Colour Anodising

The great advantage of anodising is that the anodised coating is dyeable allowing for a great range of possible colours.  The choice is between a natural/silver anodised finish or a coloured one.  Advanced Anodising can currently offer the following colours -

 

Black (Most commonly anodised colour), Gold, Blue, Red, Green, Pink, Purple, Orange, Titanium ,Yellow, and Bronze

 

All these colours are avialable every day of the week and the price of any job is just dependend on whether it is natural or coloured.  Having mutlple colours in the same job does not affect the price.  The only colour not available is white.

 

Colour Matching Anodising

We are frequently asked to do a particular colour or match a colour.  To do this we will need the customer to supply a sample of the colour they are after, so that we are best able to attempt a colour match.

 IMPORTANT NOTE - While we will make every attempt to colour match a sample, there are various difficulties in achieving this, hence a colour match can not be guaranteed.

 1.  Matching to a paint sample is tricky because anodised colour look very different but we can usually come up with a colour that will fit

2.  We may use different make or type of dye to that used in the sample - For example one major anodising dye supplier has 3 red dyes availlable.

3.  Variations in the grade of aluminium can result in different tones and/or shades of colour.   For example: A recent job required matching 5 bike pieces to an anodised sample from the bike.  We got one piece matching exactly to the sample but the other pieces all ended up looking like different gold dyes had been used for each piece.  The issue was that only one piece that was anodised was the same grade as the sample and the others were quite different.

4.  Only having a verbal instruction on colour can cause issues.  We have on one occasion been asked to do a blue in a mid-range.  We anodised and dyed the item to a royal blue only to find that the customer actually had in mind a electric blue.

5.  Even if we use the same dye as another anodiser that are many subtle variations in operating parameters that can result in a variation of colour.

 Colour maching is certainly possible but we will need a sample to work to, preferably an anodised one, and either the same grade of alloy or one that is very similar to the sample.  Because of this a colour match cannot be guaranteed.

 

Note on Bronze Colour

We use a liquid dye process that is different to the bronze dye used by the big extrusion anodisers, which is an electrodeposited dye.  The liquid dye we use will vary in both colour and lightfastness to the electrodeposited bronze dyes.  It is recommended that if you  are matching to a bronze sample produced by an extrusion anodiser that an extrusion anodiser also does the anodising work, as we will more than likely not be able to get the same result.

 

Grade of Alloy and Anodised Colour

Generally speaking the following holds true for the following series/grades of Aluminium alloys;

 

1000 series - (e.g. 1100)

 Suitable for the full colour range, including bright finishes.

 

2000 series - (e.g. 2011, 2024,...)

 These alloys tend to darker shades; not suitable for all colours, particularly light colours and shades.

 

3000 series - (e.g. 3103)

There is a tendency toward matt finish and it is difficult to achieve bright glossy finishes; not suitable for all colours.

 

4000 series - (e.g. 4043)

Not suitable for colour anodising

 

5000 series - (e.g. 5005, 5083)

 These alloys are suitable for the full colour range, including bright finishes.

 

6000 series - (e.g. 6060, 6061, 6063)

Suitable for the full colour range, with 6063 being the most suitable for bright finishing

 

7000 series -

This series of alloys a bit more variable with regard to colour.  Motorbike rims such as the 'Excel' type anodise really well and take all colours, while it is easy to achieve a glossy look these alloys are not suitable for bright anodising.

 

Cast alloys -

Depends on casting; most are only suitable for dark colours or not at all

 

 

UV resitance of anodised colours

Another thing to consider when colouring is the requirement for UV resistance.  The dyes we use are not specifically rated for UV exposure but they are rated for light fastness which is a related measurement.  For a lot of applications UV resistance is not critical as the items will not be continuously exposed to UV.  Advanced Anodising Ltd uses dyes made by Clariant, who specialise in industrial chemicals and dyes.  We currently use  the following Clarient anodising dyes -

 

DYE                                             Lightfastness (1-8 scale)

Sanodal Gold 4N                       >8

Sanodal Yellow 3GL                 >8 (Tends to a fluoro finish)

Aluminium Orange RL              6

Sanodal Red B3LW                  >8  (This dye can also do pink, unknown light fastness)

Sanodal Blue 2LW                    >8

Aluminium Violet CLW             6-7

Sanodal Green 3LW                 >8

Sanodal Deep Black MLW       >8

Aluminium Bronze 2LW            7

 

For any anodised item permanently exposed to the sun a light fastness of >8 is recommended.  All colours, but black, can be done from a very light shade to a very dark shade but if light fastness is critical then you will require a darker shade.  All that said dyes with a lower light fastness have been successfully used on such things as bike frames, hiking equipment, sports equipment, etc .. for many years very successfully.  PLEASE NOTE: Ultimately all Aluminium dyes will fade regardless of the light fastness rating of the dye used.

 

Should you have a colour sample we will try to match as close as possible.  An exact colour match cannot be guaranteed, as there are many variables that effect anodising from one run to the next.

 

Please note that white is not a colour option available for anodised Aluminium.