When manufacturers asked for an environmentally friendly process to replace cold blackening on iron and steel components, Birchwood Casey answered with the MICROLOK® AO process.
The patented MICROLOK® AO coating is a non-toxic aluminum oxide conversion coating that is 0.000060 inches (1.5 microns) thick, silver/black in color, and tightly adherent to the metal surface. When compared with room temperature blackening, the MICROLOK AO coating exhibits better corrosion resistance and operates at half the cost, without undesirable pollution hazards.
Applications include: tooling and machine components; automotive parts including tie-rods, ball joints, clutch and brake components; and large components such as oilfield drilling equipment. MICROLOCK AO is an ideal choice for any component with its attractive, non-dimensional silver-black finish, corrosion protection and anti-galling properties.
The MICROLOK AO process is safe and easy to operate and avoids the use of EPA regulated chemicals (cold blackening uses toxic copper & selenium – both tightly regulated). The MICROLOK AO process rinse waters are generally sewerable as non-hazardous discharge and require no waste treatment at all. Applying the finish requires only five steps and 18 minutes:
1. CLEAN the metal surface: SAFE SCRUB: 120-140°F: 8 minutes.
2. RINSE in clean water.
3. APPLY MICROLOK AO finish: 120-140°F: 8 minutes.
4. RINSE in clean water.
5. SEAL in DRI TOUCHÒ AMBER Rust Preventive: 1 minute.
Additional benefits include: anti-galling protection to aid in assembly and startup; temperature stability up to 1400°F; safe 120-140° F operation with no boiling or splattering; no scale or sludge buildup in tanks; and simple bath maintenance requiring only pH monitoring.
Finishers with existing lines note: Most cold blackening lines can be easily converted to the MICROLOK AO process. There are no technical or costly conversion challenges when switching over from an existing cold process to the new MICROLOK AO process. Also, new tank lines for MICROLOK AO are available in any size from Birchwood Casey at modest cost, ranging from small-scale manually operated lines to large volume CNC operated systems.
Filed Under: Automation components, Materials • advanced
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