Black Oxide Coating Benefits for Small Steel and Metal Parts

15 May 2018

Black oxide is a pleasing surface conversion coating. As stated in past articles, the process dresses steel and other select alloys with a corrosion resistant skin. Although mild in nature, that rust impeding property binds equitably with the latest oil impregnating methods to produce a superior oxidization barrier. Better yet, the formation of that blackened barrier doesn’t impact a part’s dimensions, which is an especially desirable feature for smaller components.

Benefiting Smaller Metal Components

Intricate geometrical profiles dictate the outlines of essential steel parts as they exit a machining station. Over at the next metal cutting and pressing equipment line, zinc alloyed components are gaining similarly accurate dimensional shapes. Essentially, these undersized workpieces are being shaped according to a high-tolerance design methodology. Exiting the profiling equipment, the post-processing operation is approaching. What if that stage changes the dimensions of the components and alters the tightly imbued geometry to the point the small part no longer satisfies those dimensional constraints? Black oxide coatings solve this tricky issue by simply converting the existing surface. No spatial alterations take place, so the component slots into place as it’s added to an assembling frame.

A Compact Metal Parts Finish

Oiled and equipped with a corrosion resistance feature that acts as a non-dimensional finish, black oxide post-processing technology has a penchant for compact workpiece processing. In terms of productivity gains, costly alternative finishes have trouble treating the large batches that must run down production lines at speed. The post-treatment stage becomes a bottleneck, the dozens of compact fasteners, discrete equipment components, or batch-processed parts slow to a crawl on the line. And where’s the company bottom line going? It’s narrowing because of a simple issue with the parts finishing stage. In black oxide coating, the small parts are dipped in oxidizing salts, and the entire process is over in minutes, not hours. That’s a tidy little benefit when thousands of screws or drill bits are the subjects of a fast-operating finishing stage.

Imagine a heavier coating. It’s tested on blade edges, on drill bits, and it’s finally used to protect screws. The results of the experiment are disastrous. The threads of the screws are messed up, the drill bits are dimensionally altered, and those blade edges are dulled. Black oxide coatings prevent such issues from occurring by sidestepping the additive approach that’s normally associated with post-processing finishes. Instead of an added coating, the surface metal is converted into black oxide, a hardened and corrosion resistant finish that doesn’t alter thread profiles or drill bit edges in any way whatsoever.

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