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Niobium wire problem


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#1 tattooteal

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:59 PM

Was wondering if someone could give me a few pointers or at least tell me what i may be doing wrong. I bought a bunch of different colors of 20guage niobium wire from TRL which is all nice and pretty and all, but Im having extreme to the ninth problem coiling it, i tried drill coiling very slowly, hand winding slowly as well, ive tried putting no tension on it while i coil it, Ive tried a few other ways but as soon as it starts coiling the color disappears and im left with plain grey niobium, im really disappointed with this purchase as of right now. Even the slightest of bends in the wire make the color vanish. Can some one explain to me what i may be doing incorrectly, cause really as of right now i feel completely ripped off and jipped out of my money that was spent on this beautiful wire i purchased and can only look at but can do nothing with. Can someone help restore my faith in this wire ive heard so much about

#2 Cynake

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 10:56 PM

Ive tried a few other ways but as soon as it starts coiling the color disappears and im left with plain grey niobium, im really disappointed with this purchase as of right now. Even the slightest of bends in the wire make the color vanish. Can some one explain to me what i may be doing incorrectly, cause really as of right now i feel completely ripped off and jipped out of my money that was spent on this beautiful wire i purchased and can only look at but can do nothing with. Can someone help restore my faith in this wire ive heard so much about


Hrm. Well, what makes the metal anodized is a microscopically thin later of "rust" on the surface of the metal, a Niobium-Oxide layer. Very thin. 0.000004" at the most.

When you coil wire, if you think about what happens.. the inside gets compressed, and the outside gets stretched. That compressing and stretching thins or thickens the oxide layer on the surface, which is going to push it outside the boundary that niobium-oxide has the effects it does (it needs to be a certain fraction of the wavelengths of light that hit it).

This is slightly different than anodized aluminum, which gets its color from dye, and a much thicker color (which will still fade when coiled though).

Anodized Niobium's color shouldn't disappear though, just by coiling it a little though. That's no different than twisting rings open or shut to weave them. Yeah, excessive twisting will make it disappear, but not tiny amounts.

One thing you might consider is that niobium requires good light for colors to be visible. But, I presume you're sitting in a room with colored wire, you coil it, and it's no longer colored.

It might just be a limitation of the medium, but, it does sound a bit fishy, as if the wire had already been heavily stressed after anodizing as was on the verge of disappearing already. I don't think TRL would sell anodized wire they knew couldn't make rings, so, probably good to get your money back I'd say. Maybe take a video showing color, then coiling, and color disappearing. Then everyone could see. I'm interested in watching.

#3 Wolfman

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 02:15 PM

I've had this before on several occasions with both niobium and ti, prior to me getting an anodizer. My conclusion is that it is a bad idea to coil anodized wire. The Anodized wire is good for adding accents and making earwires etc but not coiling.

What is happening is that when you coil wire (as opposed to bending it and shaping it) you stretch the wire slightly along the entire length. This is apparent when you double or triple coil the wire (wind and unwind several times) to make it harder. If you you though some calipers on it you will notice a measurable reduction in the diameter between coilings. Anyway when the wire stretches, the oxide coating thins and breaks up a bit, and your color either gets lighter or disappears. This can even happen when you bend the wire (at the bend itself) but it usually isn't noticeable. Depending on the anodized color and surface quality of the original wire you get varying degrees of fading.

The surface quality finish of the wire makes a huge difference in the vibrancy of the colors, I actually polish and etch my rings now to get a nice shine and all the impurities off. That is a whole other subject in of itself.

Anyway, bottom line, either buy anodized rings or coils or anodize them yourself, buying pre anodized wire is a real crap shoot and you are likely to be dissappointed.
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#4 Cynake

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 02:45 PM

I actually polish and etch my rings now to get a nice shine and all the impurities off.


What do you etch with? I want to get some Multi-Etch but I'd have to go pick it up from the US myself to haul it across the border. RMS won't ship it.

#5 Wolfman

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:00 PM

I have a small amount of multietch I was able to beg off of someone. I've tried pure muriatic acid, but I think you would have to soak for quite a while for a similar effect. They recommend using HF but you don't want to screw with that stuff. Tumbling the rings in water and soap for 2-3 weeks with titanium discs as a media works almost as well without the chemicals. You really have a tough time getting green on TRLs latest batch of ti without some additional prep. Sometimes Jon gets some higher quality wire but mostly it is surplus aerospace welding wire that has been sitting for a while and is oxidize. This is fine and the price is right, but like I said needs some extra TLC for really good results. Really nice wire is REALLY expensive. His niobium is usually pretty high quality though, about as good as RMS's.

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#6 bodhimya

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 04:19 PM

Was wondering if someone could give me a few pointers or at least tell me what i may be doing wrong. I bought a bunch of different colors of 20guage niobium wire from TRL which is all nice and pretty and all, but Im having extreme to the ninth problem coiling it, i tried drill coiling very slowly, hand winding slowly as well, ive tried putting no tension on it while i coil it, Ive tried a few other ways but as soon as it starts coiling the color disappears and im left with plain grey niobium, im really disappointed with this purchase as of right now. Even the slightest of bends in the wire make the color vanish. Can some one explain to me what i may be doing incorrectly, cause really as of right now i feel completely ripped off and jipped out of my money that was spent on this beautiful wire i purchased and can only look at but can do nothing with. Can someone help restore my faith in this wire ive heard so much about



#7 bodhimya

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 04:41 PM

Hi tattooteal,
I was reading your post and can't believe it, I am from Australia and recently bought bulk lots of 20 and 22 gauge Anodized Niobium from TRL. I have had the exact same problem as you! I have tried every kind of test suggested to me by TRL and as soon as you even slightly bend the wire the colour disappears. I've taken pictures of this happening with the 20 gauge violet and you can clearly see the colour disappearing as soon as its slightly bent? It is like it has a magically disappearing coating and goes back completely to the original grey. I was curious to know what happened with your wire as I think we bought it around the same time? This is not just colour fading, it is complete colour loss as soon as the wire is bent? I have sent pics to Jon and am waiting on a reply, as he has done tests on the anodized niobium wire from his factory and had trouble finding anything the wire couldn't do?? It just doesn't make sense, it's like we are are working with a completely different wire ? Cheers Bodhimya

#8 Bernice Daniels

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 06:24 PM

The anodized layer may not stay if you coil the wire after anodizing it. This is noted in the product description. If you want anodized rings you have to anodize the wire after you make the rings.

read the orange notes top of this page
http://theringlord.c...ed Niobium Wire

"Niobium Wire: the color is a surface layer and therefore it is affected by how the wire is bent after it is anodized. Bending the wire into rings after it is anodized will cause changes in the anodized layer. It can thin, fade and change color. If you intend to use the wire for rings we recommend you either buy anodized rings or buy plain niobium wire and anodize the rings after you make them. The same is true for any project bending the wire."


That being said Jon tells me he has been testing the wire and hasn't had a problem and can bend it just fine. I've asked him to post any insights here to help.

#9 bodhimya

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 07:08 PM

Hi Bernice,
That particular warning was added onto the website after we had already made our purchase and reported our problem. Therefore even without the problem of the colour disappearing completely , we were not advised on the product description on the site at the time of purchase that coiling or bending this wire is not recommended. So now we have the added problem of grey cuts in our 16 and 18 gauge anodized wire jumprings, that need to be re anodized as well. That being said the main problem is that we can't even slightly bend the 20 and 22 gauge wire without the colour magically completely disappearing, this can be seen in the 20 gauge violet example in our pictures. You can actually see the colour completely disappear as it is being even slightly bent around the mandrel or even hand bending earwires! It appears to be a very thin disappearing surface coat of colour. We bought this beautiful looking wire for its exceptional colour and now we are left with plain grey or patchy and extremely faded at best, it actually looks like it's old and chipped. I'd be interested to see if anyone else has had this problem with complete colour disappearance? If so then what would you purchase the pre anodized wire for? If it can't be bent even slightly without colour disappearance?

#10 Movak

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 08:32 PM

Can you please post the pictures you are referring to?

Complaining about the wire ends not being coloured is a bit out there though. Did you actually think that the metal was coloured all the way through? When you cut a coated wire you see the colour of the wire. Same thing happens with enamelled copper and any anodized wire.

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#11 bodhimya

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:23 PM

Can you please post the pictures you are referring to?

Complaining about the wire ends not being coloured is a bit out there though. Did you actually think that the metal was coloured all the way through? When you cut a coated wire you see the colour of the wire. Same thing happens with enamelled copper and any anodized wire.

Movak

Hi Movak, The reason I say about the grey cut ends is that if you are going to buy pre anodized wire to make your own jump rings for the purpose of chainmaille , and you aren't pre warned in the product description, that it is best not to coil the wire and you should buy the jumprings pre made , after we had bought the wire and made the cuts, was a little bit useless for us. We were under the impression that if you bought pre anodized wire from a company that specializes in jumprings and chainmaille, that you would be able to make your own jumprings out of the wire. Why would you by Anodized wire to make and cut rings and then have to go back and re-anodize it all over again to cover any grey exposed from the cut, what is it's purpose?? Why wouldn't you just buy the plain grey Niobium and anodize it yourself after you had made and tumbled the rings or just buy the pre made Anodized rings, you see my point? Here are the pics of the 20 and 22 gauge anodized niobium wire.

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#12 bodhimya

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:29 PM

Hi Movak, The reason I say about the grey cut ends is that if you are going to buy pre anodized wire to make your own jump rings for the purpose of chainmaille , and you aren't pre warned in the product description, that it is best not to coil the wire and you should buy the jumprings pre made , after we had bought the wire and made the cuts, was a little bit useless for us. We were under the impression that if you bought pre anodized wire from a company that specializes in jumprings and chainmaille, that you would be able to make your own jumprings out of the wire. Why would you by Anodized wire to make and cut rings and then have to go back and re-anodize it all over again to cover any grey exposed from the cut, what is it's purpose?? Why wouldn't you just buy the plain grey Niobium and anodize it yourself after you had made and tumbled the rings or just buy the pre made Anodized rings, you see my point?I'm not really worried about that as much as this. Here are the pics of the 20 and 22 gauge anodized niobium wire.

Sorry, for some reason they didn't all attach, here are more pics of the colour disappearing in action

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  • DSCF0070.JPG


#13 bodhimya

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 10:09 PM

Sorry, for some reason they didn't all attach, here are more pics of the colour disappearing in action

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  • DSCF0072.JPG


#14 Movak

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 10:31 PM

Making rings with coated wire always leaves different colour ends. If the cuts are good, preferably saw cut, the different colour will be hidden inside the join. This is why enamelled copper looks good if saw cut.

As to the colour change on bending, even with anodized aluminum I have a significant failure rate just opening and closing the ring and I have been using them for over ten years; it is the nature of the beast. The rings you are attempting look like 1/8" and would be considered a lot of bending for anodized wire. I am sorry you had a bad learning experience but I am sure you can work something out with Bernice.

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#15 bodhimya

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 11:25 PM

Making rings with coated wire always leaves different colour ends. If the cuts are good, preferably saw cut, the different colour will be hidden inside the join. This is why enamelled copper looks good if saw cut.

As to the colour change on bending, even with anodized aluminum I have a significant failure rate just opening and closing the ring and I have been using them for over ten years; it is the nature of the beast. The rings you are attempting look like 1/8" and would be considered a lot of bending for anodized wire. I am sorry you had a bad learning experience but I am sure you can work something out with Bernice.

Movak



#16 bodhimya

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 12:00 AM

Hi Movak, the mandrel used in the picture is a 4mm metric mandrel, i'm not sure about the difference in measurement for you, but it's not a 2.5mm (1/8"mm) as you suggested. Also the wire dosen't need to be wrapped around any size mandrel to disappear, it does this as soon as you bend it! I believe it is well within the range for 20 gauge wire. That size ring and gauge works well in my dragonscale piece i am working on at the moment anyway. I am now fairly convinced that this is a bad batch of wire, especially because the wire Jon tested can do so much?? I'm hoping we can work something out. It is clear from my pics that it is not the slight fading that Jon reports with his Violet 20 gauge hand coiling test, it is a complete stripping of colour back to total grey. Also Yes, i am aware that the better the cut , the less you will see of the join, it just would have been nice to have the choice and knowledge, before I purchased to either buy the pre made anodized rings or buy the grey niobium and anodize them myself to achieve the all over coating. Yes, so far it has been a very costly experience to end up with plain grey or patchy coloured Niobium?

Thanks for your reply, BM

#17 Movak

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 01:54 AM

Just to clear up some measurements 4 mm is just over 5/32 inches which is just over 1/8 inches; 2.5mm is 1/10 inches.

Movak

#18 Gremlin

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 08:54 AM

Interesting .... this is exactly the same problem I had with 20 ga anodized niobium awhile back which was also purchased prior to the addition of the following:

"Niobium Wire: the color is a surface layer and therefore it is affected by how the wire is bent after it is anodized. Bending the wire into rings after it is anodized will cause changes in the anodized layer. It can thin, fade and change color. If you intend to use the wire for rings we recommend you either buy anodized rings or buy plain niobium wire and anodize the rings after you make them. The same is true for any project bending the wire."

Luckily I didn't buy enough to want to waste my time complaining but enough to know I won't order anodized niobium wire again.
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#19 bodhimya

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 02:55 PM

Interesting .... this is exactly the same problem I had with 20 ga anodized niobium awhile back which was also purchased prior to the addition of the following:

"Niobium Wire: the color is a surface layer and therefore it is affected by how the wire is bent after it is anodized. Bending the wire into rings after it is anodized will cause changes in the anodized layer. It can thin, fade and change color. If you intend to use the wire for rings we recommend you either buy anodized rings or buy plain niobium wire and anodize the rings after you make them. The same is true for any project bending the wire."

Luckily I didn't buy enough to want to waste my time complaining but enough to know I won't order anodized niobium wire again.

Hi Gremlin, I just checked out some of your leather on your site and it is awesome!

#20 tattooteal

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 03:59 PM

bodhimya i had the same problem with the 20 guage niobium as you did even the smallest of bends the color completely disappeared, i already knew if i were to wrap and cut it into rings that the cut ends would be the color of the raw niobium, I have since returned the wire and got a refund from the ring lord, whick im happy and thankful for. This small problem i had with the wire will not deter me from making more purchases from TRL. I have not had a problem with any of my other orders as they were all well packaged and came to me in exelent condition, i just wont buy anodized niobium wire ill buy the precut anodized rings which i already have since this problem and am quite happy with them.




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