What is Cerakote?
Cerakote® is the leading firearms industry thin film ceramic coating. Cerakote® is a Division of NIC Industries, Inc. and was founded in 1984 with a focus on developing and manufacturing the highest performing line of ceramic coatings available anywhere in the world. To date Cerakote has developed over 90 ceramic colors and finishes and is used by more firearm manufacturers than any other firearm coating. This makes Cerakote the world leader in firearm coatings.
How is Cerakote applied?
The cerakote application process is simple, yet very time intensive. On average, a single part takes 3-4 hours to complete.
Each part being coated goes through a series of preparation steps prior to the coating being applied.
The first step is a complete disassembly of your firearm. Every component must be taken off and/or apart, including iron sight removal. Next, each part being Cerakoted must be soaked and then scrubbed in acetone. This removes any grease or oil on the part which would contaminate the coating. It is imperative that there is no grease or oil on the part. Any contaminants will prevent proper adhesion of the cerakote to the substrate. The third step involves sandblasting the part. Each part will be sandblasted to create an even, very fine texture from which the Cerakote can bond. Next, the parts will pre-bake in the oven. This helps draw out any residual oils that may have penetrated into the material of the part. At this point, if any oil rings appear on the part, the process starts over. After pre-baking, the parts are allowed to cool to room temperature and can finally be Cerakoted. The Cerakote is a 2 part (base + catalyst) liquid coating that gets sprayed onto the part with HVLP spray equipment. Once sprayed the parts air cure for at least 15 minutes before they are placed in the oven for a final cure. The final cure takes 1-2 hrs., depending on the part’s material and oven temperatures.
How does Cerakote compare to other coatings?
Cerakote VS. Anodizing
Cerakote doesn’t affect fatigue properties of aluminum alloy.
Due to chemicals used in the process, anodizing offers a very limited color selection while Cerakote offers over 200 unique colors. Unlike anodizing that is known for its drastic color inconsistencies, Cerakote colors are held to a consistency standard of a Delta E of 1 or less. Cerakote does NOT detrimentally impact the fatigue properties of aluminum alloys while anodizing creates a brittle and porous oxide layer and tensile residual stress. Environmentally, Cerakote does not contain any heavy metals and is VOC exempt in all 50 US states. Some anodizing processes release hexavalent chromium, which is a powerful carcinogen, into the environment.
Cerakote VS. Blueing
To show how Cerakote stacks up to traditional blueing Cerakote set up a 15 month time-lapse in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. Using two identical bolt-action rifles as our test subject, there was one clear winner: Cerakote.
Cerakote VS. High Temp Powder
The Cerakote Advantage
When seeking performance, looks and temperature stability, there is only one coating that stands on the podium for all three at once. Cerakote’s high-temperature coatings are the ultimate solution for parts such as exhausts, headers, turbos and manifolds.
Cerakote VS. Nitride
In a head-to-head test, Cerakote was put up against Nitride in a salt chamber to see which would be the most corrosion-resistant. Each barrel was placed in the salt chamber and after just 8 hours the Nitride finish barrel began to show signs of corrosion. As the test went on, it took a whopping 1,206 hours to show any signs of corrosion.
Cerakote VS. PVD
330 Times the Corrosion Protection
In a salt chamber test to simulate corrosion over time, Cerakote Elite outperformed PVD with 330 times the corrosion protection. These results also exceed military standards by over 40 times. Cerakote is a superior performance finish to PVD, at a lower price point, and is made in the USA.
Cerakote VS. Salt Chamber
Cerakote, as well as other leading finishes, where put up against the Salt Chamber for the ultimate corrosion test. How long will these finishes last? Watch what happens and find out who Finishes Strong.
Cerakote VS. Teflon®
Rust was observed on both of the Teflon® bolts after 24 hours in the salt fog chamber. Per Cerakote standard ASTM D610, the Teflon® Metallic coated items reached 3% red-rust and were left in the chamber for later comparison. At 48 hours, the Teflon® Black items reached 3% red-rust and were also left in chamber for later comparison. Zero rust was observed on the Cerakoted items.
Cerakote VS. Xylan®
We put Cerakote Elite Blackout and Xylan® coated bolts and hex nuts in the salt chamber to test who would finish strong against red-rust corrosion. At 540 hours, the Xylan® coated items reached, per Cerakote Standard ASTM D610, 3% red-rust on the body of the bolts and were left in chamber for later comparison. The Xylan® coated items were pulled from chamber at 1,871 hours due to excessive corrosion. At 4,000 hours, the test was concluded and the Cerakoted items had yet to reach 3% red-rust. Cerakote Blackout corrosion performance showed an 87% improvement over Xylan®.