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Anodizing- Bringing it in house?

plastikdreams

Diamond
Joined
May 31, 2011
Location
upstate nj
Given the needed knowledge and the waste disposal issues and Hazmat requirements, spend your time looking for a reliable plating shop even if you have to ship parts.
Unless you enjoyed playing with your toy chemistry set when you were a kid, save yourself a ton of grief and find another hobby! Good luck!

I was gonna say, hazmat disposal is gonna be a high cost.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
The anodizer we used to use got their waste disposal down to next to nothing with a half million dollar machine about the size of 2 semi trailers, I have no idea what it cost in money to run it or manpower but a year later there was an auction there and now their gone.
 

barbter

Diamond
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Location
On Tour...
The anodizer we used to use got their waste disposal down to next to nothing with a half million dollar machine about the size of 2 semi trailers, I have no idea what it cost in money to run it or manpower but a year later there was an auction there and now their gone.

Prolly 20 bucks an hour more than he was earning....!
 

Pete Deal

Stainless
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Morgantown, WV
If you are still serious then I would call in a couple of commercial equipment reps and let them analyze your requirements and explain what you have to do.

Tom

I'm just gathering info at this point. No where near ready to start calling vendors.

Given the needed knowledge and the waste disposal issues and Hazmat requirements, spend your time looking for a reliable plating shop even if you have to ship parts.
Unless you enjoyed playing with your toy chemistry set when you were a kid, save yourself a ton of gItrief and find another hobby! Good luck!

This would be easier in most every way. I'm currently shipping the parts to Connecticut so no problem with shipping. The problem is that for a manufacturing operation, even a very small one as I am, having to depend on an outside vendor for such a critical part of the process, even under ideal conditions, isn't good.

It's my understanding that the hazmat issues with sulfuric acid anodizing are not that great. Still not sure what that means.
 

TDegenhart

Diamond
Joined
Mar 26, 2011
Location
Geneva Illinois USA
This would be easier in most every way. I'm currently shipping the parts to Connecticut so no problem with shipping. The problem is that for a manufacturing operation, even a very small one as I am, having to depend on an outside vendor for such a critical part of the process, even under ideal conditions, isn't good.

You have defined your needs, so now it is just a question of how much time and money are going to be required to to control the process. You either have a product or you don't.

Tom
 

Bondo

Hot Rolled
Joined
May 14, 2011
Location
Bridgeton NJ
I build tanks for a local guy here in NJ. He tells me all the time how troublesome it is just to have the business. I'm surprised that the EPA hasn't put cameras all around his place though he does a lot of government work.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

jccaclimber

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Location
San Francisco
We used to anodize at a place I worked. They never complained much about chemical disposal. Most of it was about getting the waste pH near neutral.
There was some fun with chemistry maintaining tanks, but nothing awful.
The ventilation around all of the tanks was completely rotted out, which says a lot about the fumes coming off the tanks.

For comparison they had also previously done some chroming. That was a regulatory and disposal nightmare they never wanted to get near again.
 

Pete Deal

Stainless
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Morgantown, WV
You have defined your needs, so now it is just a question of how much time and money are going to be required to to control the process. You either have a product or you don't.

Tom

Tom it's not quite so white and black. If i do this there is a lot that needs to be done to get there. Pour a little concrete in the back, enclose the lean-to, etc. Much of this is good on it's own since I could make use of the space for lots of things. So, there is no short term way out of dealing with outside vendors for for a while so I need to continue to figure out a better solution here.

Still, I really think having this capability would be a good asset to a small shop. The good thing is being my own products primarily I could slowly develop the process.

jccaclimber: What you said regarding the waste is kind-of what I've read here and there. I think the only metal that would be in the waste is aluminum. From what I've read some of the dyes can have some metals in them but also dyes can be chosen that don't contain metal.
 

countryboy1966

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Location
Thompson, Ohio
Unless your parts are high value parts with a lot of margin, stay away from anodizing... This comes from someone with their own anodizing line and margins that allow it and it still isn't worth it to me. Try Gruntbull Anodizing in Gettysburg, Ohio. I know a few people that have successfully used them.

If you are going to jump in, use U.S. Specialty Color Corporation as your chemical and dye supplier. The book they sell "Anodizing 101" is a great resource too.

Anodizing isn't really hard, but it is a very specific process that if you are not careful can have lots of issues if you are carrying over chemicals bath to bath not to mention metal prep issues.
 

countryboy1966

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Location
Thompson, Ohio
Tom it's not quite so white and black. If i do this there is a lot that needs to be done to get there. Pour a little concrete in the back, enclose the lean-to, etc. Much of this is good on it's own since I could make use of the space for lots of things. So, there is no short term way out of dealing with outside vendors for for a while so I need to continue to figure out a better solution here.

Still, I really think having this capability would be a good asset to a small shop. The good thing is being my own products primarily I could slowly develop the process.

jccaclimber: What you said regarding the waste is kind-of what I've read here and there. I think the only metal that would be in the waste is aluminum. From what I've read some of the dyes can have some metals in them but also dyes can be chosen that don't contain metal.

Your waste stream issues are the Sulfuric Acid, Nitric Acid and dissolved metals. Dissolved aluminum in the electrolyte has to be managed and removed over time. In the sealer, there is dissolved Nickel that you have to manage as well. All tanks eventually need changes....depending on your rinse strategy, you have to change out rinse water which will contain a little of everything.

Also be careful of how much waste you have on hand. As people have said, you EPA will get you. Also have record and evidence of proper disposal. Safety Kleen company will probably take your chemicals for you.

Bedford Anodizing in Ohio learned the hard way. They shut down operations and left chemicals stored. Containers leaked and got into Brandywine Creek and there was a major fish kill event. Can't find anything on it now, but EPA was hunting down the owners.
 

Pete Deal

Stainless
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Morgantown, WV
Unless your parts are high value parts with a lot of margin, stay away from anodizing... This comes from someone with their own anodizing line and margins that allow it and it still isn't worth it to me. Try Gruntbull Anodizing in Gettysburg, Ohio. I know a few people that have successfully used them.

If you are going to jump in, use U.S. Specialty Color Corporation as your chemical and dye supplier. The book they sell "Anodizing 101" is a great resource too.

Anodizing isn't really hard, but it is a very specific process that if you are not careful can have lots of issues if you are carrying over chemicals bath to bath not to mention metal prep issues.

Good info Thanks! I will call the anodizer you suggested.

Edit: I just called Gruntbull Anodizing and he sounds like a good prospect. I'm going to send him some parts next week and we'll see what we can make work. One thing I learned though from the first guy I used, don't send too many parts until I gain confidence in them.
 

adamm

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
Location
Kingston, ON
There is a guy in Quebec selling ti racks for small scale anodizing. He has a video tour of his set-up that he uses to anodize for his small business:How to Anodize Aluminum - My approach on DIY small scale anodizing by DeeWorks - YouTube

It looks like a tidy outfit.

On waste water, it seems commercial anodizing outfits make the cathodes out of 6063 aluminum, whereas the hobby kits use lead. I don't understand why. The commercial outfits do it to avoid lead contamination in waste water. Al seems easier to procure than lead for the hobbyists, so I don't know why they go lead.

Anyway, consistent results seem to need a constant current supply, and good control of temperature.
 

Pete Deal

Stainless
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Morgantown, WV
I saw that guy's video. Looks like a nice setup but I'm not keen on the idea of using buckets. For my current parts it would work ok but I can see it being very limiting.

I read an article on finishing.com about using 6063 vs lead. Seemed the biggest reason is to reduce the lead in the waste stream. Also they said that since the condcutivity of aluminum is higher than lead it's a little more efficient. I think I read way back that lead lasts a long tome so that's it's advantage.
 

barbter

Diamond
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Location
On Tour...
.... but I'm not keen on the idea of using buckets.
When I put an Alocrom plant into work 25+ years ago, this was the type of tanks we used (attached).
We used a tank heater through the side with custom fittings and silicone sealant for both the Alocrom and Deoxider and there were no issues. Thermostat to control 25C.
Tube tank heater chosen as it protruded into the tank opposed to clip over the top type which is parallel to the side wall, for better/uniform heating.
Lid placed overnight and when not in use kept tanks warm.
 

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cnctoolcat

Titanium
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Location
Abingdon, VA
I'm in the "change the material to stainless" camp.

If weight is an issue, then titanium it is.

Spend your time optimizing your machining processes on these new materials, rather than messing with a messy process...

Either material can be marketed as an upgrade from aluminum...possibly distinguishing you in the market even more. And allowing you to possibly charge more--to help offset higher machining costs. (Albeit in-house...so that's OK as long as you have machine time)

My 2 cents,

ToolCat
 

Pete Deal

Stainless
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Morgantown, WV
The thread is about the practicality of anodizing aluminum in house and the considerations. I appreciate the need look outside the box for another option but switching materials is not on the table. Anodizing 6061 is certainly not rocket science. It may be beyond what I want to get into but the idea of this thread is to get input from those who know about it.
 

metalmadness

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
I'm just gathering info at this point. No where near ready to start calling vendors.



This would be easier in most every way. I'm currently shipping the parts to Connecticut so no problem with shipping. The problem is that for a manufacturing operation, even a very small one as I am, having to depend on an outside vendor for such a critical part of the process, even under ideal conditions, isn't good.

It's my understanding that the hazmat issues with sulfuric acid anodizing are not that great. Still not sure what that means.


If you're talking about Connecticut Anodize, you won't find any better an outfit! They do excellent anodizing, electropolishing plating and finishing work. I have a few local outfits but we ship parts to them because they are so good.
 

Pete Deal

Stainless
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Morgantown, WV
If you're talking about Connecticut Anodize, you won't find any better an outfit! They do excellent anodizing, electropolishing plating and finishing work. I have a few local outfits but we ship parts to them because they are so good.

I am talking about them and I agree with you. I even went to see them once and got a tour of their facility. First class act for sure! And it seems most of the rest of the country agrees. My only complaint is 2+ months!
 








 
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