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Hello, is Anodizing frames safe?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by Asafus, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Asafus

    Asafus Guest

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    Hey there,

    I search and understood that people here have been anodizing
    parts of their bike.

    I wanted to know if I can anodize my whole IronHorse Sunday 2005 frame?
    Does someone know about damage to weldings or something?

    another question:
    Should I strip everything? such as BB and Headset? and all of the bearings?

    Thank's guys,
    Asaf, Israel.
     

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  2. Joe W.Cup

    Joe W.Cup Chimp

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    The W. stands for World. Actually it's Willard.
    Yes, it's done all the time.

    Yes, you HAVE to strip the frame clean, this means dirt and any imperfections on the frame. Any scratches & etc will show through the ano.
     
  3. WBC

    WBC Monkey

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    I have heard a few horror stories of people sending frames to places that don't know thin-wall aluminum and getting frames back that like to separate unexpectadly. Apparently the risks are a lot higher and there is much more variance in competence and quality with ano than there is in Powdercoat.

    That said, I rode an Ano'd Spec. Demo for a couple years and sold it with barely a scratch despite bouncing around on un-padded Toyota tailgates.
     
  4. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    What he said. Also, make sure you take it to a reputable ano shop that has experience with thin walled aluminum.


    A while back someone posted a story about sending a frame for ano, but it was done with a bunch of car parts (and used higher temps or a harsher process or something), and the frame came back as brittle as an aluminum can.
     
  5. Asafus

    Asafus Guest

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    I guess i'll check about anodizing but maybe I'll prefer doing electrostatic coating.

    thank's for that comments
     
  6. bullcrew

    bullcrew Turbo Monkey

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    anodizing isnt so much for heat as it is the power output of the rectifier, and its going through the part, the heat or temp is caused by the friction or the commotion of energy and parts interacting in the tank.
    What kills most parts more than the oxide build up (anodizing) is the etch tank which is used to strip the ano and if they put parts in with other parts that are either different aluminums or ano types ie II or III this will effect the length of exposure in the etch tank. So if your stripping a bike part which is 95% of the time type II with a III part it will take loner for the III to strip which while they are waiting for it to strip it will go into eating the type II part.

    Then to the ANo tank if they havent measured the parts or dont run it on a general low voltage long time run and have the power up it will etch parts as well especially certain aluminums are more prone to burning (depending on series).
    So any reputable shop can do a decent job, be careful if you strip the part to make sure its completely off and let them know or they usualy assume its a Type II thin clear and will leave it in the etch tank more than needed which will mess with tolerances.

    If they dont rinse it real well in a clean rinse tank and have the drain holes of the frame and rear triangle properly adjusted so it drains almost completely by having the drain hole low it will pocket inside the traingle and the rinse wont completely get out of it and the etch will continue to do its job from the inside out....
    If the ano (very ACIDIC) isnt rinsed well it will do the same but at a much slower rate and will or should be rinsed by the time it hits the nickle seal and contaminate it as well ... LOL theres a ton of titrations and chemical maintenance as well as surface areas of parts and loads in tank for proper penatration and oxide...

    Like I said most reputable shops will be OK:

    1- let them know about drain holes on triangle and frame
    2- If you strip it tell them to do a short run in etch
    3- Verify they will run the part with like aluminums or by itself or your bike could possibly become the sacraficial item in tank
    4- let them know there are tolerances that you need to maintain ie pivot holes etc. That you know stripping it will loosen tolerances a littel and ano will build em back a bit but to be carefull.

    Good luck and its not really that bad if they just do what they are supposed too.
     
    #6 -   Jan 21, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  7. w00dy

    w00dy In heaven there is no beer

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    Nice post, bullcrew.

    To add to that, anodizing will shorten the fatigue life of aluminum. It etches the surface which creates microscopic points for stress cracks to begin. If you have a lightweight frame I would recommend powdercoating.
     
  8. MrPlow

    MrPlow Monkey

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    well said bullcrew. The stuff about the likeness of materials is critical. I had some parts anodised red today and I am dissapointed to say the least! :( My assumption has something to do with the huge amount of pretty bright red billet hydraulic blocks sitting outside when I picked up my dark and dull red parts. Best bet is to see what other bicycle parts they have done.
     
  9. bullcrew

    bullcrew Turbo Monkey

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    Thanks! :thumb:
     
  10. SuspectDevice

    SuspectDevice Turbo Monkey

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    You are a real engineer- and I design bikes that get anodized, and I've got a question for you. We roto-blast all of our frames pre-ano. Do ya think that counteracts the etching effect sufficiently? From talking to the people at Sapa (nee Anodizing, Inc), they only negative effects they've really observed are etch processes that go on too long- removing thread material and oversizing bearing bores. It seems to take a really fine hand to get anodizing bike frames right. They are way harder than single components, as the damn things get so full of the etching solutions!

    That's my experience. If the frame has been anodized before, I would highly recommend against re-anodizing it. That's for sure.
     
  11. bullcrew

    bullcrew Turbo Monkey

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    AHHH yes SAPA is based I beleive in switzerland they have several facilities around the world supply 80% of all structural aluminum to the commercial construction, 50% of all auto extrusion material, MAVIC rims and more.. They have a faciltiy in Portland Im familair with from when I was in the industry.

    SAPA is literally as good as it gets with PIONEER in I think its chicago does great work as well as has HUGE and I mean HUGE racking systems and tanks they did either TREK or GIANTS frames for along time.

    BUT both are high quantity runs or extremely expensive one offs...
    If there was ever a manufacturing companies business plan or stability in the world that youd want to look at and possibly take notes its SAPA....:thumb:


    As far as redoing a frame if you ask them the questions above and see some other work it shouldnt be too big of an issue DONE RIGHT.

    Companies that are usualy good at specific parts and tolerances are ones that speciaize in paintball markers, they require it be done right because of HIGH pressure and tight o-ring tolerances.
    As well as familair with varied aluminums and they are real carefull of etching.
    One screw up on a high end marker can set you back $12-1500 for a screw up...
     
    #11 -   Jan 22, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  12. w00dy

    w00dy In heaven there is no beer

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    Anything you do before the ano process will not effect the end result. The anodized surface itself is full of tiny little crags and fissures from the etching process. If a part is anodized it will not last as long in a repetitive bending situation. This is more of a problem with hard ano. You shouldn't need anything that intense to finish a frame.

    The only time I experienced disappearing threads was after we stripped some parts and re-anodized them. That was really bad for the parts.
     
  13. bullcrew

    bullcrew Turbo Monkey

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    Forgot too mention speaking of threads and reduction in size.....
    Theres a gooey green ano mask that can be applied to parts that will survive the ano line from start to finish that can be applied to tight tolerance areas ie bushing indents, pivot holes, clamping areas, threaded holes, threads, etc.... It will not let any of the line penatrate it if its properly done and can be removed by MEK or brush and alchohol (just takes a little longer) acetone takes the mask off as well.
     
  14. Andrewpalooza

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    Absolute Finish is a smaller scale ano operation in the PNW, Idaho I believe. They do a lot of paintball markers, and have experience with bike frames. They did one of my old frames, front was one color, swingarm another, all for a really reasonable price, and great results. I'd look them up for a one-off ano job.
     
  15. DirtMcGirk

    DirtMcGirk <b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm

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    Its too bad Bullcrew is out of the business.

    For Christmas 05 he did a bike for me in what we then named "Pride Cammo." I'll dig around when I get home from work to see if I can find some photos. That thing turned out tits!
     
  16. bullcrew

    bullcrew Turbo Monkey

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    Thanks and I used to work at Absolute Finish I was the custom guy that got the whole custom side started as well as international sales etc... We took on some stupid sick items and came up with some pretty bad @$$ process's.

    I did the sales and marketing then started bringing in mtb parts, markers etc got a fair bit of stuff in the magazines as well. I cant find alot of it now been a long time but did some stupid sick stuff before things came up! We'll leave it at that LOL :D
     
  17. Andrewpalooza

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    Maybe you did my frame? It was an Orange Patriot, got the front end in black and the swingarm in "clear", which turned out a stanchion-colored bronze. It was, and still is, a super nice finish. Really durable. I remember seeing some camo-dized frame/parts on the website too.
     
  18. bullcrew

    bullcrew Turbo Monkey

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    Dont remember a patriot but yeah clear is actually a light goldish bronze. The rectifier can be turned down and the time increased a bit as well as a lessor oxide layer and it will be more true to color but will always have a tint...
    If it didnt tint out at all the oxide would be penatrated too quickly and easily be damaged as well as allow it to weather a bit at spots of exposure.