When most of us see metal, we’re looking at a finished product. When you work with metal, you know that the raw material almost never goes out to be used or sold without some kind of treatment. Different metals and different applications require different metal finishing services to be ready for use, but each treatment adds value in its own way.
What Passivation Does
Passivation basically cleans up stainless steel and makes it really stainless. The process consists of a series of different chemical baths given at the correct temperature, which remove any free iron that could create a break in the oxide coating of the metal that might have made a potential corrosion site.
What Black Oxide Does
Black oxide treatment forms a protective outer coating on metals by altering their chemical structure. It also gives the metal a beautiful black finish without altering the dimensions of a piece like a normal exterior coating would. Very popular among metal finishing services, it tends to be used most often on ferrous metals, particularly steel or stainless steel, but it can also be used on other metals like copper. To apply a chemical oxide coating, the metal is submerged in a heated alkaline bath, then removed, cooled and given a supplementary coating to prevent the primary coating from rusting.
What Chem Film Does
Chem film provides a corrosion-resistant coating with low electrical resistance and improved paint adhesion for aluminum and aluminum alloys. To create this coating, parts are cleaned, degreased, and dipped in a caustic etch for rust removal. This produces a dark-colored film on the piece that is then removed with an oxidizer.
What Aluminum Anodizing Does
Anodizing aluminum makes the oxide layer on the metal thicker, which increases hardness and resistance to corrosion and makes the piece easier to paint or glue. To anodize the metal, it is placed in an electrolytic solution and then direct current is run through that solution, causing aluminum oxide to build up.
Hardcoat anodizing uses basically the same process, but the voltage and solution are adjusted to give a much thicker coat of aluminum oxide. This makes the aluminum hard enough to actually be substituted for stainless steel in some applications.
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