Titanium Anodizing

Titanium Anodizing

Titanium Anodizing

What is Titanium Anodizing

Titanium anodizing is a process in which titanium oxides are artificially grown on top of an underlying titanium base metal using electrolysis. A very similar process can be done with aluminum, however, aluminum anodizing requires the part to be dyed in order to create the desired color. This process is usually done professionally as it can be a messy process. This dyeing process is not required with titanium because of its oxide film which refracts light differently than most other metal oxides. It acts like a thin film that reflects a specific wavelength of light depending on the thickness of the film. By varying the voltage applied during the anodization process the color of the titanium surface can be controlled. This allows titanium to be anodized to almost any color that one can think of.

Anodizing is the deliberate oxidation of the surface of metals by electrochemical means, during which the component oxidized is the anode in the circuit. Anodizing is only applied commercially to metals, such as: aluminum, titanium, zinc, magnesium, niobium, zirconium, and hafnium, whose oxide films offer protection from progressive corrosion. These metals form tough and well-integrated oxide films that exclude or slow further corrosion by acting as an ion barrier membrane.

Titanium anodizing is the oxidation of titanium to alter the surface properties of produced parts, including improved wear properties and enhanced cosmetic appearance.

What Are the Benefits of Titanium Anodizing

There are several benefits of titanium anodizing, including:

  1. Reduced risk of galling by providing reduced friction and increased hardness, where the parts are abraded.
  2. Improved corrosion resistance from anodized (passivated) surfaces.
  3. Biocompatibility, making low-corrosion and zero-contaminant surfaces.
  4. Low cost, durable color.
  5. High cosmetic quality and a wide spectrum of colors.
  6. Electrically passive and low-corrosion surface.
  7. Biocompatible component identification, as there are no dyes or colorants used.

How Long Will Anodized Titanium Last

The anodized surface of a piece of titanium will remain stable for years, if undisturbed by abrasion or the limited chemical attacks to which titanium is susceptible. Titanium is so resistant to corrosion that it even fails to obey the norms of galvanic corrosion.

Is Anodized Titanium Prone to Rust

No, anodized titanium is not prone to rust. Very little can affect anodized titanium, when a well-integrated and tough oxide film has been formed. Titanium does not corrode rapidly other than under exceptional and very aggressive conditions.

How To Anodize Titanium

To achieve a basic level of anodizing of small titanium parts, you simply need to build an electrochemical cell with a DC power source and an appropriate electrolyte. With the circuit connected so that the bath is the cathode and the titanium part is the anode, the current carried through the cell will oxidize the surface of the component. Time in the bath circuit, the applied voltage, and the concentration of (and chemistry of) the electrolyte will alter the resulting color. Precise control is hard to achieve and maintain, but satisfying results can be shown very easily.