Anodized Niobium & Titanium, Scientific Fact vs. Myth
Anodizing (or colorizing) Niobium or Titanium does not lessen the purity of the Niobium or Titanium being anodized, it simply colorizes the naturally occurring outermost oxide layer (oxygen-ated layer) of the element.
LIKE A SUNTAN CHANGES THE COLOR OF THE OUTER MOST LAYER OF SKIN, but does not change your skin (or what is under it) into something else, anodizing is not a plating placed ON the skin, it's a tan OF the outermost layer of the skin itself.
Niobium and Titanium (and other metals too) are anodized by placing them into a bath of water with an electrolyte, and subjecting the bath to electrical voltage. The electrolyte is not absorbed into the element. The amount of time the element is spent in the bath, or the amount of voltage the element is exposed to, is what changes the color of the outer most layer (oxide layer) of the element.
See a short video of the anodizing process CLICK HERE .
Almost all elements (not just metal) develop an "oxide" surface layer (oxygen-ated), immediately upon being exposed to oxygen. If this surface layer of a metal is scratched or damaged, it is immediately and naturally restored in the presence of air or water (regardless of if it has been anodized (colorized) or not. It is this oxide layer which changes color during the anodizing process.
Let's read that again ... IF THE OXIDE LAYER OF A METAL IS SCRATCHED OR DAMAGED, IT IS IMMEDIATELY AND NATURALLY RESTORED IN THE PRESENCE OF AIR OR WATER.
The anodizing process speeds up the oxygen-ating process by growing the oxide layer faster than would occur naturally. This thickens the oxide layer which can be colorized.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"An oxide is a chemical compound that contains at least one oxygen atom and one other element in its chemical formula. Metal oxides typically contain an anion of oxygen in the oxidation state of -2. Most of the Earth's crust consists of solid oxides, the result of elements being oxidized by the oxygen in air or in water."
So the oxide layer of Titanium is called "Titanium Oxide", and the oxide layer of Niobium is called "Niobium Oxide" .. etc., etc., etc.. It is simply the element PLUS an atom of oxygen.
Let's read that again .... THERE IS NO NICKEL IN NIOBIUM OR COMMERCIALLY PURE TITANIUM .... not in the oxide layer nor underneath of it!
Niobium is 100% Niobium (100% = Pure), but Titanium does not occur in pure form and must be refined down to as pure as possible. The most pure grade of Titanium that can be refined is called "Commercially Pure Grade 1 Titanium". Its chemical make up has a maximum of .08 Carbon, .015 Hydrogen, .2 Iron, .03 Nitrogen, .18 Oxygen, and 99.695 Titanium. Commercially Pure Grade 2, 3, and 4 have increasingly higher percentages of these naturally occurring elements.
In addition to the four "Commercially Pure" Grades of "refined" Titanium, there is a very long list of Titanium Alloys (mixes), which are Graded according to the type and amount of recipe ingredients ADDED to the refined Titanium.
Pure Niobium, and Pure Grades of Titanium DO NOT NATURALLY CONTAIN ANY NICKEL. But, there ARE alloys of Titanium out there which do contain nickel because it was alloyed (mixed) with nickel on purpose (ASTM Grade 12 Titanium is one of these alloys). Therefore, removing the oxide layer of Titanium or Niobium (whether anodized or not) CANNOT expose nickel unless it was first alloyed with nickel, and even then the oxide layer is naturally and instantly replaced in the presence of water or air (where else can you put it?).
If someone claims that their Titanium contains nickel (whether in the oxide layer or under it) DON'T BUY IT. simple!!
Most companies use alloyed (or mixed = not pure) Titanium in their Titanium Jewelry and their Medical Implants. This is the reason I went into my business in the first place, so I could have and sell PURE NON-ALLERGENIC EARRINGS. And although Surgical Implant Grade-23 Titanium is alloyed (no nickel though) it is tolerated on/in most HEALED skin, other recipes of Titanium, are not.
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