-- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry
Serious Education & the most FUN
you can have in metal finishing smiley

No popups, spam, registration or passwords
on this site
current topics
topic 44929

High temperature black anodize

A discussion started in 2007 but continuing through 2018


Q. We are working with a 6063 extruded aluminum housing that requires we heat it to a temp of 500 °F (260 °C) so we can shrink it over another part. This housing is anodized black by the extruder. During heating in an oven, over some time the parts change color to a purplish-bronze hue. If we heat them quickly we can avoid significant color shift, unfortunately this is hard to control using the oven. We are trying to avoid the capital expenditure of an induction heater (which does work well as the parts are heated so quickly).

We oven tested samples of another aluminum 6061 part and found some that change color much less readily (but still do change slowly). We don't know and can't find out how these parts were anodized. So we know it's possible to improve this but not how. I doubt it's the difference between the 6063 and 6061 alloy as their composition is very similar.

Is getting this high temperature colorfastness simply a matter of specifying the correct MIL-8265 Type (i.e., I, IB, IC, II, IIB, III)? Or should a special sealing or dying method or compound be specified?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Tom Bucella
Engineering Manager - Rochester, New York


A. You have 2 options: Specify either 1) a heat resistant dye or 2) electrolytic (two-step) coloring. Dyes are organometallic molecules subject to degradation; electrolytic colors are inorganic, so more stable.

Heat resistance data are scarce but correspond fairly well with light (fade) resistance. MIL-A-8625F allows the customer to specify light fastness testing of Class 2 (dyed) coatings, although this is typically only done for initial qualification of a process. A Type II anodize coating thickness of at least 0.001" improves fade resistance. All dyed anodize is required by spec. to be properly sealed.

Probably, best to correlate actual past results with dye data from the anodizer(s). Your anodizer(s) has records on dyes used for at least the past year per MIL-A-8625F, maybe even 10 years if using a modern quality system. My opinion of the fade resistance of some common black dyes: Black CRO < BK < BK Super < MLW < HBL. A dye supplier such as U.S. Specialty Color Corporation will have more information.

The Aluminum Association has a "Designation System for Aluminum Finishes," publication DAF-45. Some designations for electrolytically dyed anodize are A-34 for Architectural Class 2 (10-18 microns) and A-44 for Architectural Class 1 ( >18 microns). Not all anodizing jobshops use these designations, however.

Ken Vlach
- Goleta, California
contributor of the year honored Ken for his countless carefully
researched responses. He passed away May 14, 2015.
Rest in peace, Ken. Thank you for your hard work
which the finishing world continues to benefit from.


A. We do black anodize here. Some of the items I do are for photographic lighting which gets very hot - near 500 deg f & our black dye has no problem with that temp.

There are many black dyes available for anodizers to purchase - each one has a lightfast & heat-fast rating - your anodizer may be buying a dye that is not heat-fast.

Also, even with a good dye it is important that you have a thick enough coating to get a good black color & a good seal.

If your anodize is being done by the extruder, they may be using 2 step electro coloring - that should definitely not be fading.

Hope this helps.

David A. Kraft
- Long Island City, New York


A. The dye is covered above. Here are two more problems. At the temperature you bake the waters of hydration in the seal are driven off. Secondly, at your baking temperatures the coefficient of expansion of the underlying aluminum is 5 times that of the oxide coating - ,so it cracks!

robert probert
Robert H Probert
Robert H Probert Technical Services
supporting advertiser
Garner, North Carolina
Editor's note: Mr. Probert is the author of Aluminum How-To / Aluminio El Como
and co-author of The Sulfamate Nickel How-To Guide

February 8, 2013

Q. I have scoured the internet, this site and the anodizing books available to me including those by Arthur Brace and Robert Probert but I have found precious little information on inorganic black dye using cobalt acetate that is beyond the basics.

I did find a specification that listed temperatures and concentrations but I'm still looking for more. Such as pH values, control and titration methods for bath analysis. I wonder if it is identical to the titration I do for nickel acetate?

Can anyone point me in the right direction to find the information I need.

Tim Hamlett
Process Quality/Laboratory Supervisor - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA

February 13, 2013

A. Tim

Try searching "effects of a simulated space environment on thermal radiation characteristics..."

Table 1 has some parameters, but not specs. I'm not sure if the sulfide will cause interference, but you might be able to test with a colorimeter typically used to analyze (waste) waters.

Willie Alexander
- Colorado Springs, Colorado

High temperature color anodize

September 24, 2018 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Can I know if color anodize can stand temperature of 200 degrees for 4 hours without fading? Or any recommended solution on temperature and time ?

Alan Ang Der Chyuan
Machining House - BM,Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

simultaneous September 27, 2018

A. In my opinion anodization layers with the adsorptive colouration procedure (e.g., black) are not stable at 200 °C. They are bleached after a short time. It depends on the temperature and time. Temperatures of over app. 100 °C (150 °C only a short time) can be critical.

Anodization coatings are more resistant with the electrolytic colouration procedure (e.g. Colinal). The color is electrolytically deposited in the base of the layer. But only a few colors are possible (bronze, brown to black)
More colors are possible with a combined electrolytic-adsorptive process.

Which color should be anodized?
Which basic material?
Otherwise, a test of a prototype.

Joerg Beerli
AluSolutions - Hallau, SH, Switzerland

September 27, 2018

A. Alan, yes, it's possible that it can. That being said, not all anodizing dyes, and for that matter, not anodizing processes are equal. Company A may have a process that works well for your application, Company B may not. It would seem to me that this is something that you could test yourself. Take your anodized part and stick it in a preheated oven for 4 hours and observe results. I would repeat the process numerous times to insure numerous heat cycles does not have an effect.

Another thing that can cause fading is exposure to intense UV lighting.

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Idaho

September 2018

A. Hi. Alan has not specified whether it's 200 °F or 200 °C. Most of the world uses C, so that would be my assumption, but many posters use F in deference to this being a USA-based site where F is still the commonly understood temperature scale. Obviously it makes a big difference as 200 °C is 392 °F.

And unfortunately, it can't be determined from context because the posted question is completely abstract. Please get back to us with your actual situation, Alan.


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

September 28, 2018

Excellent catch Ted! My response was under the assumption of 200 °F. If it's 200 °C, then dyed anodizing should not be the coating used.

Marc Green Marc Green
anodizer - Idaho

If you have a question in mind which seems off topic, please Search the Site

ADD a Comment to THIS thread START a NEW threadView CURRENT TOPICS

Disclaimer: It's not possible to 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 may be deliberately harmful.

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

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental ComplianceTesting Svcs. & Devices

©1995-2018, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About   -  Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.