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Has anyone ever had an aluminum receiver anodized, and if so, by whom?

I have a Springfield Champion with an olive drab frame and I'd like to have it re-anodized in black...................I'd appreciate any advice that can be offered.
 

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Years ago Wayne Novak did a carry bevel and some workon a S&W 6906 for me. He had to have the frame anodized. He might tell you who he uses. ??
 

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http://www.anolaze.com/index.htm

Quite a few places out there to do anodizing. One of the things to figure out is what type of anodizing you want. You can go with a color anodizing or hard anodizing (kind of matt black, have a look at calphalon hard anodized pots and you'll see what this looks like). You also need to determine if you want it matt, gloss, semi-gloss, etc... If you search for "paintball anodizing" on google, you will come up with a ton of companies who provide anodizing services for paintball guns, if you just search for anodizing, you will find a ton of places that provide anodizing services from simple to amazingly complex. Gruntbull as posted by RdB is one of the primary places that alot of paintballers send their paintball guns to.

--Wintermute
 

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Hard anodizing is the way to go. The colored version is much less durable. Like Wintermute mentioned, I've got a professional set of hard anodized Calphalon cookware that's over 15 years old, been used hard with metal utensils, and not a scratch on any.
 

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For aluminum firearm frames, there is more misinformation on anodizing than good information.

Even though you may have a gun shop do the anodizing for you, take the frame to a real anodizing shop to get a professional's opinion. They will teach you a lot about the subject, even if they don't do the job for you.

In fact, do a little research first and learn about it yourself. Reanodizing a part that has already been anodized might not give you the color you want.

All anodizing is hard anodizing. The color is an organic dye they put in the acid bath to color the metal while it is processing. There are different grades of anodizing, but the color is only the dye in the bath. Color means nothing about hardness or durability.

Do not attempt to remove the existing anodization.
 

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All anodizing is hard anodizing. The color is an organic dye they put in the acid bath to color the metal while it is processing. There are different grades of anodizing, but the color is only the dye in the bath. Color means nothing about hardness or durability.
Not all anodizing is hard anodizing. Hard anodizing consists of a much higher level of oxidization on the aluminum which results in a black color (and an increase in part size). Standard colored anodizing is the process of exciting and oxidizing the outer molecules of a non-ferrous metal and prior to settling the molecules back down, a dye is set into the excited molecular surface of the part. The typical process for anodizing is to dip the part in a sulferic acid solution while a positive lead is attached to the part and a large (surface area) negative lead is set into the acid solution. The acid solution, duration in the process, and voltage level utilized will determine the level of oxidization of the part. If you wish to color a part, the level of oxidization of the part is relatively low and does not result in a hard anodized (or heavily oxidized) surface. The reason for this is that aluminum oxidization is not translucent and therefore any color applied to the part would not be visible. After the part has been in the solution with voltage applied for the set period of time, the part is rinsed off with distilled de-ionized water at a preset temperature. After the part is rinsed, it is immersed in a dye bath containing a concentrated dye and kept at a specified temperature in that bath until the desired color is attained in the part. After this, the part is rinsed again and then immersed into a container of distilled de-ionized water which is increased to a specified temperature which will de-excite the molecules of the surface and "set" the anodizing. For hard anodizing, the process is similar, however, the voltage is higher, the acid solution is stronger, the duration is longer, and there is no coloring process. Additionally, when hard anodizing is performed, due to the increased voltage and time in the acid solution, the container for the acid solution must be connected to a cooling system in order to ensure that the acid doesn't boil. The setting process is usually pretty similar (although different anodizing companies will sometimes utilize different methods of "setting" the anodizing). Additionally, in some components (I have seen this done for sattelites built by JPL), an aluminum part may be immersed in a suspension of titanium oxide in order to increase the resilience of the finish for certain environments (like space). The actual acid solutions (level of mixture, additives, etc...) may very depending on the company doing the anodizing, and is usually a trade secret (even if it is a standard sulferic acid mixture).

--Wintermute
 

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Not all anodizing is hard anodizing. Hard anodizing consists of a much higher level of oxidization on the aluminum which results in a black color (and an increase in part size). Standard colored anodizing is the process of exciting and oxidizing the outer molecules of a non-ferrous metal and prior to settling the molecules back down, a dye is set into the excited molecular surface of the part. The typical process for anodizing is to dip the part in a sulferic acid solution while a positive lead is attached to the part and a large (surface area) negative lead is set into the acid solution. The acid solution, duration in the process, and voltage level utilized will determine the level of oxidization of the part. If you wish to color a part, the level of oxidization of the part is relatively low and does not result in a hard anodized (or heavily oxidized) surface. The reason for this is that aluminum oxidization is not translucent and therefore any color applied to the part would not be visible. After the part has been in the solution with voltage applied for the set period of time, the part is rinsed off with distilled de-ionized water at a preset temperature. After the part is rinsed, it is immersed in a dye bath containing a concentrated dye and kept at a specified temperature in that bath until the desired color is attained in the part. After this, the part is rinsed again and then immersed into a container of distilled de-ionized water which is increased to a specified temperature which will de-excite the molecules of the surface and "set" the anodizing. For hard anodizing, the process is similar, however, the voltage is higher, the acid solution is stronger, the duration is longer, and there is no coloring process. Additionally, when hard anodizing is performed, due to the increased voltage and time in the acid solution, the container for the acid solution must be connected to a cooling system in order to ensure that the acid doesn't boil. The setting process is usually pretty similar (although different anodizing companies will sometimes utilize different methods of "setting" the anodizing). Additionally, in some components (I have seen this done for sattelites built by JPL), an aluminum part may be immersed in a suspension of titanium oxide in order to increase the resilience of the finish for certain environments (like space). The actual acid solutions (level of mixture, additives, etc...) may very depending on the company doing the anodizing, and is usually a trade secret (even if it is a standard sulferic acid mixture).

--Wintermute
Excellent explanation. I haven't ano'ed a real gun, just paintball guns. I used this company for motorcycle parts. http://www.danco.net/index.html They answered all my questions and asked me a question about my parts. What grade aluminum is it? For example 6000 series needs less soak time than 7000 series. Basically if you put the wrong grade part into the wrong soak time, it will eat the metal or the ano wont adhere. The ano company may have you sign a release, stating if you give them the wrong grade its not their fault. So ask the gun manufacturer what grade Al they used.

Like Winter talked about Ti Oxide, They also have a hard coat Ano with excellent wear resistance/friction reducing properties, I would ask about it.

As an example Here is Racegun Autococker. Fully electronic competition level gun, Shoots 20+ balls a second. As pictured about $2000 invested. It was ano'ed by Danco, the aluminum was sand blasted to give it a matte or "dust" finish and then it has a grey to blue fade. The colors and combinations are amazing. I play competitive paintball. This gun slides through dust and dirt, gets pushed up against trees and bushes and the Ano holds up. The only difference is there are no heavy sliding part upon other parts, everything is closed bolt. The back block, where the bolt is, slides and shows minor wear and I have dumped about 10k rounds through it
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I thank you all............for the info on companies that do anodizing........and for the info that a few of you have offered on the process of anodizing aluminum. :D :rock:
 

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Nice 'cocker. I built them from 1992 till 95, and was the airsmith for the Ironmen one season. I also see a Line SI Pointman hiding there...I have one of the Ironmen's from back when they were sponsored by Line SI. Broken any powertubes?

I sent out quite a bit of stuff to be anodized at PK Selective metal plating in San Jose, and they did amazing work. I did my lightweight cocker in a dust blue as well, and it was a great low-vis color for woodsball.
 

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When you send out a frame (a firearm by ATF definition) it would be wise to make sure that the company has an FFL. Not all do, some I've spoken to had no idea what a license even was. If their door got kicked in while your frame was in-house, it would be unlikely that you'd ever see it again.:(

Techplate is the real deal, and while rather expensive, do good work. They want the stripped frame, no steel attached. That means no plunger tube, ejector, and grip screw bushings need apply.:)
 

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Not all anodizing is hard anodizing. Hard anodizing consists of a much higher level of oxidization on the aluminum which results in a black color (and an increase in part size)...

There are several flashlight companies - fairly big names like Surefire and PentagonLight - that offer Mil-Spec Type III Hard Anodized finishes on their products that are not black. Some are a lighter gray and some are an olive drab.

Are you insinuating that those finishes are not really "hard anodized", or is your explanation about all hard anodizing resulting in a black color not entirely accurate?
 

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I am fortunate to have befriended ART from A Plus anodize.
the guy is very good and does paint ball guns, fades, colors etc.
he has a 5 ton Ac unit to do normal (not hard coat) anodize.

One issue with frames is material. Some are 6061 Some 7075 some 356 etc.
The problem is if you use settings for 6061 which are twice as long in the tank as 7075 the parts melt and or burn.

Having had 3 frames professionally melted, one we were able to weld a corner back on the other sadly melted beyond recognition. Be careful.
as stated has to be an ffl guy.

I though the send to the mfg route was safe too. I was wrong, happens a lot.
We sent frames to the guy that does Colt's stuff. Did a good job. Told my buddie Heinie. He sent one and they destroyed it. :( this gets expensive.

Not saying the guys mentione are not good, I do not know them. I do know that Anodizing gone bad has cost my company over 1500.00, same for Heinie and these are Co. that do guns for a living.

It may boil down to knowing the material because the people doing the work may not know what your bullet launcher is made of. do you?

last as spot anodizing. the process leaves a honeycomb surface, at least in non hard coat which is still far tougher than non anodized surfaces by the by.
The areas that "take" the anodize become insulated. if you spot anodize not sure how well that will go for you.

hope this helps
geo

www.egw-guns.com
 

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There are several flashlight companies - fairly big names like Surefire and PentagonLight - that offer Mil-Spec Type III Hard Anodized finishes on their products that are not black. Some are a lighter gray and some are an olive drab.

Are you insinuating that those finishes are not really "hard anodized", or is your explanation about all hard anodizing resulting in a black color not entirely accurate?
Hard anodizing is always opaque, however, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is always black (although it is always dark [at least dark grey]). The reason that hard anodizing is always opaque (and therefore will not take color prior to setting [other than shading the opaque aluminum oxide to a slightly darker color]) is that aluminum oxide is not transparent or translucent, and when you develop a heavy enough layer that it is considered Type III Hard Anodize, it is thick enough that any dye would have to be of a sufficiently dark hue to either darken the very outer layer of the aluminum oxide, or possibly if one were to use specific acid compounds, one may be able to lighten the outer layer of the aluminum oxide on a hard anodized part. I have also found quite commonly, that many companies will coat a hard anodized finish with products similar to gunkote since people tend to dislike the feel of a hard anodized surface on something they have to handle (it's almost like 8000 grit sandpaper). If a company coats the product with another finish after hard anodizing, then of course they will have changed the color. As an addition, certain alloys may be hard anodized and result in a slightly lighter (or even different hued) color due to the other metals added to the alloy. For instance if you had an aluminum alloy with a certain amount of copper in it, you may result in a slightly olive color (due to the oxidization of copper in the alloy).

--Wintermute
 

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Not all anodizing is hard anodizing. Hard anodizing consists of a much higher level of oxidization on the aluminum which results in a black color...
Hard anodizing is always opaque, however, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is always black (although it is always dark [at least dark grey])...I have also found quite commonly, that many companies will coat a hard anodized finish with products similar to gunkote...when you develop a heavy enough layer that it is considered Type III Hard Anodize, it is thick enough that any dye would have to be of a sufficiently dark hue to either darken the very outer layer of the aluminum oxide, or possibly if one were to use specific acid compounds, one may be able to lighten the outer layer of the aluminum oxide on a hard anodized part...people tend to dislike the feel of a hard anodized surface on something they have to handle (it's almost like 8000 grit sandpaper)...
Are you sure you fully understand anodizing?

Hard coat or hard anodizing (Type III) is similar to standard anodizing, (Type II) in as much as it also creates a film of aluminum oxide on the part. It is produced at colder temperatures and provides a surface that is harder, smoother, and more wear and corrosion resistant than standard anodizing. Although Type III hard coat anodizing can be grown to a greater thickness than standard Type II, it isn't simply a thicker version of Type II standard anodizing.

I think if you have a look at some of the items that claim to be Type III hard anodized (such as the Surefire and PentagonLight products I mentioned), I think you'll see that none of them are painted. :confused:

Hard coat finishes are typically darker in appearance than standard anodizing, but that is dependent on the coating, thickness and alloy. While heavier coated parts tend to look best when dyed a darker color, such as gray, black, bronze or olive green, a variety of colors can be achieved by simply opting for a slightly thinner, yet still Type III, coating.
 

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Industrial Hard Coat Anodizing (Type 3 / Type III) is not to be confused with ordinary anodized aluminum, in which a very thin coating of aluminum oxide is developed only on the surface of the metal. Hard anodizing requires a special electrolysis process which produces a dense layer of aluminum oxide BOTH ON and IN the aluminum surface. The thickness of this hard anodizing coating ranges from 1 to 3 mils or more.
 

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Industrial Hard Coat Anodizing (Type 3 / Type III) is not to be confused with ordinary anodized aluminum, in which a very thin coating of aluminum oxide is developed only on the surface of the metal. Hard anodizing requires a special electrolysis process which produces a dense layer of aluminum oxide BOTH ON and IN the aluminum surface. The thickness of this hard anodizing coating ranges from 1 to 3 mils or more.
:confused:

First you say it's always black, then you say it's opaque. Then you say some anodized parts are actually painted to achieve a different color???? Then you say Type II and Type III should not be confused because Type III requires a special process. As I said before, do you fully understand anodizing? :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:

If you read below, I think you will see Type II and Type III are more similar in process than different, with the primary differences being the temperature at which they are done and the current applied. All of the information I provided is pretty common and can be found by talking with an anodizer or perusing available materials on anodizing. The anodized coating, whether Type II or Type III, is only ON the aluminum surface. The Type III anodizing is HARDER and THICKER than TYPE II and typically has fact remain a smaller pore size. That's just my simple minded take on it. Surely there are a myriad number of ways this topic can be dissected further, but I'm not getting any college credits for doing so.


TYPE II ANODIZING (Room Temperature Anodizing)
Typically, Type II anodizing is performed in a sulfuric acid bath containing 180-200 grams per Liter of acid and a small amount of dissolved aluminum. The operating temperature is controlled between 68-72º F. Current densities can range from 5-18 amps per square foot (ASF), but commonly are run at 12-15 ASF.

The power supply is a DC rectifier. The aluminum part being anodized is made the anode (or positive pole) in the system. The most efficient cathodes (or negative pole) are 6063t6 aluminum.

Current is applied to the system for a prescribed time, and at the desired current density to achieve the oxide thickness required (oxide thicknesses can range from 0.1 mil to 0.8 mil). The resulting porous oxide can then be colored or sealed.


TYPE III ANODIZING (Low Temperature, Hard Anodizing)
Type III (Hardcoat) anodizing differs from the typical Type II room temperature anodizing in a number of ways:

The anodizing bath parameters for Type III (hardcoat) anodizing are similar to type II (room temperature) anodizing in that the acid and aluminum concentrations can be virtually the same. The difference becomes apparent when you consider the other operating parameters.

Type III anodizing is performed in a sulfuric acid bath containing 180-200 grams per Liter of acid and a small amount of dissolved aluminum. The operating temperature is controlled between 28-32º F but in some instances an acceptable oxide can be achieved at slightly higher temperatures. Current densities can range from 24-40 amps per square foot (ASF), but commonly are run at 24-30 ASF.

The power supply is a DC rectifier. The aluminum part being anodized is made the anode (or positive pole) in the system. The most efficient cathodes (or negative pole) are 6063t6 aluminum.

Current is applied to the system for a prescribed time, and at the desired current density to achieve the oxide thickness required (oxide thicknesses can range from 0.7 mil to 3.0 mils). The resulting porous oxide can then be colored or sealed but limitations on final color will determined by the oxide produced and color used.
 

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I said it's a black color (aka. a hue of black). Opaque means you can't see through it (usually translates as a hue of black). Some parts are coated over the anodize for a different color...don't see how this contradicts anything. Type III does require a slightly different process, including a refrigerated tank to perform the anodizing in, a higher voltage level for a longer duration, and results in a different depth of oxidization. The process is definetely similar, it is electolytic oxidization (also known as an electrochemical reaction). But, Type III should not be confused with Type II because of the fact that Type III requires some changes to the process which result in a much thicker layer of oxidization. Yes, I do thoroughly understand anodizing, additionally, I also understand other types of electrochemical changes that can happen to different types of materials. I also understand general oxidization, and atomic structure alterations of numerous metals, metal alloys, and other elements. If you really want to understand anodizing, go get a chemistry book and study electrochemical reactions of different metals under different conditions. Aside from that, I'm tired of going back and forth on this, so have a blast. I'm going to pass on making any further responses to this thread.

--Wintermute
 
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