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How to color anodize aluminum


I would like to know what liquids make which colors on aluminum. I would also like to know what kind of voltage I should use for anodizing. If anyone can help me please send some info.

Doug Wilcoxson

probert book
Aluminum How-To

by Robert Probert
$89 New
The Chromating - Anodizing - Hardcoating Handbook

Surface Treatment & Finishing of Aluminium and Its Alloys
Wernick, Pinner & Sheasby


Hi, Doug.

The colors on aluminum are done with anodizing dyes, which are actually not very different than fabric dyes. First you clean, etch, and desmut the aluminum. Then you anodize it, which leaves a microminiature "honeycomb" surface on it. Then you put the work in the dye tank and the dye is absorbed into the honeycomb, then you seal it (which means you swell the walls of the honeycomb to lock the dye in place). The anodized layer is rather transparent so the dye shows through.

Typical anodizing voltages will be 12 V to 18 V depending on the alloy.

Proberts "Aluminum How To" is a very practical book on the subject =>
and Wernick, Pinner & Sheasby's "Surface Treatment of Aluminum and Its Alloys" is the 2-volume in-depth treatment of the subject. =>
Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey


If anyone could tell me how to remove the anodize off little parts I would greatly appreciate it. I already tried oven cleaner. Maybe I am doing it wrong or something. I don't know. Please help

Ryan Sharbonno
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pure Lye


To strip anodize off any part we use Red Devil Lye. Fill up a small bucket halfway with water add 3 tablespoons of lye, let it dissolve. And Bam drop in your part. 15 minutes later. All clean

Terry McClellan
- Detroit, Michigan


Let's say "slowly and carefully immerse your part" rather than "Bam drop in your part" :-) Remember that one drop of lye in your eye and you're blind, so goggles [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] and protective gloves [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] are necessary. Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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