Green Anodizing Process Explained: How it's Done

Green Anodizing Process Explained: How it's Done

Green Anodizing Process Explained: How it's Done

Green anodizing is the process of anodizing and coloring metals green by immersing them in copper sulfate and ammonium sulfide solution. The term green anodizing also refers to an eco-friendly anodization process where solvents are reduced and large quantities of water are recycled.

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Green Anodizing: What is it?

Anodizing is a process in which a protective oxide layer is formed on the base metal.

The oxide layer formed is porous in structure and forms an integral part of the metal.

Thus, apart from offering a protective layer, these layers form a robust and rigid coating that improves the stability of the parts.

The porous structure of the oxide layer facilitates the absorption of dyes.

Using a suitable anodizing dye, you can color these metal parts with different green hues based on the dye concentration and immersion time.

This process of coloring anodized metal parts green is called green anodizing.

How do you anodize a metal green?

anodizing process
Anodizing process

The process of anodizing involves the following stages

  • Degreasing or cleaning
  • Etching
  • Anodizing
  • Dyeing
  • Sealing

Before performing anodizing, the metal part should be made free from dirt and oil to get it ready.

So degreasing and etching are prerequisite steps in the process.

Anodizing is performed by placing the part in a sulfuric acid solution (electrolyte) through which a direct current is passed.

Then the anodized part is immersed in a green dye solution to color the metal green.

Here, the amount of sulfuric acid, current density, and anodization temperature all affect the uptake of the dye.

The following table highlights the concentration of each parameter and how it influences the uptake of the dye.

ParametersNatureImpact on dye
Concentration of sulfuric acidHighIncrease in dye absorption
Size of metalLargeInconsistency in the color
Current densityLowIncreased uptake of dye
Anodizing temperatureHighIncrease in dye absorption
Different parameters and their impact on the dye

The right combination of parameters must be selected to achieve different shades of green, from lemon to forest green.

Professionals suggest anodizing aluminum parts for 1.5 hours at 60 - 75oF, followed by a thorough rinse and immersion in a green dye for 15 minutes at 140oF.

Copper sulfate and ammonium sulfide are used to create the green color.

To prevent the color from fading and dirt from impregnating, the oxide layers must be sealed by submerging the part in a sealer bath.

Benefits of Green Anodizing


Anodizing is a popular process due to its cost-effectiveness. It requires minimal equipment and chemical substances as electrolytes, making it relatively affordable.


Anodized products are renowned for their long-term durability of up to 30 years, thanks to their abrasion and corrosion-resistant characteristics.

Quality Control

Anodizing offers tight tolerances and strict quality control without compromising the base properties of the metal parts.


The process of sealing that follows the dyeing procedure locks the pores, thereby preventing the chances of chalking, peeling, and fading colors.

Limitations of Green Anodizing

Material compatibility

Only specific grades of aluminum are suitable for anodizing to achieve a green color. The aluminum alloys that work best for this process have lower iron content.

Steel, while able to withstand harsh environments like high saline and UV conditions, cannot be anodized because it will rust.

Batch Production

An issue with anodizing is that it is challenging to keep the shade of color consistent between batches, making it hard to replicate the same hue.

Applications of Green Anodizing

Green anodized gun and gun parts
Green anodized gun and gun parts

The green anodizing process creates a green-colored durable, and weather-resistant coat over metal surfaces.

It is a popular choice for metal parts exposed to harsh conditions, such as arms, aerospace, marine, automotive, and architectural applications.

The oxide layer formed during the anodizing process increases the corrosion resistance and durability of the aluminum, making it well-suited for high-wear and tear environments.

In the architectural industry, green anodizing of aluminum windows, doors, and curtain walls provide a decorative finish and adds corrosion resistance and durability.

Additionally, green anodizing is widely used in the sports equipment industry, such as bike frames, tennis rackets, and golf clubs, giving them protection and a unique look.

Green anodizing is not limited to aluminum but can also be applied to other metals, such as titanium and magnesium. However, the electrolytic solution and coloring process will vary depending on the metal.

Not only does it have pleasing aesthetics, but the combined conducting and insulating properties of an anodized aluminum part make it an energy-saving device, thus making it an ideal choice for the electronics and space industries.

The thermal control properties of anodized aluminum also make it suitable for use in making appliances and space industries.

Best Green Anodizing Dyes

Green anodizing dyes can be sourced from local hardware stores or online stores. Following are some popular green anodizing dyes.

Interactivia Green Anodizing Dye

Interactivia green anodizing dye
Interactivia green anodizing dye

Interactivia offers a professional green anodizing dye, Green E-AEN. It is an 80 ml concentrate.

It can make up to 2 gallons of dye when mixed with distilled water. The color of the dye can vary from lime green to forest green, depending on the duration of immersion.

Follow the immersion with a sealing process to lock in the desired color and attain fade resistance.

Interactivia Green Anodizing Dye
Can be used on aluminum and stainless steel.
Can make a 2-gallon dye solution.
Color will vary based on the dye concentration.

Caswell Green SGS

Caswell green anodizing dye
Caswell green anodizing dye

Caswell's green anodizing dye is a ROHS-compliant product that should be diluted with distilled water.

Sealing in nickel acetate is recommended for more consistent and deep coloring results instead of using hot water.

Caswell Green SGS
Suitable for aluminum parts.
Can make a 2-gallon dye solution.
It also has an 8-gallon version

Tifoo Green Anodising Dye

Tifoo green anodizing dye
Tifoo green anodizing dye

Tifoo's green anodizing dye is offered in a powdered form that you can easily mix with distilled water in the desired quantity to create various shades of green.

The following table will help you achieve the hue of green you're looking for.

Upto 1 g per liter of distilled waterLight green
Upto 5 g per liter of distilled waterIntense green
Over 5g per liter of distilled waterDark green
Green color shades obtained for different concentrations of dye

Green Anodizing: Eco-Friendly Anodization?

Manufacturing industries also use the term "green anodizing" to denote an eco-friendly way of anodizing by reducing harmful chemicals.

The anodizing process uses water rather than resins, solvents, or heavy metals.

Modern techniques of recycling and recovery of large quantities of water used in washing and etching are helping to conserve the environment.

Unlike other metal finishing processes, anodizing does not emit harmful gases or VOCs.

Combining aluminum's good conductivity and anodic coating's insulation further helps save energy. Hence the name "green anodizing."

Here, it doesn't necessarily mean the metal surface is coated with a green color.

Final Thoughts

Overall, green anodizing is a versatile process that provides a decorative finish, corrosion resistance, and durability to aluminum and other metals.

It is widely used in various industries and has proven to be a cost-effective and durable solution for protecting metals from harsh environments.

The green anodic film's hue depends on the parameters of the anodizing process, and lighter shades are not as suitable for outdoor use as they are prone to fading.

To ensure a long-lasting color, the coat must be sufficiently saturated with the dye and penetrate deeply to ensure uniform distribution, which gives the coating greater weather resistance.

Furthermore, anodizing is an environmentally compatible process, as it does not involve using hazardous substances or the generation of toxic and harmful gases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does anodizing weaken aluminum?

No, anodizing does not weaken aluminum, as the non-conductive oxide layer formed during the process increases the coat's durability and does not affect the metal's strength.

What are the chances of anodic coating getting worn out?

The chances of the anodic coating wearing out are low, but it may eventually lead to peeling and fading. Anodic coatings provide exceptional durability over long-term use, even with extended UV exposure and abrasion periods.

Do anodic coatings improve the effectiveness of heat sinks?

Yes, anodic coatings can significantly improve the effectiveness of heat sinks by increasing their surface emissivity. A higher surface emissivity means a better heat transfer.

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Hey I'm John. I write about Manufacturing, Metalworking, CNCs and Lasers at Mellowpine. If you have any questions related to CNCs or Lasers, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at mail@mellowpine.com

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Hey I'm John. I write about Manufacturing, Metalworking, CNCs and Lasers at Mellowpine. If you have any questions related to CNCs or Lasers, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at mail@mellowpine.com

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