News - Press Releases

Lumiclad® Process Proves Ideal For In-House Aluminum Blackening Of Firearm And Similar Components That Cannot Be Sent To Outside Platers

LumicladWhen manufacturers of sensitive products such as gun components needed an in-house, zero-discharge process to blacken aluminum, Birchwood Technologies answered with its Lumiclad® process.

"Parts with serial numbers, proprietary designs and confidential part counts often cannot be sent outside to be finished for confidentiality reasons," reports Jesse Vouk, Vice President of Birchwood Technologies, manufacturer of Lumiclad. "Our customers are telling us that Lumiclad gives them the in-house finishing option they need for those proprietary and confidential components."

Proven in real-world applications, the 30-minute Lumiclad process is the ideal finishing choice for product assemblies with sliding contacts including firearm mechanisms, munitions and military assemblies.

The Lumiclad finish offers an attractive and protective black finish that is simple and economical to apply. The zero-discharge process develops a uniform coating thickness of 0.000060 inches (1.5 micron) that will not close down hole diameters or change critical part dimensions. The black finish is smooth and clean, making it the ideal coating choice for in-house blackening of weaponry and military components.

The Lumiclad finish has an inherent lubricity that aids in break-in and resists galling, compared to conventional anodized finishes, which do not. Also, this unique, patent-pending Lumiclad process delivers a smooth satin black finish with a slightly porous crystal structure that absorbs an optional topcoat, such as clear polymer, light oil or dry-to-touch sealant.

"Prior to the development of the Lumiclad process, black anodizing had been the only viable blackening option for manufacturers of aluminum components," reports Mr. Vouk. "While the anodized finish is extremely durable, the process is complex, requiring highly trained operators for consistent results. Also, anodizing systems are complicated, polluting, expensive to install, and laborious to maintain. So a large majority of this work traditionally is sent to outside plating specialists."

By contrast, Lumiclad re-writes the aluminum finishing rules particularly as a non-polluting, in-house blackening option. Utilizing a conventional immersion tank process line, it is easy and safe to operate requiring minimal operator training. Complete, turnkey Lumiclad systems are available in sizes in 5 gallon, 40 gallon, 100 gallon and larger to handle all sizes and quantities of parts. Available direct from Birchwood Technologies, Lumiclad products may be ordered online for immediate shipment.