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topic 14462

Need a spot type seal check for black anodized aluminum


A discussion started in 2002 and continuing through 2020 so far.
Adding your Q. / A. or Comment will restore it to the Current Topics page

2002

I'm looking for a spot type seal check for dyed anodized aluminum. For years we have used 50% nitric acid for 2 minutes and check for any loss of color. This has proved adequate as a qualitative test. However, I can't find any references for this test and I figure I should use something that is documented somewhere as we are updating our quality system in preparation for a NADCAP audit. Any help would be appreciated.

Guy Lester
plating Co. - Ontario, California, USA


simultaneous 2002

Hi Guy (very poetic, aren't I),

The test you are referring to is an ASTM test ... but for the life of me, I can't remember the test #. I'll try to remember to look it up tomorrow. Its referred to as a "dye stain test" Actually.. the test also requires (for clear anodizing) a small drop of blue dye to be applied after the nitric is rinsed off, and then to check for absorption of the blue dye. Some pumicing of the test area is also permitted.

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Boise, Idaho


2002

ASTM B136-84 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] is an anodize seal integrity test which the first step is using nitric acid. Get a copy of that spec from ASTM.

milt stevenson jr.
Milt Stevenson, Jr.
Anoplate Corporation
supporting advertiser 
Syracuse, New York
Anoplate banner


2002

Your documentation lies in ASTM B136-84 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] (Re-approved 1998) Standard Method for Measurement of Stain Resistance of Anodic Coatings on Aluminum. This standard contains the Nitric Spot test and also the Dye Stain test. The specification may be ordered directly from ASTM.

Best of Luck.

Ira Donovan, M.S.F.
Kansas City, Missouri


2002

It is well sealed if: (1) it will not gain weight if retreated in the seal (2) it becomes resistant to staining by dyes (3) electrical resistance is increased (4) electrical "impedance" is increased

Dye Stain is covered in ASTM B136-84 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] , that is what you have been doing with nitric acid

Acid Dissolution is covered in ASTM B680 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] , a phosphoric acid system.

Kape Test. Sodium Sulfite

Bleach - Sodium Hypochlorite

Salt Spray ASTM ASTM B117 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] , mainly for overall corrosion

Impedance Test ASTM B457 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] (Instrumentation commercially available) Based on the fact that impedance of the anodic oxide increases with the "degree" of sealing.

CASS ASTM B368 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet], really just a corrosion test.

Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

robert probert



Robert H Probert
Robert H Probert Technical Services
supporting advertiser
Garner, North Carolina
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To minimize search efforts and to offer multiple viewpoints, we combined previously separate threads onto this page. Please forgive any resultant repetition, failures of chronological order, or what may look like readers disrespecting previous responses -- those other responses may not have been on the page at the time :-)



2002

I am a quality control manager working with type II anodizing for the first time. Some of our parts, after being in the field for three months or so, get a lighter color to them going from their original black to a brownish orange color. I believe the problem to be ultra-violet bleaching and I know that it is from a problem in the anodizing process. Is there a cheap and easy to perform test that would readily find the defective anodizing?

Kenneth J. Winward
- Kennewick, Washington, U.S.A.


simultaneous 2002

A. The problem is more likely with the sealing than with the actual anodizing (although it is also possible that a poor quality dye was used, the sealing issue is more likely). ASTM B136-84 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] describes a dye stain test to use to check seal quality on a pass/fail basis. The test requires Nitric Acid (40%) for two minutes and blue dye for 5 minutes, if there is a color change the parts fail (check out the spec for more detailed instructions, make sure to rinse and dry the part in between steps).

Jim Gorsich
Accurate Anodizing Inc.
supporting advertiser
Compton, California, USA
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2002

A. Use the dye stain test on your parts.. its a very easy one. All it takes (in the case of dyed parts) is a 50% (vol) solution of nitric acid. Place a drop on the surface, and allow it to remain there for 2 min. Rinse thoroughly. If a spot remains after rinsing, the part is not sealed adequately, which is what I suspect the problem may be. In the case of clear (natural, for the purists out there) anodizing, one would follow up the nitric acid with a drop of Blue 2LW dye for a period of 5 min, followed by a rinse. If the blue spot remains..then, once again the part has failed. Abrading the spot with Pumice [affil. link to product info on Amazon] is allowed in both tests. If the spot does not show after a light pumicing, then it has passed.

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Boise, Idaho



To minimize search efforts and to offer multiple viewpoints, we combined previously separate threads onto this page. Please forgive any resultant repetition, failures of chronological order, or what may look like readers disrespecting previous responses -- those other responses may not have been on the page at the time :-)



Anodic coating sealing tests

2003

Q. How can someone find out if anodic coating has been sealed and what kind of sealing (sodium dichromate, water, etc). Is there a method or a MIL-STD for testing the coating? I will appreciate a quick answer.

Keren Poran-Avrahami
aviation products - Gilon, Misgav, Israel


2003

A. A sodium dichromate seal imparts that characteristic amber yellow color usually associated with hexavalent chrome, and nothing else does, so you should see that by eye. But there is an ASTM "Seal Quality Test" although I don't remember the spec number off hand.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


2003

A. The standard that Ted mentioned is ASTM B680 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] Standard Test Method for Seal Quality of Anodic Coatings on Aluminum by Acid Dissolution. You can obtain this standard directly from ASTM.

Toby Padfield
- Troy, Michigan


2003

A. Acid Dissolution Test - ASTM B-680

Impedance Test - ASTM B457 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet]

Dye Stain Test - ASTM B136-84 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet]

Just splash some different color dye onto the surface, then rinse if off. If all the color completely washes off - it is at least partially sealed.

Wipe with Acetone [affil. link to product info on Amazon], if the swab picks up color, then it is NOT sealed.

robert probert



Robert H Probert
Robert H Probert Technical Services
supporting advertiser
Garner, North Carolina
probertbanner


2003

A. I believe the "dye stain" test also requires a drop of 50% nitric acid solution to be placed on the part for a period of time (2 minutes, if I recall), prior to placing dye (preferably Blue 2LW, or its equivalent, for 5 minutes) on the part. This test also allows a "pumicing" of the test area after the dye is rinsed off. This is by far the most common method of testing seal quality, as most job shops aren't going to drop $20k or more on E.I.S.(electrochemical impedance spectrography) equipment.

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Boise, Idaho


2003

thumbs up sign Isn't that just like Marc to go and get all practical on us :-)

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



To minimize search efforts and to offer multiple viewpoints, we combined previously separate threads onto this page. Please forgive any resultant repetition, failures of chronological order, or what may look like readers disrespecting previous responses -- those other responses may not have been on the page at the time :-)



Testing a Hardcoat Anodize Seal

September 18, 2008

Q. We have a customer that requires a sealed Type III hardcoat anodize coating. We are using boiling DI water to accomplish this, and testing the seal using ASTM B136-84 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] . Our problem is that our customer is testing incoming parts using a black permanent marker. They let the permanent ink sit on the surface for 1 - 2 minutes, then use an acetone-based nail polish remover to try and rub it off. If all the ink does not come off they reject the parts. Our stance is that if it passes the ASTM test it is a good part. Does anyone have any insight into using a permanent marker for a seal test?

Jennifer Masse
Plating Shop Employee - Buffalo, New York


September 20, 2008

A. Jennifer

You do not say if you pass your customer's test sometimes or at all. If you pass only sometimes, you could have a process control issue. If you never pass, the test could be suspect.

However, if your customer has developed this test as acceptance criteria, you are stuck with it unless you can convince them that the B136 test is more appropriate. Even then, if I recall correctly, the test allows for variations in the test to simulate specific conditions.

Willie Alexander
- Colorado Springs Colorado


September 22, 2008

A. I have ever been asked to do the same seal test and never failed as long as it is acetone based. Even we passed a test requested by one customer using DI water.

John Hu
- Singapore


September 23, 2008

Q. Thanks for the response. We have had parts that pass the ASTM test but absorb some of the permanent marker (maybe about 10% of the area being tested shows black dye). We don't have an issue with testing or certifying to any standardized test the customer wants, but I cannot find anything that backs up a magic marker test.

Jennifer Masse [returning]
- Buffalo, New York


A. Hi Jennifer. I'm not familiar with that test. Ironically, to the contrary, I know customers who have allowed magic markers to be used on rack mark areas ... which makes me wonder if that "about 10% of the area" that absorbs the stain is rack mark area?

Luck & Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


ASTM B136 pass or fail?

August 12, 2020

Q. Please see photos and would like to know if this is a pass or fail?

14462-1

matt smith
- Pheonix, Arizona


August 18, 2020

A. Looks like a fail to me. Per ASTM B136-84 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] requirements sec. 5.2 Interpretation - there shall be no visible change in the color of the coating from the action of the test.

Taylor Clarke
- Minden, Nevada

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