Anodize Dye Samples

I finally got around to trying some anodize dyes. Dyeing is an extra step in between anodizing and sealing.
First, I did a normal anodization to obtain a 0.001 inch thick coating. Conditions to achieve this are discussed in the March 3, 2012 posting to this blog.
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I did my dyeing of these small samples in a 16 ounce mini crockpot, using 8 ounces of diluted dye. This crockpot did not have a power control, so I ran it with a variac in order to maintain the solution at 140F.
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The dye solution is 8 ounces of distilled water and 1/8 ounce (3.7 ml) of dye concentrate. To measure the dye concentrate with some accuracy, I used a transfer pipette. It is graduated, and can pick up 1 ml at a time.
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Sealing is the usual procedure of boiling in distilled water. I did not observe dye leaching into the sealing water.
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Across the bottom of this picture are 4 dyed samples: Black HBL, Bronze, Copper BF, and Gold S. These are from Caswell. Also in the picture for comparison are two scrap pieces of 360 brass.
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The Gold dye comes out the closest to brass, but my samples were unevenly colored.
The Copper dye is something of a strange color, best described as “pumpkin”.
The Bronze dye is quite dark, like a piece of sculpture that has been given a patina.
The Black sample is quite satisfactory. This dye is more expensive than the others.

To get a satisfactory brass color, I will try to mix some of the dyes. I intend to use such a mixture in order to make “bimetal” reels.

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One Response to Anodize Dye Samples

  1. Leroy says:

    Hi Dave, You will have to play around with the anodizing time to get your colors. For black I run mine at the max time and some of the other colors I run them at some where between 50%-75% of the max time. Good info on Caswell’s Finishing Forum.

    Leroy………………..

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