple if you know how and damned near impossible if you don't. My profession, if I can really be said to have one, is electronics, but I do a lot of things that don't involve circuit boards and soldering irons. Although it was never a career goal, I have more space devoted to machines and often spend more time making chips than playing with transistors. The plating and anodizing are supporting actors.

    Bill

  16. #16
    ed_h is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    Looking for a supplier of one of the better black dyes for sulfuric anodized 6061T6. This should be one that produces a deep black finish with good sunlight fading characteristics. There seem to be hobby kits available, but they don't specify the type of dye. The one local commercial supplier I found wants $170 for a pound, more than I need and more money than I want to spend.

    Bill
    Caswell sells HBL in smaller quantities.

  17. #17
    USMCPOP is offline Titanium
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    The anodizing site Metlmunchr mentioned: Anodizing Aluminum

    The dye he sells comes from this place: U.S. Specialty Color Corporation

  18. #18
    9100's Avatar
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    I called Alert Sales and US Specialty Color Corp. Both were very helpful and don't require large minimum purchases. US Specialty is sending me samples of their BK Excell dye and nickel acetate sealer. They also referred me to Ron Newman's site, which I had seen sometime in the past, for smaller quantities. Their $44 price for a pound of BK Excell dye is fine, but they only have the sealer in 5 gallon pails. The problem there is not so much the cost as disposal of more than I can ever use. The sample will be enough to do the smaller parts and get oriented. Then I should be able to get more from Ron Newman.

    Thanks to all,

    Bill

  19. #19
    9100's Avatar
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    A nice fellow named Mark at US Specialty Color Corp. answered all my questions and sent me samples of black dye and sealer sufficient to do the parts at hand. The main issues seem to be cleanliness, of course, and getting a thick enough anodize. Considering that most of the anodize layer is clear aluminum oxide and the dye only inhabits the pores, it is not surprising that you need .001" or so to have a dark surface. I used 10% sulfuric acid and about 1/2 hour at 10 amps per square foot with a titanium cathode. Temperature was not a problem in this case because the parts were so small that the current did not warm the solution appreciably. It mostly just seems to be a matter of following directions.

    The cylinder in the picture is a test piece of scrap that I took a fine cut on with no coolant to get a bright and oil free surface. The surface stayed bright. The clear anodize was hardly visible until I dyed it.

    Asking around, I was told that the best deal you can get on small lots around here is $95 minimum and 3 weeks. No wonder my friend didn't want to pay $95 for a few small parts and hold the job up for 3 weeks to boot. For scale, the two flat rectangles are about 5" long. Except for the test piece, everything was fine glass beaded for a matte surface.

    Bill
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails anodized-black.jpg  

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