Q - What are your regular business hours?
A - Our office hours are: Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 4:30 pm Mountain Time. For pick-up and delivery, we ask that you arrive during office hours.
Q- What is your turnaround time?
A - Typically, we can have your part ready within 5 to 7 business days. At the time of part receipt, we will give you a projected delivery date.
Q - How can I cut my lead time?
A - Pre-planning is the most effective and efficeint way for us to provide you with accurate delivery dates. This would include providing Finishing Professionals with any drawings or other requirements prior to your parts arriving at our facility. This gives us the opportunity to develop the production router ahead of time so that when your parts arrive they go straight to the production line.
Q - Can you plate in 24 hours or less?
A - Yes, providing that we have the capacity to accommodate your orders. Call us as far in advance as possible if you require next day service. Again, providing us with the drawing and other requirements in advance is key here. In almost all cases, however, we will need to add expedite charges to your pricing.
Q - How do you price?
A - We price your custom finish based on an estimation of our labor, material and overhead costs. For smaller orders, we charge minimum lot prices.
Q - Why don't you provide a price list for plating?
A - There are a lot of variables to consider, such as the condition of your parts, which may require extra prep time, as well as labor and material costs. A photo and description of the parts will be helpful. We do post a fixed pricing list of our minium lot charges.
Q - Is it possible for me to calculate the cost of a specific finish on my own?
A - Once we have plated a part for you, then we may be able to provide you with pricing guidelines based upon a part’s surface size and/or plating thickness requirements.
Q - How large of a part can you finish?
A - Please visit out technical specifications section of our website to learn our size capabilities for each of our finishing processes and applications.
Q - What kind of metals do you plate?
A - We plate standard carbon steel items, stainless steel, aluminum, brass and copper.
Q - Why do metal parts get plated?
A - Plating can be used as a base for painting and to improve corrosion or wear resistance. It is also provides a decorative finish on many products including automotive parts, hand tools, plumbing fixtures and a variety of other applications. Some other reasons for plating are:
- De-scaling and removing heat treat scale
- Eliminating burrs on the surface of parts
- Rounding edges for safe handling
- Preparing part parts for other types of plating
- Texturing parts for adhesion or functionality
- Improving the cosmetic appearance of the parts
Q - The drawing states, “All dimensions apply after finishing.” How much tolerance do I need to allow?
A – This depends on the plating that you require for your parts and the related specification. Thicknesses can vary between different plated surfaces. As the customer, you can define a specific thickness to achieve your final dimensional goals, or you can rely on the specification to guide us.
Q - What is the difference between Sulfuric Type II Anodizing and Hard Coat Type III Anodizing?
A - Hard Anodizing or Hardcoat Anodize produces an oxide coating that is typically thicker and denser than sulfuric acid anodize. Because of its density, the film produces a hardness of 60 to 65 Rockwell on the C scale. The color of this film varies from light gray to dark olive gray depending on the material's alloy, temper and coating thickness. Because of its density, he film coating is not as easily dyed and not typically used in cosmetic applications.
Wear resistance is the most frequent reason for specifying why a part should receive hardcoat anodizing rathern than sulfuric anodizing. Hardcoat has excellent dielectric strength and is often used to insulate assembly components. Corrosion resistance is a third reason for using Hardcoat. At normal film thickness of 0.002", the coating offers corrosion protection superior to that of other anodic coatings, especially when it is sealed
Q - What is “RoHS”?
A - “RoHS” stands for “Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment” and generally refers to the January 2003 RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC. Article 4 of this Directive states that “member states shall ensure that, from 1 July 2006, new electrical and electronic equipment put on the market does not contain lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls or polybrominated diphenyl ethers.”
Q - Which finishes are RoHS compliant?
A - Finishing Professionals RoHS compliant finishes are:
- Clear Chem Film – (Type II)
- Clear Zinc
- Electroless Nickel
- Electrolytic “Bright” Nickel
Q - What is the difference between electroless and bright electrolytic nickel?
A - While both processes deposit a nickel composite on the substrate, electroless nickel uses a chemical catalyst to facilitate the plating reaction versus the electrical current used in the bright nickel plating process. There are noticeable differences in appearance. We will consider part configuration, design application and function when deciding which process to recommend to you.
Q - What is electroless nickel plating?
A - Electroless nickel plating is a coating of nickel and a various percentage of phosphorus.
Q - How does electroless nickel work?
A - Electroless nickel does not require anodes or outside power source; uniform deposits of nickel alloy are caused by chemical reactions on the surface of the part being plating.
Q - How hard is heat-treated electroless nickel?
A - 60-65 RC.
Q - What are the benefits of electroless nickel?
A - The benefits are:
- Corrosion Protection
- Excellent Adhesion
- Uniform deposit regardless of work piece geometry
Q - What are the advantages of electroless nickel versus electrolytic nickel?
A - The advantages are:
- Uniformity of thickness
- Better corrosion protection
- Superior adhesion
- Improved lubricity
Q - Can you plate to certified military specifications and ASTM specifications?
A - Yes, we can plate to all Mil specs relating to our process. See technical specifications section in this website.
Q - What colors do you anodize?
A - Black, blue, green, red, gold, grey and blue-grey.
Q - Do you assume responsibility for customers' parts?
A - Yes, with an accurately completed purchase order and special consideration for tough-to-handle alloys.
Q - What is the purpose of zinc plating?
A - Bare steel will rust very quickly following exposure to atmospheric moisture and oxygen. Zinc acts as a barrier, protecting the steel below. Even if scratched, the remaining zinc will protect the steel and not peel, unlike paint or chrome coatings.
Q - Why is a chromate applied to zinc plated parts?
A - Untreated zinc will begin to oxidize rapidly. The resultant white powder (zinc oxide) is a sign of the zinc "sacrificing" itself to protect the metal it's covering. A dichromate conversion coating provides an extra layer of protection by preventing the oxidation of the zinc plate. Chromated zinc lasts longer, looks better and provides the added benefit of increased galvanic compatibility with aluminum items, such as cylinder heads.
Q - Can you replate rusty parts?
A - Yes. Prior to plating, all rust is removed, either chemically or by abrasive blasting.
Q - Will the zinc plating “fill in” the rust damage to my parts?
A - No. The zinc plating is relatively thin. It will not change the appearance as much as paint or powder coating will do. We may be able to fill rust pits for you. Please inquire.
Q - What kind of prep do I need to do?
A - No preparation is necessary for bare steel parts or those with existing zinc plating.
Q - How long does the plating last?
A - The chromate finish adds extra life to zinc plated parts. Properly cared for items can remain rust free for many years. Both the chromate finish and the underlying zinc are vulnerable to acid, however, so please avoid acidic detergents and other substances.
Q - What type of zinc finish will my parts have?
A - Each finish can vary slightly from another. We strive for the closest match to new yellow dichromate or blue/clear chromate possible. Check out the photo galleries for samples of our work. Please inquire if you wish to discuss a variation on one of the finishes we provide.
Q - Is anodizing safe for your employees and the environment?
A - Among metal finishing coatings, anodizing is a safe and environmentally friendly technology as well as clean a process as is available today. Since it is an acceleration of a natural oxidation process, anodizing does not produce harmful or dangerous by-products, and will not damage human health or the environment. Other benefits include:
- An anodized finish will not break down or decompose
- The finish is non-toxic
- It is heat-resistant to 1,221° f, (the melting point of aluminum)
- Anodizing uses simple water-based chemicals that can be treated easily and that release no harmful by-products
- The liquid by-products are recycled and returned to the process
- Anodizing's primary by-products are harmless – aluminum hydroxide and aluminum sulfate can be used as filters in the sewage treatment process of municipal sewage treatment plants.
Q - How to should I prepare to Anodize Aluminum Parts?
A - When preparing to anodize aluminum parts, consider that architectural and other structural items usually call for an "Architectural Type I" or "Architectural Type II" anodized finish. Exterior items need a Type I (minimum .7 mil thickness) and interior items should have a Type II (minimum .4 mil thickness) finish. Your exact coating selection should be based on the end-use of the piece, and the properties required of it.
Each anodic coating has unique properties that make selecting the best choice for your particular needs your first decision. Once done, you should take the following steps to help you customize the correct anodizing process, and obtain the high quality finished product you will need to:
1. Determine the proper anodizing finish to use in accordance with the required physical specifications and characteristics: color, hardness, indoor or outdoor use, resistance to high UV levels and fading, and resistance to corrosion.
2. Specify whether you want the metal left clear or colored. We have 7 colors to choose from, Black, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Blue/Grey, Silver/Grey.
3. Select the appropriate dyeing or coloring process.
4. Prepare your job through proper handling and care. When ordering materials and fabricating your job, you should keep the following items in mind:
- Store all aluminum in a manner that will prevent metal-to-metal contact when moisture is present to minimize or avoid "water etch." Minor water etch can often be removed while severe water can etch your metal part.
- Choose the right alloy. Some alloys and tempers respond better than others to pretreatment and anodizing. Always use the same alloy for any one job as variations can lead to post-andozing color differences.
- Have all fabrication work done prior to anodization to avoid disturbing the anodized coating on your metal part.
- When performing welding operations, use the lowest heat possible for optimal performance as excessive heat can affect the properties of nearby metal and lead to irregular discoloration after anodizing.
- Use the proper alloy welding wire to prevent welds from turning charcoal gray or black after anodizing.
- Please contact your welding supplier who will recommend the right wire.
- Avoid using paints, varnishes, and related items on surfaces for anodization.
- Avoid applying adhesive tapes which often leave glue residue.
Once fabrication is complete, call us to schedule anodizing as quickly as possible. Aluminum is an active metal and, when unprotected, can become damaged by fumes, mists, and even oily fingerprints.
Q - What is Chromate Conversion Coating?
A - Chromate conversion coating is a type of metal coating used to passivate aluminum, magnesium, silver and zinc. It is used primarily as a corrosion inhibitor, primer decorative finish or to retain electrical conductivity. The process is named after the chromate found in the chromic acid used in the bath, more commonly know as hexavalent chromium. This type of bath is still the most widely used; however, non-hexavalent chromium-based processes are used as well.
Chromate converversion coating on an aluminum substrate are known by the following terms: chemical film, chem film, yellow iridite and the brand names Iridite and Alodine.
Q - What is passivation?
A - Passivation occurs when a material becomes “passive” or less affected by such environmental factors as air and water. It also means a shielding outer layer of corrosion which can be demonstrated with a micro-coating or found occuring spontaneously in nature. Passivation is useful in strengthening and preserving the appearance of metal parts. With exposure to air, almost all metals naturally form a hard, inert surface.
Q - Where can I find information related to your Special Process Approvals, e.g. NADCAP scope, Lockheed Martin Approvals, Boeing Approvals and Honeywell Approvals?
A – Information related to our NADCAP Approval scopes can be found at eAudit.net .For information related to Prime approvals, please visit the Prime customer website.