Post your own question ...
or benefit from 30 years of feedback on 60,000 finishing topics.
Search the site
current topics -- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry

60,000 Q&A topics -- Education, Aloha, & Fun

topic 33236

Color anodize stainless steel, is it possible?


I am a tooling supervisor at an automotive weather strip manufacturing plant. One of our processes (plastic extrusion) utilizes stainless steel calibrators and sizing plates which the extruded section runs through submersed in water.

I am looking to color code the stainless calibrators and sizing plates by job/section #.

Can you anodize stainless steel and if so can you color anodize and "mask" off areas so as not to anodize the working surfaces if necessary?


Michael Laskey
automotive - Gaylord, Michigan


Yes, you can anodize SS and you can mask off some areas.

SS colour anodizing (only for 18/8 SS):
1 lit sulphuric acid
7,5 gm sodium bichromate object=anode, cathode=lead
70-95 C temp., 0,06 A/dm2, 1,3V

Colour sequence: brown - blue - yellow - reddish brown - purple - green.

Good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia



What is the strength of the sulfuric acid?

Is color time or voltage sensitive?

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

affil. link
Handbuch der
from Abe Books



Dear James!

Colour is time sensitive. You must use 1,24 gm/cm3 sulphuric acid, chrome can be up to 50 gm (shorter time)! according to Dettner /Elze: =>
Handbuch der Galvanotechnik/electroplating handbook, four books.

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia

August 11, 2011

Is this is a safe process?

Lukasz Ancypo
- Sokolka, Poland

August 11, 2011

Hi, Lukasz

It is certainly not a safe process for a school science project, and it involves hexavalent chrome. But what do you mean by safe? What is the context?


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

August 29, 2011

I have few question about this project. I have sulphuric acid 98.08%, and I dilute it with distillate water to have 28%. Then I take this acid (100 ml) and add to it 4gm Na2Cr2O7 x 2H20 (298 g/mol). Then I take a small piece of stainless steel (AISI 304) and connected it to anode, cathode was a graphite. I worm it up (90 °C), and put a 1.3V. After this stainless steel colourized at golden-brown, but surface was unstable and easy to remove. What I do wrong. Can somebody help me?

Luck Ancypo
Stainless steel - Sokolka, Poland

b&m finishers banner

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread SEARCH for Threads about ... My Topic Not Found: Start NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

  If you need a product/service, please check these Directories:

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental Compliance

©1995-2020, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About   -  Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.