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A Titanium project

Hello all,

A few questions for a project I’m working on:

  1. can I color titanium in a (enameling) kiln? I want a uniform
    gold/yellow color.

  2. or is there somebody out there who can anodize it for me (we’re
    talking about 4 rectangles 6.5"x3" in 0.5 mm grade 1 titanium
    sheet)?

  3. should I saw the design (a rather intricate design) before or
    after the anodizing/coloring?

I live in Belgium but travel frequently to the US so all
propositions are welcome.

Thanks,
Linda Savineau

Yes you can color Ti in a kiln.  The problem is achieving even
heat on the whole surface at the same time. The edges may color
fast. I have done it successfully on small thick pieces. 

The first visible yellow/gold color appears between 5 and 14 volts.
12 volts can be achieved with a automobile battery or charger. Will
that due? The next yellow is between 50 and 60 volts. At this level
the sheet will probably need etching to achieve the color. Trying to
achieve a perfect even color is always a challenge.

Your surface needs to be totally finished before coloring. It will
be vulnerable to scratches. It will discolor easily with finger
prints and oil. Coloring will highlight any flaws in the surface
finish. I would think you would anodize it last.

Bill

Reactive Metals Studio, Inc.
PO Box 890 * Clarkdale, AZ 86324
Ph-928/634-3434 * Ph-800/876-3434 * Fax-928/634-6734
E-mail- @Michele_Deborah_Bill
Catalog- www.reactivemetals.com

can I color titanium in a (enameling) kiln? I want a uniform
gold/yellow color. 

I would imagine so, but it might take a little experimenting,
unless Bill Seeley can give details.

or is there somebody out there who can anodize it for me (we're
talking about 4 rectangles 6.5"x3" in 0.5 mm grade 1 titanium
sheet)? 

I’d be happy to. Email me off-forum if you want to arrange it.
(@Noel_Yovovich)

should I saw the design (a rather intricate design) before or after
the anodizing/coloring? 

If you cut it after, the edges will not be colored. On the other
hand, I always like to do any “iffy” part of a job as early as
possible so that I haven’t wasted too much effort if it gets screwed
up. For me, coloring titanium isn’t iffy, but if you send it out,
and it comes back other than the way you wanted, then it could be a
real pain.

You have infinite choices about the surface texture of your
titanium, from leaving it however it comes, to detailed patterning
with a ball bur or the like, to wire brushing, sand-blasting, you
name it. Give some thought to that before coloring-- after is too
late.

There are two yellows you can easily get on titanium. The “first
order” yellow is a golden-yellow, but the first-order colors are a
thinner oxide layer, and are not as durable as higher-order colors
(as you go up in temperature or voltage, titanium repeats the same
pattern of colors, as in purple-blue-yellow-pink, but the actual
colors are not the same). The second-order yellow might not be quite
as golden, but is tougher. You actually have many shades to choose
from, from pale pale yellow-green through a warm rich yellow to
almost orange.

I hope this is helpful. I love titanium, as you can tell if you have
seen my work in the Orchid gallery
(http://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/noel.htm) or elsewhere. (Shameless
plug-- I love to travel to teach workshops in the techniques I use
with titanium!)

–Noel