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Standards & Finishes > Finishes

  • Bare Metal - nothing is done to the hardware. It comes to you as it came from the forge. You’ll see some scale; some bright metal places where we grind off sharp edges or weld build up, mostly the mill finish on the starting material. We bulk package all the hardware we sell bare metal, its part of the price break you’ll notice between bare and painted hardware.

    It’s a nice place to save money… a few good coats of Rustoleum brand paint is one of the best finishes I’ve seen for salt-free environments. Bare metal is your best choice if you have an exotic finish or custom powder-coat color in your plans.

  • E-coating
    Electro-deposition coating: This is our preferred and standard exterior finish. It’s an automotive industrial finish, used on under-car parts like alternator brackets and trailer hitches – metal pieces that are subjected to the harshest environments. It is much harder than a painted finish and is very corrosion-resistant.  E-coating is a two-step process that results in two distinct layers of finish.

    The metal parts are stripped of dirt, oil, and scale; then dipped into a liquid plastic; then baked until the plastic cures; then sprayed with powdercoat and baked again until it, too, has cured. The best part about this finish is the “dipped in liquid” part. That means every surface of the hardware is covered and protected (eliminating the big problem with powdercoating). The first layer of liquid plastic flows completely into the hinge barrels and into every fastener hole and cures to a 100% coating of the piece. Powdercoat is then sprayed on for color and to add UV stabilization to the finish to minimize sun-fading. The result is a nice satin black finish. It will accept sprayed rustoleum paints if you want to change the finished color of the hardware.

  • Galvanized
    We offer an excellent process called “Mechanical Galvanizing” when we need severe protection of mild steel hardware. It’s not cheap and adds about two weeks to delivery, but it is a superb substrate. Technically “galvanizing” is the electro-chemical transfer of a material onto the surface of the product. A simple iron phosphate etching finish with no weather resistance at all can, and is, called “galvanizing”. Generally, the term has come to refer to steel coated with zinc – a very weather resistant finish. The old silver trash cans were “hot dip galvanized”. Literally dipped into molten zinc which froze in a glazed pattern on the surface of the trash can – same thing with roadside guard rails. Some finer zinc finishes are applied by electro-chemical (galvanic) transfer. It makes a much smoother finish like you’d see on stove pipes, chicken feeders or old watering cans. In either case, paint doesn’t adhere very well (at all) to the zinc surface.

    • We use the mechanical galvanizing for a number of reasons.

    • The resulting zinc finish is 3-5 times as thick as hot dipped – 100+ times as thick as electro-chemical finishes.

    • It’s a very environmentally-friendly finish. The zinc is micro-hammered into the steel surface as the product is tumbled in a zinc/catalyst bath with a bajillion little glass-like balls that do the hammering. No chemicals are involved; no heat is involved i maintaining molten zinc. And the finish wears extremely well. I inspected some of our hardware after 15 years of ocean-front exposure – the mechanically galvanized finish was unblemished.

    • You can paint it. The zinc plating is quite textured from the pieces banging together during the tumbling process and the zinc itself is rather porous. It’s just hammered into the surface; it’s not melted onto it. Paint soaks in and sticks. Powdercoating also can be used to color the mechanically galvanized piece.

  • Powdercoating
    We used to powdercoat all of our hardware, but found that powdercoat alone didn’t provide adequate weather protection. Powdercoat is a charged particle cloud of plastic that’s sprayed towards and attracted to the oppositely charged metal hardware. Then baked to a cured finish. The problem is “Faraday’s cage” and that’s just physics – an electro-statically charged particle can’t penetrate a charged ring. With shutter hardware each of the fastener holes and the hinge barrel is a charged ring – the powerdcoat doesn’t get in there. Historically those are the exact areas where rust starts and material failures occur. Same principle applies to inside corners. That’s why you see a plant hanger with a little metal hummingbird or such welded into the hanger always rusting in the corners. Rust always starts there because the powder can’t penetrate “Faraday’s cage” in the corners and completely cover the welded corners.

    Powdercoating’s fine when used for color or effect, but it doesn’t provide much weather protection. For exterior use, powdercoating should be applied to stainless or to mild steel plated with some other weather resistant metal or substance.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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