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Anodizing of Stainless Steel & Brass Q&A's

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"Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty"
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Q. dear sir

We are manufacture of sliders for zippers from brass & stainless steel

We need the chemical processes for anodizing this material of black color just for color '

where do I go? thanks Eng. sh j

Sharbek jubran
paskal yiron israel

A. It is very common to blacken stainless steel and brass using black oxide chemistry. This is a conversion coating process that will impart a nice, durable finish. Look in your local business directory for a plating or coating shop near you.

Dan Brewer
chemical process supplier - Gurnee, Illinois

A. Doesn't Prismatic Stainless Steel [from B&M Finishers, a supporting advertiser] perform and license an anodizing process for stainless? They are the only ones that I have heard of that developed this process.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Q. Is the process that's used to anodize steel the same as aluminum?

Norman Ramirez
- Bay Point, California, USA

probertEthumb Aluminum How-To
"Chromating - Anodizing - Hardcoating"
by Robert Probert

You'll love this book. has sold 880 copies over the years without ever a single return request :-)

A. Anodizing of aluminum is a very widely practiced generic process and the colors are the result of dyes put into the pores; anodizing of stainless steel is done with proprietary processes and the colors are a partial wavelength interference effect like a drop of oil in a puddle; anodizing of steel is not possible to my knowledge.

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

Q. Dear Sir,

We have some stainless steel meshes for anodizing. We are pretty sure they are "free of Oil or gunk" (washed throughly by weak acid). But we still got "uncoloured spots" after anodizing. We dunno what the problem is.

Sean Pat
Manufacturer - Hong Kong
June 16, 2008

Hi, Sean. I would suspect that the parts are not clean, and it sounds like you suspect that as well. Scrub some sample parts with pumice [adv: pumice on eBay or Amazon] or Bon-Ami [affil link] before the acid dip and see what you find out. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
June 17, 2008

Q. Is it possible to carry out anodizing of heat treated mild steel and how?

Sam yar
student - India
June 11, 2009

A. Hi, Sam. I already expressed my opinion that you can't anodize steel. But the real problem here is what do YOU mean?

What operation do you want to do to the steel, or what qualities or properties are you trying to impart to the surface?

Can you put steel parts into a tank and make them anodic -- of course you can, but what damage you will do to the steel depends on what solution is in the tank, and I don't think there is anything you can do to it this way that will be beneficial :-)


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
June 11, 2009

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