Clear Coatings for Brass

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing, ,

Posted on: 5/1/2001

Question: I just want to thank you for your very readable answers.

Question:

I just want to thank you for your very readable answers. I like to play "stump the chump" (that'd be me as the chump) with the questions, and then compare them to yours. In the September 2000 issue, you mentioned under the "durable brass coating" question that recently manufacturers were using clearcoat powders. Yep, I agree. I think, however, that the lifetime coatings are actually sputtered (vacuum metallized) titanium nitride (TiN) coatings just like you'd see on high-speed steel drill bits. If you want to talk about abusive environments, if TiN can stand up to that kind of life on a bit, use on a faucet would be a piece of cake. The coating is expensive, and no one was more shocked than me to actually see it on plumbing hardware. I scoped out alternate finishes for architectural hardware and TiN just made it onto the radar screen. We were looking for ways to make kick plates, door bumpers, etc., tarnish proof. We finally settled for a heavy clear electrocoat. Still, you can't stop the chemistry of brass. Like I said, "Thanks!" B.F.

Answer:

For the record, I want you to know that you aren't the only one affected with chumpism. In response to the September 2000 issue, I got an e-mail from an electrocoat product manager of a major supplier detailing how wonderful his products are for coating clear brass. He went on to tell me what a large market share electrocoat enjoyed. Although the original question was worded in such a way that excluded using electrocoat, this chump should have at least mentioned it. What's worse, when I had a real job, I did a lot of clear electrocoat on brass and copper in my laboratory. Worse than that, this supplier is in my backyard. He even invited me over to see his facilities. The worst is that I used to work there in the old days (1954-1959) as a research chemist. Talk about misplaced loyalty. I promise to be more careful in the future and not be such a chump.



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