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Anodizing of stainless steel



adv.
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Current postings:

April 21, 2022

Can stainless steel or surgical steel be anodized red? Or, moreso, can I do it or is there any company that can do it for a price that is not too expensive? I have been trying to find body piercing jewelry specifically in red; from what I understand body jewelry has to be metal that isn't too porous, so I see titanium and Niobium a lot and even "bio flex" plastics. But useless if it is a horseshoe barbell and some coating that always chips; it is for my mouth so I don't want that as I end up eating the coating pretty much.

But i really like red so is this practical and could I possibly do it at home? I've seen kits to anodize things and they are somewhat in my price range , but don't know enough to follow thru.

So to sum up I really want a "hinged clicker hoop" which is just a hoop that does not need to be bent most likely in surgical steel, titanium, or niobium anodized in a red color. Is this possible and affordable for me to get done or do myself in any of the 3 metals listed?

emma chouse
wannabe supervillain / keyboard beating computer monkey ... hobbyist - chico california
^


April 2022

A. Hi Emma. Titanium is very easily anodized. That doesn't mean your very first attempt will be perfect, but it does mean you can learn it quickly and you don't need any exotic chemistry, although it does require dangerously high anodizing voltages. Red may not be possible but pink, rose, magenta tones are; and you can experiment to see what is achievable. Please search the site for "titanium anodizing", and watch this video:

Stainless steel is trickier to anodize.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^




Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:

2003

Q. I keep seeing requests for anodizing stainless steel. Is there a process for doing that?
I have been in the business for many years and have never heard of it.

Jim H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
job shop - Lynchburg, Virginia
^


2003

A. Yes, it can be done. It does not have quite the usefulness that aluminum anodizing has. Two vendors at this site have processes for it. Prismatic Stainless Steel [from B&M Finishers, a finishing.com supporting advertiser] and another that I cannot remember; you can use the search engine [Ed. note: the other vendor was Russamer Lab, and Anna responds below].

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida
^


2003

A. adv.
Yes, we can anodize stainless steel to different colors, including black.

However in comparison to titanium anodizing, stainless steel colors are not so durable and require some type of protective coating to become durable.

anna_berkovich
Anna Berkovich
Russamer Lab
supporting advertiser
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
russamer labs banner
^


2007

Colored stainless flatware


Affiliate Link
(commissions from your purchases make finishing.com possible)

A. Both Prismatic Stainless Steel [from B&M Finishers, a finishing.com supporting advertiser] and Russamer Lab [a finishing.com supporting advertiser] say they can offer it in colors. But the term "anodizing", while literally accurate because it is a process involving applying anodic current to the parts, can also be misleading because the process is radically different from aluminum anodizing, which is dyeable and thus offers a very wide range of saturated colors. The color of anodized stainless steel is diffraction coloration like that of titanium anodizing, carnival glass, and droplets of oil in a puddle. Further, sometimes it's not the stainless itself which is colorized, but a titanium coating which has been applied to it.

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


December 10, 2008

A. You can also treat stainless steel with IVD - ion vapour deposition - to give an aluminium coating. You can then anodise it in the same way as aluminium.

Andrew Pridmore
- Gillingham, Kent, UK
^



September 13, 2010

Q. In the house we bought 2 years ago, I have a 23 year old Thermador Cook n Vent cooktop with 4 gas burners and an electric griddle. It is stainless steel - 18 gauge, # 4 brush, grade 304 (Thermador informs me). It works great, but I have never been a fan of how stainless steel looks in a kitchen. I would like it to either take on the finish appearance of brass or nickel or an enamel-like appearance of white or black. Perhaps other colors. Perhaps other types of finishes I haven't thought of. Is this feasible? Is doing it, if it can be done, affordable? If yes to these questions, is there a company who could do this for me in New England?

Thank you so much for your attention to these questions. I am fascinated by this web site!

Barbara W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Concord, Massachusetts
^

outdated


September 13, 2010

A. Hi, Barbara

Brass plating is probably not practical for a cooktop because brass tarnishes very quickly even at room temperature if not protected with a lacquer, and lacquer/clearcoats may not well suit a cooktop. Nickel plating is possible, but getting good adhesion onto stainless steel is somewhat problematical but possible. Porcelain enameling is probably what you want; this more closely resembles melting glass onto the surface than painting it -- very high temperatures are involved. Sorry, I don't know offhand who offers porcelain enameling, but hopefully it was a little help to clarify what finish you might be looking for. Good luck.

Regards,

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


September 14, 2010

thumbs up signTed - Thanks very much for your response. Will research it from your advice. If I make progress and think what I learn could be helpful, will pass it along to you! Barbara

Barbara Williams
- Concord, Massachusetts
^



December 1, 2011

Q. Seeking care and cleaning/maintenance instructions for anodized stainless steel. Can any of the experienced industry contributors offer some simple care, chemicals to avoid?

Specific application: Pushbutton switch, switch has 200k life cycles expected...but will the anodized finish meet the life cycles with normal human touch or will it fade, chip or wear long before the electro-mechanical properties of the switch?

Joan Lanoux
- Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
^



December 6, 2011

Q. Can 316 Stainless Steel be anodized a Gold color? Does it create an Oxide layer like when anodizing titanium? If so, do you know what process is involved, for example, does it need to be acid treated first, etc?

Joell Cruz
Medical Device Technologist - Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
^


December 16, 2011

A. Yes, stainless steel can be anodized in various colors, including gold

anna_berkovich
Anna Berkovich
Russamer Lab
supporting advertiser
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
russamer labs banner
^


December 22, 2011

Q. Thank you for your reply. Does the anodizing of stainless steel create an oxide layer like with anodizing titanium? This is the biggest question I am trying to find an answer to.

Thank you

Joell Cruz
- Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
^


November 2013

A. Hi Joell. Yes, the color of anodized stainless steel is caused by interference as light waves bounce off of the stainless steel and off of the oxide surface. While you can certainly attempt the process yourself, at this point I don't think there is a wealth of public domain information on operating parameters -- it is still largely proprietary.

Regards,

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


January 10, 2012

adv.
I want to emphasize that a long time ago (2003) I posted that our stainless anodizing was not durable in comparison to titanium anodizing (see my first posting in this discussion). It is not true anymore - we have developed stainless coating that provides the same (or similar) range of colors as titanium anodizing (plus black), and the colors are perfectly durable. We have installed this technological process at a surgical instruments repair company.


24520

anna_berkovich
Anna Berkovich
Russamer Lab
supporting advertiser
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
russamer labs banner
^



August 16, 2012

Q. I want to know if the SS trim from a classic car can be colored even if the type of SS is not known.
Thanks.

Mark Brizzi
customs - Parish, New York USA
^


August 16, 2012

A. Hi Mark. There are probably other ways to color the trim than anodizing (chrome-look paint, for example), but you might contact Prismatic Stainless Steel [from B&M Finishers, a finishing.com supporting advertiser] and Russamer to see what they say. There are a lot of threads here, and they may not stumble back onto this one soon :-)

Regards,

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



Anodizing Aluminum and Stainless Steel Together: Can It Be Done?

November 9, 2013

Q. I have a Japanese made fishing reel I wish to re-anodize all black. It has a stainless steel component held in place by stainless steel rivets. I wish to re-anodize the whole thing without drilling out the rivets and removing the ss component because I can't find anyone competent enough to redo the rivets in the same quality as the manufacturer.

Japanese fishing reel-2

Can the aluminum and stainless be anodized together?

I also see mixed answers about anodizing stainless steel alone; some say it corrodes, others say it can be done. Can anyone give an authoritative answer on this?

Thanks!

Adam Jaynes
- Yucaipa, California, USA
^


November 12, 2013

A. Hi Adam. As a practical matter, forget about anodizing your fishing reel as an assembly. Although almost nothing is utterly impossible, the processes for anodizing stainless steel and aluminum are radically different and each process is likely to destroy the other material unless it was flawlessly masked, which is highly improbable. Perhaps you can drill out the rivets and replace them with screws.

As for whether anodized stainless steel corrodes ...

"Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky" -- Kansas, 'Dust In The Wind'

... but anodized stainless steel has been successfully used for medical equipment, wall panels, and some other purposes. Good luck.

Regards,

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



Ed. note: Please!
No abstract questions.
Huh?

April 18, 2014

Q. I want anodising on carbon steel or stainless steel fasteners. Is it possible ?

Paresh jadavani
Kundan - Mumbai,Maharashtra,india
^


April 2014

A. Hi Paresh. Anodizing of stainless steel is certainly possible as you can read in the earlier responses of this thread. As for steel, please see letter 37471, "Can plain carbon steel be anodized?"

But the point that we have been struggling continuously to make on this thread remains "Why do you ask? What precisely do you want?". Can it be immersed in a solution and be made the anode in a circuit? Yes, of course it can; even a hamster could be "anodized" in that very limited and silly sense. If you mean, can it be immersed in some sort of solution and made anodic to generate some sort of beneficial coating, the answer is still "yes" for stainless, and the answer is "possibly" for steel. But if you mean can it be anodized like aluminum is to build an electrically insulating coating, or one that can be dyed attractive colors, or increasing its hardness or its corrosion resistance, the answer is "no". Please clarify exactly what you are trying to accomplish. Thanks.

Regards,

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



July 29, 2016

Q. Is it possible to anodize stainless steel brake rotors for a motorcycle? Will the process of braking wear the color? For the record, I want to anodize the two front brake rotors and the one rear rotor of a Harley Davidson sportster. Thank you.

Robert Cluesman
Filmmaker - New York, NY, USA
^


A. Sorry, but the color only results when the coating is limited to a partial wavelength thickness; it is therefore not appropriate for a wear application like a brake rotor.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



February 1, 2017

Q. I need to remove some anodizing from a stainless steel part. Is that possible without damaging any pieces not anodized? Thanks for your help.

Kenneth Colemere
fabrication - San Antonio, Texas USA
^



August 8, 2017

Q. I have 3 different size ball gauges (21 mm, 25 mm, 28 mm) used for what we refer to as a ball drop test to check for the ID to be in spec. (plastics manufacturing plant)? I've currently got a good amount of each of these ball gauges, all solid stainless steel, and we are constantly having the balls mixed up by the operators. I am looking into having these finished in a way that they would be easily distinguishable. I would need something durable, as these are used upwards of 600 times a day. I can't risk any type of coating that would possibly leave debris of any sort in the part. Also, the dropped into a metal trough from about 3 feet high. Any suggestions?

Jordan Hamblen
- Gallatin, Tennessee, USA
^



October 14, 2017

Q. Can I do anodizing on stainless steel to weld it for polymer by hot press bonding ... thanks.

Mahmood M. Hamzah
- madaen, baghdad, iraq
^


October 17, 2017

A. Mahmood,
When questions get added to old threads like this, I don't know how clear it is that the answer probably lies in the replies above.

In this case, see Ted Mooney's reply dated April 2014, where he says "Why do you ask? What precisely do you want?"

You say anodizing, and then you say welding, and then you say hot press bonding, all of which are different things. You also mention polymer, which to me means plastic materials. I really don't know what your actual end goal is.

Since anodizing is not normally done on stainless, I think people need to focus less on naming a process they want and more on describing the surface they want to produce.

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
stellar solutions banner
^


October 2017

thumbs up sign Hi Ray. That was excellent advice that people "focus less on naming a process they want and more on describing the surface they want to produce".

It was Mahmood's choice to have his inquiry added to this thread so I think that he is making a component from stainless steel and polymer, and is looking for some process to do on the stainless steel (possibly anodizing) which will help the polymer which is attached to it by hot press bonding adhere better. My guess is that "welding" was just an unfortunately chosen translation and he actually meant "bonding".

Most of the time, including this time, the questions are too brief; we advise people that if their question is shorter than the answer they want, it's probably an abstract question which is difficult/impossible to answer properly :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



October 18, 2017

Q. Hi,
I have a few pieces of 316Ti, and would like to combine it with some other material to create a pattern forge weld (Damascus), layering a piece of D6 on both sides with it, so the D6 becomes the core.

If I use either one of the following material (316, 3i6L or 310 with similar expansion coefficient to the 316Ti) as the second material with the 316Ti, Will it give me a significant contrast when anodized?

Or do you propose an alternative martial?

Your insight will be highly appreciated.

Hannes Coertzen
Hobbyist Knife Maker - Centurion, South Africa
^


October 2017

A. Hi Hannes. 316Ti is only about 5 parts per thousand Titanium so (without any actual experience with it) I wouldn't expect it to be significantly different than other 316 stainless steels, but it would be nice if a reader actually did have experience with it. I also have no experience in knife making, but understand that 3XX is not used for blades since it can't be hardened.

I'm not sure what if anything anodizing of stainless steel has to do with your question. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


sidebar2 January 29, 2018

Q. I am wanting to develop a front skid plate for my vehicle. Aluminum is too soft in that if it hit the ground or a rock it dents too easily. I would like to make the skid plate out of stainless steel, but I am really wanting it to be black. This skid plate will undoubtedly get abused ... scratched, gouged, road grime, etc.
I am wondering if anodizing this stainless steel skid plate black, will it stay black under this type of abuse?

Karl Helser
- Portland, Oregon USA
^


January 2018

A. Hi Karl. Any coating, including stainless steel anodizing, will quickly scratch off. I'd suggest black powder coating or paint because it is easy to touch up.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


February 4, 2018

A. Hi Karl,

If this is made from stainless steel 400-series, like 420 or similar (surgical steel), it is possible to anodize it black and then special final treat it, so the black becomes as durable as hard anodized aluminum. We are working on similar treatment for 300-stainless steel, but not lucky yet.

anna_berkovich
Anna Berkovich
Russamer Lab
supporting advertiser
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
russamer labs banner
^


December 2018

A. Hi Anna. I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one.

When you are off-roading and you misjudge the size of boulders vs. your road clearance, skid plates (which are optional equipment on most off-road vehicles), allow the whole weight of the car to 'skid' across the boulders on that plate instead of it ripping out the brake lines and other under-body equipment. As Karl says, it will get gouged; and I don't think any finish can maintain its color after gouging :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



sidebar2 July 11, 2018

Q. I have powder coated (black) steel posts that set on columns (5) on my house. The posts are welded onto flat powder coated black plates. The installer used large stainless steel bolts to attach to the columns.
He wants to paint the bolts black. I'm concerned I will be painting them every year. Would this anodizing process (black) work on these bolts? Would it decrease our maintenance concern? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Tammy Murray
- LAFAYETTE, Indiana
^


July 2018

Nut covers


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(commissions from your purchases make finishing.com possible)

A. Hi Tammy. If you can find black stainless steel bolts, whether anodized or blackened in a different fashion, they'd probably be okay. But getting a shop to anodize a handful of bolts might be expensive.

There are PVC or nylon caps or covers for nuts & bolts that might be more practical.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


July 20, 2018

thumbs up sign  Thanks

Tammy Murray [returning]
- Lafayette, Indiana US
^



September 25, 2018

Q. I'm producing a stainless steel guitar pick, and I would like a shiny red finish (presumably shiny from polishing the pick before processing for color). I realize the due to use, virtually any process will wear off, but it only had to look good for a short time. What would be your recommendation please? Thank you.

MJ Klein
- Hukou township, Hsinch county, Taiwan
^


September 26, 2018

A. TiCN with PVD technique can give copper-ish (antique like) colour. Actual colour depends on Ti/C/N composition and other deposition conditions. Being a hard coating it could last for some reasonable time depending on usage. But there are many practical issues like pre cleaning, handling & manipulation of the wire in a vacuum chamber, quantity, etc.

H.R. Prabhkara
Bangalore Plasmatek - Bangalore, Karnatka, India
^


September 28, 2018

thumbs up sign  Thank you for your reply.

MJ Klein [returning]
- Hukou Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan
^


September 29, 2018

A. If hard temper aluminum would work, it can be anodized and dyed to any color in the rainbow, and the anodizing would be fairly durable.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina
^

sidebar2

Side question: I see you are in Taiwan. Any relation to James Klein, ex GIT?


October 1, 2018

@Jeffrey Holmes, CEF, sorry I don't know who that is. My wife owns a manufacturing consortium here.

thanks.

MJ Klein [returning]
- Hukou Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan
^



October 27, 2018

Q. What is the electrochemical process of anodizing stainless steel to Golden color?

Sumit Poddar
BICYCLES - Ludhian, Punjab, India
^


October 2018

A. Hi Sumit. Please tell us your situation because abstract questions usually can't be well answered :-(

If you're doing a couple of custom bicycles, anodizing may be the way -- what grade of stainless do you want to anodize?

But if this is a production situation, are you sure that your interest is in anodizing stainless steel in a golden color? I think depositing titanium nitride on it in a PVD chamber is more common, more robust, far more authentic looking, and probably cheaper too  :-)

Get back to us please. Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



November 29, 2018

Q. Hello... I have a black "metal" Seiko watch band which I need a clasp for. If I buy a stainless steel clasp, can it be anodized to black to match the band?

24520-3

Sue Drinker
Drinker Durrance Graphics - Carbondale, Colorado USA
^



December 2018

A. Hi Sue. Surely it can be done, but the issue will be the non-affordability of asking a shop to do a one-off job like this. A faucet washer is a 50¢ item but getting a plumber to replace it is not a $2 job. Similarly, a plating shop can anodize thousands of those items at a time at a unit cost of say 50¢, but doing one would be liable to cost $50 or more.

If you can find a jeweler specializing in Seiko watches, maybe he can find a black clasp for you. The originals are probably PVD coated rather than anodized.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


December 1, 2018

thumbs up sign  Thanks! I will try all other possible avenues, but rather than holding it together with a safety pin, I might not have any other options.

Sue Drinker
Drinker Durrance Graphics - Carbondale, CO USA
^



March 1, 2019
24520-4

This question is for everyone on this board but I hope to get an answer from both Ted Mooney and Anna Berkovich.

I am in Michigan, looking for colorized stainless steel with "mirror finish" specifically, blue, green, purple, red and gold colors.

I would like to include this material and finishes on metal art/sculpture pieces.

What are my options? Anodizing or another process? (do not want to use aluminum - it must stainless steel)
Do you know any places I can buy samples from?

Thank you

Rich Anderson
Metal Artist - Lansing, Michigan
^


March 2019

A. Hi Rich. I'll alert Anna that you'd like her input, and hopefully other readers will chime in with technical comments. I am not aware of techniques other than anodizing, but you might search the site with the term "inco process stainless", and then use the same term on google.

Sorry, but we cannot suggest sourcing or brands beyond Prismatic Stainless Steel [from B&M Finishers, a finishing.com supporting advertiser] and Russamer Lab [a finishing.com supporting advertiser] (why?)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


March 2, 2019

A. It's going to be real difficult to have your stainless steel art anodized after you are done building it.

I suggest using transparent metal dyes instead.

Marvin Sevilla
- Managua Nicaragua
^



August 7, 2019

Q. Will anodizing 316 to a color/tint increase emissivity of the material?

Bruce Schram
- Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin USA
^


August 23, 2019

A. Bruce,
Anodizing is pretty rare for stainless. Not sure what you're trying to accomplish.

Nor do I come across that word too often, so let's check what property it refers to: "The emissivity of the surface of a material is its effectiveness in emitting energy as thermal radiation."

I'm going to go with, I rather doubt that anodizing would have any non-negligible effect on the emissivity of 316 stainless.

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
stellar solutions banner
^


August 23, 2019

Q. Thanks Ray for the response. My customer requires 316 stainless enclosure for corrosion resistance in a food preparation application. The watts dissipated in both a brushed 316 enclosure (acceptable)and a painted 316 enclosure (unacceptable)have the same watt dissipation at the start. Conduction and convection properties remain the same for both. Under constant load and stabilized temperatures, the painted 316 enclosure will stabilize at a 15-20 °C lower temperature than the brushed 316. Since all other factors are the same, I can only assume that it is the result of the change in emissivity between 316 stainless (about 0.28 @ 24 °C) and the paint (about 0.91 @ 27 °C). Would anodized 316 provide the same emissivity of the painted enclosure and would it be as durable?

Bruce Schram [returning]
- Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin USA
^


September 3, 2019

Bruce,
So what you're saying is the layer of paint is acting as a thermal barrier or insulator, keeping the heat in too much?

Again, my educated guess is that an anodized surface would not be an appreciable thermal barrier. But again, I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish. As in, what's wrong with just a bare stainless steel surface, brushed, polished, or whatever?

Besides that, if you need to increase heat dissipation, you could build cooling fins into the structure.

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
stellar solutions banner
^



October 13, 2019

Q. Hello,
I'm looking to produce 316 stainless steel jewelry. Is anodized coating on stainless steel (gold .8 microns or black) more or less durable than PVD?

Mel cozzens
People Preach - San Francisco, California
^


October 2019

A. Hi. My guess is you'll be happier with PVD coatings than anodizing if you want gold color.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^

----
Ed. note: This site has more than 60,000 topics, and is most valuable when each discussion stays on topic so relevant discussions can be easily found. So we moved Ms. Cozzens' follow up questions about gold plating, titanium nitride, etc., to topic 34692 rather than having this anodizing thread wander into those topics :-)



October 1, 2020

Q. Hello, can I anodize stainless steel 304 bolts with gold colour? If I can, what method can I use for my project at home? Which one is more costly between PVD and anodizing for stainless steel?

Ameer Asyraf
- Johor Malaysia
^


October 2020

A. Hi Ameer. I'm sorry that there are so many questions & answers about anodizing and coloring of stainless steel on this site that it can be time-consuming to find them :-)

Prismatic Stainless Steel [from B&M Finishers, a finishing.com supporting advertiser] and Russamer Lab [a finishing.com supporting advertiser], probably among others, offer proprietary solutions. For your "home project", Goran Budija offers one example of the chemical mix and process conditions in thread 33236, although I wouldn't use toxic, carcinogenic chromic acid in my home. You can search the web or scholar.google.com for "Inco process" or "Inco coloring" for more detail on this.

The issue with PVD is that you need a specialized vacuum chamber which is at least a thousand times as costly as most hobbyists would entertain.

You probably think your question is simple and clear cut, but without knowing why you want to do what you want to do, how big the bolts are, how many, where they will be used, exactly what "tone" of gold you are looking for, etc., it is difficult to say whether there might be a third and better alternative. But I would suggest the online pamphlet "Colouring Stainless Steel" from Euro Inox as a great intro. Good luck.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


October 2, 2020

A. Try 50 gms phosphoric acid/ 1 lit water solution, 20 minutes immersion, boiling solution (according to patent US2521580A). Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb Croatia
^



February 27, 2022

Q. So basically the thread is saying you cannot alodine stainless steel? or am I incorrect? But it seems Alodine (not anodizing) cannot be performed on stainless, judging by careful reading of all Q&As ... trying to see the clearest reply to that question.

Anthony 'OldMotorBikeMan' O'Hara
customiser of many useless & sometimes useful things - Beeliar, west australia
^


February 2022

A. Hi Anthony. As Ray Kremer suggests, it's probably best to talk about what we are actually trying to achieve with a material rather than focus on names because that leads us down the rabbit hole :-)
Alodine is a Henkel trademark for a chromate conversion coating of aluminum. You can certainly dip stainless steel into a vat of Alodine solution, but it will not acquire a chromate conversion coating on it.

So I would say "no, you cannot Alodine stainless steel". But others might say "I have an aluminum component which we threaded stainless steel inserts into, and then Alodined it; of course you can Alodine stainless steel, but you can't anodize it" -- by which they mean the Alodine doesn't ruin the stainless steel but anodizing does.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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