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topic 24520

Anodizing of stainless steel

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A discussion started in 2003 & continuing through 2017

(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 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 Labs
supporting advertiser 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
russamer labs banner


(2007)

A. Both B&M Finishers / Prismatic Stainless Steel [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 slightly 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.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
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 as 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
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
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 Labs
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


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
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
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 Labs
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania



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 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
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
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 reanodize the whole thing without drilling out the rivets and removing the ss component because I cant 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 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
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



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?"

The point that I have been struggling continuously to make on this thread remains "Why do you ask? What precisely do you mean?". 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 "yes" for stainless and "possibly" for steel. If you mean can it be anodized like aluminum to build an electrically insulating coating that can be dyed attractive colors, greatly increasing its hardness & corrosion resistance, the answer is clearly "no". Please clarify exactly what you are trying to accomplish. Thanks.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
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



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 mean?"

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, but don't know, 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 means "bonding".

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

Regards,

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



316Ti vs ? for contrast in anodizing

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 anodizing of stainless steel has to do with your question. Good luck.

Regards,

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



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