When it comes to metal finishing options, sometimes it seems like you have so many choices that it can be hard to determine which one is the best. However, if you're dealing with a ferrous metal that you're trying to choose a finish for, you should consider the benefits of black oxide finishing. Understanding the basics of this finishing option and why it's an ideal choice can help you get the finish that you need for your project.
Black Oxide Basics
The first step toward deciding if black oxide finishing is right for you is to understand what makes it different from other finish coatings. Black oxide is not applied as a coating in the way that paint or electroplate coatings are.
Actually, black oxide finishing is the process of generating black iron oxide on a ferrous metal's surface. The metal is exposed to an oxidizing salt solution, which reacts with the iron that's present. This creates a layer of black iron oxide on the surface of the metal.
Once the black oxide forms, the metal surface is usually then finished with an oil application or something similar to seal the surface and provide a greater protective barrier on the metal's surface.
Black Oxide Benefits
Now that you understand what a black oxide finish is, it's important to also understand why someone might choose this for their metalwork. There are many reasons why a black oxide finish is a great choice.
First, black oxide finishes bond to the surface of the metal, creating a barrier that protects against corrosion. You won't have to worry about costly potential metal damage when you choose this type of finish.
Additionally, when clearance issues are a concern, black oxide is an ideal choice. Unlike powder coating and electroplating, which can create thicker layers of surface coating, black oxide forms directly on the surface of the metal, barely altering the dimensions by fractions of an inch. You essentially end up with the same dimension you had when you started, giving you the precise fit you need.
Black oxide is also great for any kind of metal structure that will be outside. Unlike some glossy metal finishes, you will not have any problems with sun glare or reflection on black oxide. It doesn't have the same reflective properties that polished metal does.
These are some of the many reasons to consider black oxide for your finishing project. Talk with a metal finishing contractor today for more information on black oxide finishes.