Advanced Technical Finishing (ATF) offers plating, coating and metal finishing services.
ATF provides anodizing services for industries including aerospace, military and defense, transportation and healthcare. Anodizing is the process of using electrochemical conversion to increase the durability of a component and prevent tarnishing. Anodizing typically is used on aluminum, for strengthening and aesthetic purposes. There are three types of anodizing: Chromic Acid Anodizing, Sulfuric or Color Anodizing, and Hardcoat Anodizing.
Type I, Chromic Acid Anodizing, is used when thick coating and high level of corrosion resistance is needed on the application. Chromic Acid Anodizing is most commonly used in high stress situations, typically in the aerospace industry.
Type II, Sulfuric or Color Anodizing, is the most common type of anodizing. It is called ‘color anodizing’ due to its porous surface that accepts dyes easily. This type of anodizing speeds up the process of natural oxidation by submerging an object in a sulfuric bath and running an electric current through the bath. Type II is commonly used across all industries for commercial use.
Type III, Hardcoat Anodizing, is when a very hard and relatively thick coating is applied to create a super hard surface. This process is similar to Type II, but with a much higher voltage and cooler temperatures.
Learn more about our anodizing services here.
Paint and Powder Finishes
Applying a coat of wet paint or dry powder with a spraying device to a surface is the most basic type of industrial coating. Powder coating, or dry coating, doesn’t need a liquid solvent to keep the product binded, unlike wet paint. Once the dry finishing is applied electrostatically, it is placed in an oven to allow it to form a smooth, hard layer over the surface. Learn more about the paint and dry powder coating processes we offer here.
Zinc Electroplating is traditionally used for industrial corrosion protection. A thin layer of zinc is deposited onto a metal component. A bond creates a zinc-metal alloy to produce a protective layer between the materials. The zinc coating then corrodes to form zinc oxide. Zinc Oxide provides a physical barrier to protect from air and water, protecting the metal surface from rust. This type of electroplating is most commonly used for small parts such as screws and bolts. The benefits of Zinc Electroplating include:
- High Corrosion Resistance
- Smooth Surface
- Reduced Wear
- Excellent Coverage
Learn more about our Zinc Electroplating process here.
Electroless Nickel Plating
Electroless Nickel Plating (ENP) is a self-sustaining, auto-catalytic chemical process used to deposit a nickel coating onto a solid surface with no electric current. This plating process includes depositing a nickel-phosphorus alloy in an even layer to a plastic or metal surface. This metal surface is then dipped or submerged, depending on the part that needs plating, into a chemical bath containing nickel salt and hypophosphite salt. Unlike electroplating, this process does not contain any electric current, it is all completed through chemicals alone. When finished, an even layer of metal is deposited onto the surface, matching its shape and size.
The benefits of Electroless Nickel Plating include:
- Conforms to any shape, including ridges and holes.
- Even coating in thickness and volume.
- No need for electric current.
- Increases strength of substrate.
Learn more about our Electroless Nickel Plating process here.
This process means returning a metal to its original, unaltered state, to make the surface ‘passable’ to protect from environmental factors such as air and water. Impurities that were implemented during the fabrication, welding etc. process are removed. This is most commonly used for stainless steel surfaces to prevent rust for industries including military, firearms, aerospace and oil and gas industries. Learn more about the benefits of the Passivation process here.
Black Oxide Coatings
Black Oxide coating is primarily used on materials such as steel, copper, and stainless steel to prevent corrosion, minimize light reflection and enhance the overall appearance of the material. To achieve maximum corrosion resistance, it can be used with wax or oil coatings. This metal plating and finishing service produces a strong black finish by using specific branded chemicals.
Phosphate Coatings, or phosphating, is typically applied to carbon steel, cast iron and other low-alloy steels. This process is used to prevent galling and break-in lubrication by placing the steel or iron parts into a phosphoric acid, which creates an acid and metal reaction. There are two types of phosphate coatings:
Manganese Phosphate coating prevents galling and break-in lubrication for ferrous metals. It’s most commonly used in conjunction with oils applied after the coating process for best results. In some instances, it can be used as a base for organic finishes.
Zinc Phosphate coating is primarily used as a base for other coatings, oils, waxes, and paints. It can also be used as a primer for Chemical Agent Resistant Coating. The thickness is measured by coating weight.
Learn more about the different types of Phosphate Coatings here.
This process takes place before any treatment is applied to your surface, in order to prepare the surface for the optimum mechanical bond. The surface is cleaned and abraded through one of these three methods:
Grit abrasive cleaning has many names: blast finishing, sand blasting or grit blasting. This method is the process of spraying a fine, non-metallic material in order to: smooth a rough surface, rough a smooth surface, remove contaminants from the surface or shape a metal surface. This blast finishing media used will depend on the desired result and material of the surface.
Glass bead abrasive cleaning is the process of blasting fine glass or ceramic beads at a surface to remove any deposits. This process creates a smooth finish on metal surfaces, without damaging the surface material.
Aluminum Oxide abrasive cleaning can be used to resurface or to clean a metal surface. This process is most commonly used to create a pure, etched surface, however, can also be used to quickly remove paint, scale and rust.
Learn more about the different methods of Abrasive Cleaning here.
When applied to bare materials, Cadmium Plating adds a layer of very high corrosion resistance. An electrolyte solution of cadmium salts in either barrels or vats is created, then that cadmium is deposited onto the metal surface. The use for this process is very limited due to the toxicity, however, there is a high demand in aerospace, defense and specifically the marine industry. The benefits of Cadmium Electroplating include:
- Excellent Corrosion Resistance
- Outstanding Bonding Characteristics
- Low Electrical Resistance
- Superior Conductivity
- Great Natural Lubricity for Moving Parts
- Small Coefficient of Friction
- Twice the amount of corrosion resistance as Zinc, with same amount of thickness.
Non Destructive Testing (NDT)
This process is used to evaluate different properties of a component, material or system without causing any damage. Also known as Dye Penetrant Testing and aerospace NDT, this process reveals any cracks, voids and inclusions in critical parts. Our inspectors at ATF are very knowledgeable when it comes to aerospace parts and utilizing inspection methods.
Learn more about dye penetrant and NDT here.