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topic 56828

Need help in electrocoloring of anodized aluminum

A discussion started in 2011 but continuing through 2019

February 24, 2011

Q. We are designing a new production line to produce mirror image of nickel finish for aluminium profile . So far I have been unable to find out the chemical that needed for nickel finish and the way of doing it. We able to produce the mirror image by using three chemicals which are H3PO4, H2SO4 and HNO3. But we have difficulty in getting the nickel finish color (some sort like light champagne color). Seeking for expertise here.
Thanks in advance.

Jay Lee
process engineer - Klang, Selangor, Malaysia

February 25, 2011

A. Hi, Jay.

There should be plating and anodizing process suppliers or consultants in your area who can help you get started; you do not need to independently re-invent these technologies. It sounds like you are doing brite-dipping of aluminum. To my knowledge this process will not by itself produce any coloration. After that, I think you will need to anodize the sheet, dye it with a nickel or light champagne dye, and then seal it.


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

February 25, 2011

Q. I agree with you that brite-dipping of aluminum will not produce any coloration. Our lines do have anodizing process. But I do not have any ideas on how to produce the nickel finish after anodizing process (We have no problem on the anodizing process).
What is the chemical solution that needed (nickel sulphate)? What is the concentration and the process parameter (eg. temperature, pH...). Is this process called nickel plating? Hope that someone can give me a hand on this.

Jay Lee [returning]
- Klang, Selangor, Malaysia

simultaneous February 28, 2011

Jay, if you are looking to give a champagne color (similar to ENP shade)to the anodized aluminum, you would have to electro color the articles in a tin sulphate solution for a few seconds. You would have to add the electro color bath to your anodizing line for this purpose.Please understand that the bath has to be regularly maintained to give consistent color. Color can also vary depending on the aluminum alloys.

Winston D'Souza
- Bombay, India

February 28, 2011


Your second posting make things a lot clearer.The process you are looking for is not nickel plating. It is called electrolytic coloring, usually for architectural profiles. The beauty electrolytic coloring is that they don't fade when expose to to UV light ( sunlight ) as compared to organic dyes.

Electrolytic coloring deposits metal salts into the anodized pores, usually, salts of nickel,cobalt, tin etc., using AC voltage. Yes, nickel sulfate is one of the metal salts used. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, you'll be better off getting the coloring solutions from suppliers which comes along with tech support.

SK Cheah
- Penang, Malaysia

Chalking after electrocolor dying process on anodized aluminum

August 28, 2019

Q. Good am sirs,
we have a problem about our aluminum finished product, the surface becomes powdery after our electrocoloring process and it has an effect on the color appearance of the aluminum, I hope you can help me -- we are using a tin bath and the temp. of the solution ranges from 20-25 °C, std stannous concentration is 5-15 g/L actual: 7g/L
Nickel Sulphate: 26 g/L

Thank you in advance!

dhazel de mesa
- philippines

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