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Anodizing titanium black in color

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Q. I am looking for a way to Anodize Titanium black. I own an anodizer for titanium. I had read on the web that it is possible to Anodize titanium black. I understand that there are coatings that will cover titanium and make it black, but the equipment involved is beyond my humble means. If you don't know how to anodize it can someone let me know how expensive it is to have coatings done and if there is a minimum limit that has to be done at one time. This would be for CP2 titanium that has been forged.
Todd Buck
blacksmith - Howell, Michigan, United States

A. Anodizing titanium is outside of my league, but if I recall black anodized titanium is rare. I believe that I've read letters in the past that claimed it couldn't be done. That being said, I definitely remember one letter in the past from an advertiser on this site (I don't recall who) who did black titanium and posted pictures that looked beautiful: use the search engine to check archived letters and you should be able to locate the one I recall.
Good luck,
Jim Gorsich
Compton, California, USA

Q. I have a Ti. anodizer as well ... can't get black with it. As I understand it you can't do Ti black by regular anodizing ... but what about a PVD type coating?
I know you can have shops PVD coat a beautiful black Ti coating on steel. Can you do it on Ti as well?
Does the material have to be Ti?
What are you making with it?
I ask this because you can produce beautiful shades of black on Niobium using just a regular torch. Or you can go with Aluminum and send it out to be done.
Jason Aube
- Flint, Michigan, USA

Anodizing Titanium to White and Black

Q. Dear Sir,

I am jewellery manufacturer who specialises in Titanium.
To give colour to my titanium I usually use anodisation or PVD.
Unfortunately the PVD is too costly and big quantities have to be done at a time to minimise cost -- not really cost effective for the jewellery industry where one or two pieces are made of a single design.

My questions:

-How to get black titanium without using PVD.
-How to get white titanium (combined with diamond)
-How to control the anodisation colours for different pieces. it seems like the small pieces require a different voltage to attain the same colour as a big piece. I thought the colour was voltage dependent.

Best regards,
Robert Meyer
Manufacturer - Geneva, Switzerland
June 14, 2010

A. It is voltage dependent, the end voltage, not the beginning.
I have heard of dark blue or purple, but not black.
It is a super thin film, so is not robust enough for a ring.
James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

simultaneous replies

Dear Mr Watts,

What do you mean by the end voltage?
When I put a ring in the anodising bath and a bangle both for 15 mins (just to be sure) at the same voltage, the colour comes out different.

The dark blue colour although very pleasant still is no match for the Black PVD. any thought on other treatment? (no rhodium as black is illegal here).
how about the white titanium? this one is a big mystery.

Robert Meyer
- Geneva, Switzerland

TiO2 is a bright white color, but from my experience in anodizing it, it typically shows up as a greyish-white. I don't think you can get it any whiter than that.

Colors depend on both voltage and time exposed to current.

For example the substrate will usually turn reddish before it turns that greyish-white of TiO2 phase. This is because Ti2O3 (Ti+3) will form before TiO2 (Ti+4). Smaller parts = more current density per unit volume = faster transformation rate.
Robert Kinner
- Toledo, Ohio

A. 1. Concerning color anodizing titanium: with proper surface preparation the color will be consistent no matter how long you treat the titanium parts (of course after certain interval when it reaches the required color), and no matter how big the part is. Many parts can be colored simultaneously in a basket with the resulting color depending only on voltage setup ( see pic attached).

color anodizing of titanium

2. Black titanium can be done. The level of blackness depends on initial surface preparation and on type of titanium alloy you use. The pure titanium has more dark gray black, but strong adhesion; grade 5 has dark matte black but if scratched, can have visible lines; grade 6 is the optimal for black color and durability, although we have seen very good quality of blackening on alpha titanium.
color anodizing of titanium 2
3. We have seen white titanium in our experiments, however did not expect any applications, and therefore never investigated it in full. Yes, it is somewhat off-white.
But bright silver color can be achieved by color anodizing (see #5 slot in the table of colors) or by type IV anodizing (standalone photo).

color anodizing of titanium 3   color anodizing of titanium 4

Anna Berkovich
Russamer Lab
supporting advertiser
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Q. Hi, Anna Berkovich
How do you achieve black colour on titanium?
Anastasia HK
- Hong Kong
August 11, 2022


A. Hi Anastasia. All of us can share something we know, few of us can freely share everything we know.
Anna helps make this forum possible as a supporting advertiser, and has already shared a lot in her posting, including the importance of the alloy. She earns her living by developing technology and licensing it, so she is probably limited in what she can publicly share on this subject.
Luck & Regards,
pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

RFQ: Hi Anna,
I'm currently trying to darken 304 stainless steel by rotary tumbling it with black silicon carbide 600 grit abrasive media. I've gotten it to a medium Grey so far and am now tumbling it with water and dishwashing liquid to hopefully bring the current matte finish to as glossy a finish as possible. I have ordered some 1500 grit black SiC to hopefully allow me to get to the intended finish more quickly.

I also intend to perform this same procedure with raw Grade 1 or 2 Titanium as well, and am expecting darker results with it.

Do You have any suggestions on how I may be able to reach my goals with the darkest & shiniest results possible?

David Helphenstine
MAILLE by Dave - Paris, Kentucky
November 30, 2022
    privately respond to this RFQ   ^
Ed. note: As always, gentle readers: technical replies in public and commercial replies in private please (huh? why?)

A. David,
We are not aware of any mechanical ways to blacken titanium. Our blackening method is based on proprietary electrochemical anodizing.
Anna Berkovich
Russamer Lab
supporting advertiser
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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A. You can anodize titanium to black colour in mixture of sulfuric and hydrochloric acid.That process produce gray or grayish black coating.Resulting oxide layer can be then dyed to black colour.sulfuric acid 350-400 gr/lit, hydrocloric acid 60-65 g/lit,temp. 40-50 °C,2-3 A / dm2 , start wit low current density, then slowly rise it to 2-3 A( according to data from one Russian webpage )

Good info on that stuff is Chinese patent CN101812715B too ( it uses different solution for anodizing - 20 to 60 parts of chemical pure potassium dichromate K2Cr207, 10 to 20 parts of chemical pure manganese sulphate MnSO4, 2 to 4 parts of industrial pure blackening solution/?/, 25 to 55 parts of industrial pure ammonium sulphate [on eBay or Amazon] (NH4)2SO4, and 1,000 parts of distilled water )

Hope it helps and good luck!
Goran Budija
- Cervski vrh Croatia

A. Source of formula no. 1 is Russian (ex USSR) book Averjanov, E.E. Spravochnik po anodirovanio, Moscow 1988.

According to Russian book P.A. Mirzoev, A.D. Davidov Anodnie procesi elektrohimicheskoi i himicheskoi obrabotki metalov,Sankt Peterburg 2013, to obtain black coating you can use 180-200 gms sulfuric acid, 0,5 A /dm2, 60-100 V, 60 -100 °C, 120-480 minutes.

Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Cerovski vrh Croatia
December 8, 2022

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