Someone help me with titanium anodization


Anyone know any tricks to getting a working color finish with Titanium? I know turning the voltage up just a tad after reaching optimal color will help build the layer a tad bit thicker but that’s my only trick. Anyone care to help me out? This isnt aluminum ano Ti only.


Turning up the voltage will -change- the color… Ti color is determined by thickness and thickness is determined by voltage.

What do you mean by “aluminum ano ti”?


Auto correct “isn’t”

I know it will change the color but I’m talking raising it after its reached my preferred color (or technically just shy of my highest voltage I would be satisfied with) by approx .05-.25 volts. Just enough that the eye doesn’t notice the difference. Testing etched pieces directly (almost zero time exposed to air between baths) given to starting just shy let sit a second then bump tothe highest voltage seems like it’s not as tough as bumping the voltage to the max preferred after starting with a smaller voltage if that translates.


Will one stock of titanium hold the ano better/worse than a cheaper/more expensive/different composition stock of titanium differently? I suppose there are literally many variables that can be introduced when talking finish as well but I currently don’t have a way to change finishes. I can etch, rinse, double rinse, anodize but that is it.

Side note. Stainless cathode as well. Have read many articles and can’t say I would notice a difference with a different cathode.


Voltages are not an exact kinda thing in this case… it’s a notoriously difficult process to get consistent (or exact) colors with. 0.05 volt change isn’t going to do much of anything, but I suppose technically it would be a thicker layer.

Your exact color will depend on voltage, etch consistency, shape of the part (more on that below), the solution you’re using, what color the walls of the room are, humidity, temperature, if it’s a tuesday, and a number of other things…

This is compounded if you’re doing yo-yos, the shape doesn’t lend itself to consistency and will show off even small errors and arcing problems.

Commercially pure titanium, in my experience, is a little easier to deal with.



Have you tried heat anodize instead? I’ve had successful results with both but its hard to give advice without seeing your setup and what you’re anodizing specifically.


heat isn’t always a great idea on something with incredibly high tolerances to begin with… it’s also quite a bit harder to control.


I’ve been anodizing my friends titanium bicycle frames that he builds. Also an EE.

Titanium ano is the light passing through the oxidized layer, bouncing off the titanium and into your eyeball. Thus, the titanium better be really shiny otherwise you will get super dull colors.

I would highly recommend multi-etch. It makes a huge difference to etch ti first, even if it is already shiny:

I concur with the claims of inconsistent color. The current density will vary over the uneven thicknesses of the yoyo. I usually hook one lead to the frame, then I have a sponge on the other terminal and I just “paint” the ano on. You could have some fun with that.