Aluminium Anodization at Home




Introduction: Aluminium Anodization at Home

Anodization a kind of hydrolysis that used to prevent long term corrosion on metal and make them scratch-resistant. also it's plated metal holds the paint better.

Usually it's an expensive process and hard to access necessary materials, but most metals such as aluminum & copper can be anodized with household items.

Step 1: Components

- sandpaper

- salt

- distilled vinegar, rice vinegar works too

- cellphone charger (5v / 350~500ma)

- a nickel plated thing such as coin, wrench, key etc.

Step 2: Prepare Metal

First clean the material and remove the crust with sandpaper, that's removes the self-oxidated surface and increases the electrical conductivity

Step 3: Prepare Solution

fill electrolysis cup with the 1/4 vinegar, add salt and water

Step 4: Placement

connect positive probe to nickel plated element and negative to material to anodize. Vinegar leaves dark traces on edges that voltage doesn't reach, try to align center and use multiple positive probes if possible.

Step 5: Power On

observe the white bubbles around the material, if it's affects only one side, rotate the element on each 30 seconds. Also you need to do that in a well ventilated area due to poisonous gas output.

Keep the power on until anodizer completely dries out, remove the material and clean with a paper towel. it's important to remove dark scars while it's fresh.

Step 6: Results

you might not notice so big visual changes on first sight, try to scratch element. process is successful if material not easily getting damaged.

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2 years ago

Anodizing and electroplating are not the same thing. Anodizing forms a oxide layer on the surface of the Anode. Hense the name.

Electroplating is depositing a metal layer on the surface of a cathode. The author is confusing two similar processes. Nickel plating would involve using a nickel anode in an acid. The solution turns blue and becomes nickel acetate. When copper, brass, or steel are used as a cathode, they will be plated in nickel. However this process does not work to plate aluminum because the acid attacks the aluminum eating away the surface faster than the nickel can be deposited.

Call the article "Anodizing Aluminum at Home" and remove sections about electroplating and the article will be more accurate. As it is now, this article gives inaccurate and misleading information.

The Freak
The Freak

2 years ago

How do you know this is not just anodising? Anodised aluminium is also much more scratch resistant, but so is nickel so how do you tell the 2 apart?


5 years ago

Anodizing is creating a thick, porous aluminum oxide surface on aluminum metal which can then be dyed various colors and sealed to retain the color.


5 years ago

Unless I misunderstood, this is electroplating, not actual anodizing, right? Anodizing is only done on aluminium normally, and it involves building up an oxide layer of aluminium on the surface to make the metal's finish more durable. Because you added the coin, this is electrolytic nickel plating, right?

Nice job!


Reply 5 years ago

you right that's nickel plating, terms can be confusing. most people referring anodizing to a similar process that involves electrolytic painting like cases of apple products