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For over fifty years Fotofab has been an industry leader in high precision metal fabrication services. As part of our value-added services, we offer an extensive list of blackening capabilities. These capabilities can be divided into three distinct types: chemical, coating, and electroplating. Specifically, the services we offer include:
The blackening of metal parts is most commonly used to reduce the reflectivity or for decorative purposes. Reducing the reflectivity of a metal surface is critical for limiting the light bounce back from a source emitting light to a part.
At Fotofab we work almost exclusively to customer print. This allows us to customize each metal part to fit specific needs. Parts certify to all applicable military standard specifications (or Mil-Spec), and all orders shipped include a detailed certificate.
Black oxide is a chemical conversion coating designed to resist corrosion and minimize light reflection. This service can be performed on ferrous materials, stainless steel, copper, copper-based alloys, zinc, powdered metals and silver solder. While this can be useful in a number of fields, our most common customers come from the aerospace, automotive and military industries. One big benefit of black oxide is that no thickness is added to the treated metal, which is great for dimension critical parts. Applications include: face plates, electrical switches, firearm components, precision bearing and tooling.
Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation method designed to thicken the natural oxide layer on the surface of aluminum metal parts. This process serves several purposes. It strengthens the metal as well as increases its resistance to corrosion. It can also be used for aesthetic objectives. Typical industries that this process is used for are aerospace, medical, and military. Applications we often see include: medical devices exposed to harsh cleaners, external components exposed to intense light, heat sinks, and for aesthetic purposes.
Black zinc is an electroplating conversion service which provides a black chromate finish. This method is typically used to passivate steel, aluminum, zinc, cadmium, copper, silver, magnesium and tin alloys to increase corrosion resistance. At Fotofab we offer both hexavalent and trivalent finishes, to comply with RoHS requirements. We provide this service most commonly for aerospace and military industries. Applications we frequently see are: optical encoders, apertures, firearm parts, and hinges.
Black nickel is a second electroplating conversion service which provides a black chromate finish. This process can be used to increase corrosion resistance, while maintaining electrical conductivity and reducing reflectivity, and also for decorative purposes. This is available in bright or dull finish and for a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, zinc, brass, copper, silver, magnesium and tin alloys. This service is required most commonly by companies within the aerospace and military industries. Applications include: optics, solar panel components, and weapons systems. This process is RoHS, REACH, ELV and WEEE Compliant.
Black Chrome is a third electroplating conversion service which provides a black chromate finish. At Fotofab we can provide both bright and matte finishes, depending on each customer’s individual needs and preferences. This method is used most often for decorative and corrosion resistant purposes. We frequently provide this service for companies within the aerospace and military industries. Applications include: decorative features and wear/high temperature resistant components.
We offer black painting services per customer requirement. We perform this process on both sheets and individual pieces. Parts can be manufactured from most metals, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, zinc, copper and copper-based alloys. The paint is secured through curing or baking. This method is primarily used for decorative purposes and to minimize light reflection.