Frequently Asked Questions
What is Anodizing?
It is an electrochemical process that thickens and toughens the naturally occurring protective oxide. The resulting finish, depending on the process, is the second hardest substance known to man; second only to the diamond. The anodic coating is part of the metal but has a porous structure which allows secondary infusions such as dye, Teflon Coating, etc. For more information, see our Anodizing page.
What is the difference between regular and hardcoat anodizing?
Regular or color anodizing is a process used mainly for corrosion resistance and decorative purposes. Coating thicknesses range from 0.0002 to 0.0006 and can be dyed in a variety of colors. Hardcoat anodizing requires higher electrical power and produces thicker coatings. Depending on the alloy, coating thicknesses up to 0.0008" can be produced in the laboratory. In production, .002+ .0005 is normal. For more information, see our Hardcoat Anodizing page.
Can aluminum anodized parts be Teflon coated?
Yes. For a better co-efficient of friction, superior lubricity & long-wear properties. For more information, see our Teflon Coating page.
What is Chromate Conversion
Chromate conversion coating prevents oxidation or rusting on metals. It can be used as a base for painting in some cases. When chromate conversion coating is applied, its purpose is to passivate metal substrate, preventing the oxygen in air to corrode the metal surface. Chromate conversion coatings on an aluminum substrate are known by the following terms: chemical film, yellow iridite, and the brand names Iridite and Alodine. It is also commonly used on aluminum alloy parts in the aircraft industry. Iridite NCP is a non-chromium type of conversion coating for aluminum substrates. For more information, see our Chromate Conversion page.
What is the best series of stainless steel to electropolish?
Electropolishing produces the most spectacular results on 300 series stainless steel. The resulting finish often appears bright, shiny and comparable to the mirror finishes of "bright chrome" and automotive parts. On 400 series stainless steels, the cosmetic appearance of the parts is less spectacular, but deburring, cleaning and passivation are comparable. For more information, see our Electropolishing page.
What is Passivation?
It is the removal of exogenous iron or iron compounds from the surface of stainless steel by means of a chemical dissolution, most typically by a treatment with an acid solution that will remove the surface contamination, but will not significantly affect the stainless steel itself. For more information, see our Passivation page.
What is Powder Coating?
Powder Coating is the fastest growing finishing technology, currently representing over 10 percent of the total industrial finishing market. It is a dry finishing process using finely ground particles of pigment and resin which are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto a part to be coated. The parts to be coated are electrically grounded so that the charged particles projected at them adhere to the parts and are held there until melted and fused into a smooth coating in a curing oven. The result is a uniform, durable, high quality finish that is also environmentally friendly. Uses include clothes dryer drums, front and side panels of ovens, panels of ranges and refrigerators, water heaters for appliances; wheels, bumpers, decorative trim, radiators and other items for automobiles and trucks. For more information, see our Powder Coating page.