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What is the most durable, scratch resistant finish that i can have put on my aluminum frame 1911? I have been told that some finishes have to bake at temperatures that are high enough to ruin the aluminum. What would you suggest for an every day carry finish? I would prefer black.
 

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Based on what I could find, T7075 aluminum has a melting point of 900 deg F. and T6061 has a melting point of 1090 deg F. Not sure what alloy your frame is, but I don't think that the shake and bake finishes need over 350 deg F for curing. I know that Cerama Coat requires 350 deg F.

Tom



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I also have an alloy framed pistol that's getting ratty looking. Anyone know if IonBond or Robar would work?
 

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Rusty, I asked the folks at Ionbond if they could coat an alloy frame, and their response was that yes, they could, but didn't recommend it, as the anodizing has to be removed first, and then you would have a much, much thinner hard coat over a softer (without the anodizng) frame. Anodizing I believe will give you a more durable, longer lasting finish than anything I'm aware of. Also, the color of the anodizng is a die added after the anodizing is done, so even if the color is gone in some areas, it doesn't mean the anodizing protection is gone. Best,
 

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What seems to be the consensus of how a good hard chrome finish compares to the original anodizing on a 1911 frame?
 

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Hard chrome has to be applied over nickel to adhere to aluminum, so not everyone in the plating business offers it. Hard chrome over aluminum (and for that matter IonBond DLC) is like the shell on a hard boiled egg. The substrate is considerably softer than the skin.

Because Type III hardcoat anodizing permeates the the substrate by .001" - .002", it's a more durable finish.If I correctly remember a conversation that I had with Darrel Lewis from IonBond, they have a finish that can be applied over anodizing. IIRC, it was not any harder than Type III anodizing. It does have some self lubricating properties (not a big believer in self lubricating finishes, myself), but it's prime benefit was that it could go over an already anodized part without having to strip it of any steel subassemblies (like anodizing would require) and it would adhere and was black.
 
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