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Old 02-11-2002, 09:20 PM
SBLars SBLars is offline
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Location: Upstate NY
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What aluminum finishes exist?

What aluminum finishes exist and what are there pros & cons? features? wearability?


"Pain is temporary, victory is forever"
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Old 02-11-2002, 09:55 PM
jimfox jimfox is offline
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Location: Zavalla, Texas
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I've only come across 2. Annodized (various colors) and oxidized (grey). In my experience they are equally fragile.
Jim Fox
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Old 02-12-2002, 01:13 AM
KGN KGN is offline
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Location: Mini-Soda
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These guys anodize aluminum and titanium. You can see what colors are available and how the process works.

Gary at Caspian Arms posted the address, so they must do firearms.

Most people have had a little experience with anodized aluminum. Most of my muntain bike's componants are anodized black, and they hold up very well for the beating they take.

Of course, holster wear could be a problem. And look at USGI M16/AR15 magazines. Carrier wear does occur, otherwise they would all be sold as 100% finish. These are also aluminum.

Good Luck
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Old 02-12-2002, 01:26 AM
jwp jwp is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 251
anodizing is about the only metal finish that works with aluminum as this is oxidizing the surface and dying it. oxidation adds oxygen to the surface [like rusting] but the molecule is larger than the al by itself - to a certain extent it is self healing if scratched except for the color. other finishes like paint/teflon/plating will last until the surface is broken - then as the al oxidizes the surface tends to peel as the oxidation products push up the finish ymmv
1911s/paraordnances and a host of others
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Old 02-12-2002, 08:22 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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Location: Florence, Alabama, USA
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A good shop can plate aluminum with nickel or chrome.
A factory nickel Airweight S&W is a jewel.
But it is apparently more difficult than plating steel; few places do it and the ones that will charge more and may not guarantee it.

The various spray and bake coatings will cover aluminum as well as anything.
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Old 02-12-2002, 09:12 AM
dpetteys dpetteys is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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There are many, many different types of aluminum finishes available, anodizing, titanium nitriding, nickel plating are some I'm familiar with. Your ideal finish depends greatly on how the part is being used, desired apperance, etc. there is a lot of information on the web, but a phone call to a local plating house or machine shop would be a good place to start.

There are two types of Anodizing that are common:
Type II: This is the most comon form, it comes in a wide variety of colors, it does a good job of protecting the Al but is not very abrasion resistant. Typically it is not very thick, so it doesn't affect tolerances.

Type III: Otherwise known as hard anodizing, typically grey in color, is a very hard finish, but is often thick enough to affect tolerances.

Titanium Nitriding: This is the same coating you see on high end drill bits etc. It is extremely durable and is gold in color, it is possible to add dyes so it can take on some other hues, a green color is quite common. I don't know about thickness with TiN coatings.

Nickel Plating: To plate aluminum you need to plate it with copper first, then nickel, so the finish ends up relatively thick. It is a nice looking finish with very good durability.
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Old 02-12-2002, 09:48 AM
The Chief The Chief is offline
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Hard Chrome is very difficult to apply to alluminium alloy. I had it done and it chipped. Most shops will not do it.

"If it ain't a COLT, it's just a copy!"

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Old 02-12-2002, 10:17 AM
dpetteys dpetteys is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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Check out this website, it has a lot of good information on anodizing and various finishes:
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