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Birchwood Casey’s durable, scratch-resistant Lumiclad finish can be used as an alternative to black anodising aluminium components and is ideal for sliding contacts such as piston/cylinder assemblies.

The 30-minute process develops a coating thickness of 0.000060in (1.5 microns), with a smooth, clean surface that is electrically conductive and tightly adherent to the aluminium substrate.

The black Lumiclad finish is an ideal finish for precision-machined components with critical dimensions or for mating surfaces that require break-in lubricity and galling resistance.

The finish has a uniform thickness that will not close down-hole diameters or change critical part dimensions.

The Lumiclad finish is electrically conductive and works well on assemblies requiring a chassis ground.

The 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.

The resulting finish is suitable for many aluminium components, large and small, including tooling/fixturing devices, sliding assemblies, electronic subframes and many types of decorative surfaces.

Prior to the development of this new blackening process, black anodising had been the only viable blackening option for manufacturers of aluminium components.

While the anodised finish is extremely durable, the process is so complex that only specialists can operate it properly and consistently.

In addition, although the protective properties of a black anodised finish are quite high, they are often higher than the application requires and at significant cost, according to the company.

Conventional black anodising requires parts to be manually clamped onto spring-clip racks to ensure electrical contact.

For this reason, small parts cannot be processed economically.

As the Lumiclad process does not require electrical current, small parts can be economically bulk-processed in baskets or rotating polypro barrels.

This allows the economical blackening of low-value parts such as stampings, screw machine parts, fasteners and other parts that require lubricity or galling resistance but are not good candidates for anodising.

The Lumiclad process utilises a conventional immersion tank process line.

It is said to be simple and safe to operate so that manufacturers can operate it themselves, thereby eliminating the need for outside processing.

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