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DIY Anodizing

Page history last edited by Stephen M. 11 years, 3 months ago

After creating the syringe pumps for use in the microfluidics lab, I was interested in producing a protective, good-looking finish on the pumps themselves.  I attempted to anodize them in my lab using readily available chemicals.  While many protocols can be found online for anodizing aluminum, the one that I derived can be found below.

 

The piece to be anodized is cleaned using steel wool and possibly a desmut process (dipping in nitric acid if the copper level in the aluminum is too high)  A deep clean and abolition of any erroneous material is accomplished by submerging in a sodium hydroxide (lye) solution (30 grams per liter of water) for 30 to 240 seconds.

 

 

The part to be anodized is then placed in a nitric acid solution (10 mL 99% pure nitirc acid in 1L of water). An aluminum cathode was created using foil and also placed in he solution.  10 Amps of current was supplied for 30 minutes or until the anodization blocked electrical continuity.

 

 

The anodized part is the soaked in dye until a desired shade of color has been achieved before sealing in boiling water for 30 minutes.

 

The finished product.  Note the color difference between the area held above the nitric acid (to avoid dipping the electrical contacts in acid) and the area in the anodizing tank.

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