Planning on performing some aluminium anodising at home? Here is how:
Before you start:
-Finish your piece properly. Anodizing will not cover up imperfections. Clean and smooth all surfaces. Ideally prepare with caustic soda solution until it is peroperly greyed.
-Cover working area with something disposable in case of spillage. Keep a bucket of alkali handy to neutralise the acid should an emergency occur.
-Make sure you adhere to proper safety protocols – safety glasses, overcoat, gloves, etc. Be safe!
-Allow only lead or aluminium to be suspended in the acid solution!
Ready to go?
-Create the electrolyte by adding 2 parts sulphuric acid to 8 parts distilled water
-Suspend the piece in the acid using aluminium wire. Ensure this constitutes a good electrical connection. This will comprise the anode in the electrolytic reaction
-Suspend a lead cathode which is at least twice the surface area of the anode in the acid bath
-Attach the power supply to the process – anode should be positive and cathode should connected to the negative terminal. Run at 12v for about 45 minutes. The acid will bubble and fizz a little, but the acid should not be allowed to significantly heat up.
-Remove the part, wash it with distilled water.
-If you require, now is the point that you should submerge the part in a dye for around 15 minutes. Afterwards, the part should be boiled to seal the dye.
aluminium anodising, electrolysis, metalwork, finishing, metal dye