Titanium Anodizing Rectifiers – Choose Wisely!

Titanium Anodizing DC Power Supply

Titanium Anodizing Rectifiers

We often have customers ask us what matters most when choosing Titanium Anodizing Rectifiers (AKA DC power supplies) to do titanium anodizing.   Some titanium anodizing “systems” offered on websites advocate everything from battery chargers, to tying 9 volt batteries in a series, on up to power supplies that cost hundreds or even multiple thousands of dollars.  Why would somebody consider the more expensive units, and which one would be right for you?  The answer to those questions will probably depend upon the parts you will be anodizing, and, more importantly, why you are considering anodizing those parts.  For hobbyists or for a science project, some of the less expensive methods (like multiple batteries, light dimmers, or battery chargers) may work fine.  But medical and dental machining companies, who require good repeatability for finishing and color-matching when producing thousands of parts, would not have as much luck with these DC supplies.

High quality titanium anodizing rectifiers should include features such as adjustable DC output, automatic voltage control (AKA “constant voltage control” and “automatic voltage regulation”) and should also have a soft-start or ramping control with programmability.

A classic debate in the anodizing field concerns the use of current control or voltage control to produce the anodic film. While current control can be used effectively for type II titanium anodizing (which deposits a dull gray color) or for aluminum anodizing, current control cannot be used for type III “color” anodizing.  This is because the rectifiers that maintain output current (amperage) are actually controlling the current by adjusting the output voltage, and this will change the color of the anodized parts when you may not want it.  Therefore, purchasing a rectifier with automatic voltage regulation and voltage stabilization is our first choice.

Titanium Anodizing Rectifiers – Color Selection Via Voltage Control

When color anodizing (Type III), most medical hardware, and aerospace manufacturers require a variety of specific colors for their parts.  If you are looking to cover the full range of the color spectrum an adjustable rectifier with outputs from 0 to 150 volts DC is a great choice.  However for most applications in medical implant work, 0-120 volts should do fine.  We have many customers whose target colors fall below 60 volts, so for their purposes we are able to use a 60 volt lab power supply, thus saving them more than a thousand dollars. In the long run however, most of our medical and aerospace customers eventually need to produce the entire spectrum of colors on their products – so for these clients we usually suggest sticking with the higher voltage models.

There are also a number of accessories that may help you do your job. These include automated ramp or soft-start as we have stated above. Also features like multi-turn potentiometers with precision dialing capabilities can help you target the exact color you are searching for.  Other features that you may desire are automated timers and programmable controllers that will produce a specific recipe for a specific part.

Titanium Anodizing Rectifiers  – Do Your Homework

There are literally thousands of DC power supplies and models to choose from. And there are hundreds of companies that make them.  Just buying any unit that states the output voltage and amperage may anodize your parts but can also fall far short of meeting your actual needs. So do your homework!  If you are just getting into the experimental stage we suggest you purchase a small prototype power supply which is lower in price while still having the capability to produce a variety of colors.

Anodizetitanium.com and IPEC Global can help you decide which Titanium Anodizing Rectifier is right for you.

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