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Discussion Starter #1
Wasn't sure where to post this.

I'm working on a project now (restoring a dirt bike), and wanted to get some of the cast aluminum parts anodized. Particularly the triple clamps, calipers and rear suspension linkage. After calling around in my area I was able to find only one place that was willing to do it. Most rejected because of the possibilities of inconsistencies in anodizing cast parts. Well the place that took the parts did an x-ray on them to determine what series the aluminum was because I wanted thier "t3 hardcoat". The calipers and triple clamps came back as 6000 series aluminum so they did the "t3 hardcoat" (no dye) on them. All the parts came out fairly nice except for the lower triple clamp, which came out much darker and somewhat spotted.

I need to get this fixed as I can't have both triple clamps two different colors. I've heard that cast aluminum can be a bitch to anodize and look good. Is that true? There is obviously something different with the castings. I'm wondering if I take the parts back and tell them to do a regular anodize with a dye, if they will come out the same color. I think my best chance would be to do them dark, like black.

Can you guys educate me a little on anodizing cast aluminum?
 

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It's the silicone content that makes cast aluminum a problem to anodize. You would be better either having them ceramic or powder coated. They do have a variety of colors available for ceramic coat, and the thickness is minimal compared to powder coat.
 

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Ive been down this road with triple clamps. Anodized them and were different colors, then had them dipped to remove anodized and had them polished. I rocked that for a few years then on next tear done had them powdercoated. They look the best, require the least effort to clean and hold up extremely well. Google q.c. coatings in michigan. I know 30-40 people that get stuff done there and never a complaint. Bill is a member on here. Red monte carlo hangs out in the milan section. Good luck.
 

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silicone in the base material as well as open porosity is a condemming issue with being able to get the same color from various parts..some have has sucess with a low temp sealant process and then colorizing.. but this is not anodise or a specific alodine or chemical treatment ..........you should use paint.....
 

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It will really look awful if you try to anodize poor quality aluminum. We personally do not do it either for that reason. In the event you get one anodized you will need to get them both anodized together, otherwise they will not look the same. No batch is the same; they will be very close, but you can tell there's a slight variation in color depth.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I need to come up with a fix for these. They look completely different.

I like the ceramic idea. Ano adds about .001" to the surface I'm told and powdercoat could be upwards of 2-3 mil. I don't like the powdercoat for that reason as I think it takes the sharpness out of the product and in this case (triple clamps) I think the look best with a minimal thickness coating. What is the typical thickness of a ceramic coat? Who should I contact if I decide to go this route? Will the anodizing need to be taken off prior to ceramic?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I talked to the guys at Polydyn today and they recommended a teflon coating. It's not as thick as powder and say it will look good. They told me it is right around .0007" thick and pretty durable. The recommended against the ceramic as it is very brittle and would likely chip being an external piece on a dirtbike.
 
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