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Thread: Can you Duracoat/Ceracoat anodized Aluminum?

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    Can you Duracoat/Ceracoat anodized Aluminum?

    I have a buddy with an aluminum receiver for a 10-22 that is anodized blue and he wants to change the color to flat black. If you prep the receiver (sand blast it) can it be Duracoated or Ceracoated? Does anyone know which brand is better? I have done a lot of searching on line and cannot find a good recommendation.
    Thanks,
    Ken
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    Absolutely. I have an AR upper, lower, and quadrail in the oven right now. Magpul OD Green Cerakote for a 6.8 SPC build. There is a little debate whether you need to sandblast the rough anodizing of AR parts though. I've tried it both ways and can't tell the difference in durability yet.

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    Yes, Cerakote heat cure is the best.

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    Thanks for the replies guys, VERY helpful! I know that the object has to be spotless and free of any traces of oil, etc. As far as sandblasting goes, I assume you blast just enough to rough it up, and then clean it, right?
    Thanks again,
    Ken
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    Quote Originally Posted by keninsb View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys, VERY helpful! I know that the object has to be spotless and free of any traces of oil, etc. As far as sandblasting goes, I assume you blast just enough to rough it up, and then clean it, right?
    Thanks again,
    Ken
    Yes hit it with AO 120 grit, clean and paint.

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    The instructions come with the Cerakote. Your results and satisfaction with the product will be directly related to how well the instructions are followed. If you short cut the acetone soak, gas out prebake, use the wrong grit or contaminated abrasive, apply the wrong thickness, not have good clean dry compressed air or bake at the wrong temperature it will not be as durable as it is supposed to be. Done right, it's as good as it gets.


    Unless you happen to have a very equipped shop you might find it cheaper to have it done by a certified applicator and get a warranty than to invest in every thing needed for just a couple guns.

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    Gotcha. Thanks again!
    Ken
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    I do a lot of Duracoating of 10/22 barrels that I sell, and I agree that the prep work is everything. When I first started using Duracoat, I didn't yet have a blast cabinet, so I would just make sure that the parts were spotless and free of contaminants. It took me about 3 times redoing the same barrel before I bought a blast cabinet. I also started using disposable water trap filters on everything (very humid down here in the south). I have a big water/oil trap on my compressor, but when I would use an air nozzle to blow off a part after blasting, the freaking thing would actually blow water out of the end. I now run disposable traps on my air nozzle, a disposable trap as well as a desiccant filter on my blast cabinet pigtail and I even built a pigtail for my spray guns with 3 different traps on it. It may seem like overkill and look a bit silly, but after having to completely redo (blast, prep, and re-spray) a batch of 6 barrels, I learned my lesson. And cured duracoat is a PITA to blast off. It takes me 5-10 minutes to blast the factory finish off of a barrel, took me about 45 minutes each to blast the duracoat off.

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    How can you justify spending money on a product knowing that there is something 10 times as durable for about the same cost especially if it reflects on your reputation? In our blast cabinet Duracoat comes off at about the same rate as spray paint. Cerakote is noticeably harder to get off but still no match for aluminum oxide at 80-100 psi.




    Last edited by Straight Shooter; 06-11-2013 at 01:31 PM.

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    Thanks Snorules. I am going to have to do some research on getting some filters for my compressors. I have one large compressor (33gal) that I use for everything from pumping up inflatable rafts to using air tools on my truck, and a small 1/8 HP Paasche compressor (D500SR) that I bought second hand that I have not even tried yet. The Paasche came with an H-Set Airbrush and one filter/regulator that the seller removed from the compressor and installed it on the end of the hose, but I think I will move it back to the compressor and install a disposable inline filter at the end of the line closer to the airbrush.
    Thanks for pointing out the filter issue.
    Ken
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    That is an impressive video Straight Shooter! How do Cerakote and Duracoat compare as far as difficulty of application?
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    They are the same to apply. They are shot out of a small paint gun like paint but Cerakote is far beyond any paint. It is actually ceramics ground up super fine and suspended in an epoxy. Cerakote will never set up if not baked. Duracoat acts a lot more like paint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight Shooter View Post
    They are the same to apply. They are shot out of a small paint gun like paint but Cerakote is far beyond any paint. It is actually ceramics ground up super fine and suspended in an epoxy. Cerakote will never set up if not baked. Duracoat acts a lot more like paint.
    Straight Shooter, thanks again for the info. I was looking for Cerakote and on Brownell's web site here:
    CERAKOTE AIR-DRY CERAMIC COATINGS | Brownells
    they show an "air dry" version of the Cerakote. Do you know if there is any difference in the durability of the air dry versus the oven baked Cerakotes? Have you had any experience with the air dry version?
    Thanks again,
    Ken
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    We have only shot the air dry a couple times and I don't care for it. The fumes are super noxious, (read kick ass head ache even with charcoal filtration) It over sprayed my shop up and doesn't seem as durable. We did some test pieces that are left outside in the dirt and they started rusting within a few months where we have H series parts outside and they are like new 2 years later. H series just drops to the ground a few feet out and has minimal fumes. In training they only briefly covered the air dry and left us with the impression it was only for things that could not tolerate the 250 cure temp of H series. The prep is the expensive part and that is the same for either. The only air dry stuff we really use is Microslick for hand gun internals and trigger parts.

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    Thanks again Straight Shooter, I really appreciate the advice and info. You sold me on the Cerakote. I am going to start with some small parts that are just test pieces when I get started. I am not that worried about the prep, I am ok with that stuff, I am dreading the cleanup of the paintbrush though.
    BTW I checked out your web site and you have some REALLY impressive stuff on there.
    Thanks again,
    Ken
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    Cerakote is the way to go for sure. Just make sure you stick to the ratios and prep etc, that will make or break you. Make sure to stick to the bake temps and time also, that can really increase or decrease your durability also.

    Christian
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    I just watched the Cerakote Application and Training video on YouTube and I take back what I said about the prep! Man, it seems like Cerakote is very particular in regards to prep. Is Cerakote really that picky about the sandblasting media? I guess acetone is the way to go for degreasing. Wow.
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    The H series will not set up or dry without heat so clean up is super easy. Everything just rinses clean with acetone. You will need it by the 5 gallon jug. The air dry is a drag to clean up. On the prep, yes the grit is critical because it controls the surface profile and is crucial for max durability. Cure temps are not so critical for durability (+/- 50 degrees) but very important for color consistency with certain colors. The kitchen oven will work just fine and leaves no trace you were ever there

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    Thanks again Straight Shooter, I feel like you have put on a Cerakote clinic here on the forum! LOTS of good info. I know what I need to get started now. Then, when I screw up, I know I can send it to you to be re-done
    Seriously, thanks for all of the great info and help. That is what I love about this forum!
    Ken
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    I didn't want to start another thread since my question is along the same lines as the OP. He asked about applying Cerakote to the metal on a 10/22 how about applying and the durability to polymer? I have a SCAR 17 in FDE that I'm not sure I like, I was going to have it coated in armorer's black but unsure how Cerakote handles the polymer sections of a rifle..

    TIA

    Tom

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    It's as tough as the base material. If I were you I would just trade it for a black SCAR. Should be no problem as the FDE ones are much more desirable. You might even get some extra cash.

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    Copy, thank you
    Quote Originally Posted by Straight Shooter View Post
    It's as tough as the base material. If I were you I would just trade it for a black SCAR. Should be no problem as the FDE ones are much more desirable. You might even get some extra cash.

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    A lot of great info here! I have heard/read that you don't want to sandblast the anodized aluminum to the bare metal because the anodization is the only thing that keeps the metal hard... Is this true or not? Also, I am curious about whether a barrel should be coated with the h series or the c series since it may get hot... Would the the heat of a normal AR15 barrel generate enough heat to damage the h series cerakote?
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    Razor edge- you do not want to blast anodizing to bare metal. Just enough to rough it up. H series on an AR barrel will hold up fine.
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    cool thanks. I also saw in the cerakote manual that they said you can use either Brake Kleen or Acetone for the soak... anyone had good success w/ the brake kleen? I was going to get the non-chlorinated stuff if it works well... its less harsh than the Acetone and probably a lot easier to dispose of.
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    Brake Kleen will work but it needs to be submerged in it. Spraying it will not work. Acetone comes in 5 gal buckets for about $75-$80. Then you need a tank capable of holding either chemical without reacting to it. Disposal is a non issue. It seems to disappear plenty fast on it's own. It needs to be covered and can be reused several times. Put it back in the bucket it came in to store it. We keep the dirty used stuff in a separate can and use it for clean up.

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    Brake Kleen (non-Chloinated) can be purchased in 5 gallon containers from Shucks / OReilly for right around $50.00,i just picked up a can for my Cerakote projects.
    They also offer larger containers , but the 5 gallon pails are just the right size for my needs.
    I filter it when putting the used product back into a can for storage .
    RK

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    Anyone got a good source to get the acetone? I just picked up a 5 gal container of the Brakleen non chlorinated from advance auto for $107...seems kind of high and I don't know how long this will last me. I am considering getting some smaller cans to blast off the big junk before the soak...

    I ended up getting a parts washer that has a built-in valve for draining the degreaser out... I had a heck of a time trying to figure out what to use for the soak!

    Oh, I called cerakote/nic and they said that they use the non chlorinated version of brakleen, but that either will work. They said to just wipe down the polymer parts, not soak them.

    So how much do you sandblast the ha-III aluminum? Just enough to rough it up I would imagine, right? Apparently blasting it to the bare minimum leads to a failure of some components at some point...

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    My .02, I always blast anodized parts with 120 ao. I buy acetone by the 55 gallon drum for$380 and pump it into h ot blue tanks for soaking parts. the lid controls evaporation. I use spray gun washer with crc non chlorinated brake cleaner for washing the spray guns and graduated cylinder.

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    I always try to just dust anodized parts. When the anodizing comes right off with a very light dusting I just take it all off. It does not make sence to me to Cerakote over anodizing that comes off that easily
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