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Manufacturers requiring the same-day black finishing of small lots of aluminum parts can safely blacken parts in house and achieve a durable satin black finish at low cost using the mini BK-LC line.

Birchwood Casey’s Lumiclad process utilises a simple dip-tank procedure to form a durable black oxide coating on aluminium.

In contrast to the conventional black anodising, the Lumiclad process utilises only one heated tank in the process line and does not require electrolytic current.

The process works well on all cast and wrought aluminium alloys and forms a smooth, black finish that is tightly adherent to the aluminium substrate, with no rub-off.

Since the Lumiclad finish is only 1.5 micron thick, it will not shrink hole diameters or add measurable thickness.

Part dimensions are said to be easily maintained, without requiring critical surfaces to be undersized to allow for excessively thick coatings, as is often the case with anodising.

Designed primarily for indoor applications, the Lumiclad finish enhances the overall appearance and sales appeal of the part, with an inherent lubricity that aids in the assembly and break-in of mating surfaces, according to the company.

This combination of properties makes it useful for pistons, valves, machine components, tooling, fixturing or other precision-machined components.

The Lumiclad process takes 30 minutes for most alloys and meshes well with workflow patterns, eliminating the lengthy turnaround times and high costs of outside finishing.

In-process inventory levels can be lowered because parts can be blackened on a just-in-time basis.

The patent-pending Lumiclad process was developed and is guaranteed by Birchwood Casey, the originator of the patented Tru Temp low-temperature black oxide process for ferrous metals.

The Lumiclad process is a high-quality method for blackening aluminium and does not involve the complexities and high costs of electrolytic black anodising.

The Mini Lumiclad line can be purchased online for USD788 (GBP477).

The kit comes complete with seven five-gallon immersion tanks, covers, an immersion heater and a supply of Lumiclad chemical products to operate the entire process for two to six months, depending on workloads.

Occupying about 20ft2 (2m2), the mini BK-LC line fits almost anywhere in the plant, such as in the tool room, prototype or maintenance area or in a manufacturing cell.

It is particularly useful in job shops where short-run blackening is often needed on a ‘rush’ basis.

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