Embedded Printing Identification for Anodized Aluminum – “Here today, Here Tomorrow”

Understanding your options in selecting the most durable and long-lived identification marking for Anodized Aluminum parts – Jack Tetrault, President of Sanford Process Corporation

Woonsocket, RI (January 24, 2014)

There are many reasons to have identification marks on metal parts: identification, branding, instruction, warning, adding designs, and for compliance and legal issues. In all of these cases, the marking is a planned operation that serves an important function. Often times the mark is faded or completely lost before the end use of the product. It begs the question, “Why not use a marking that outlives the product?” This is an important issue when the removal of the marking causes a risk if the part continues to be used.

There are 3 types of marking commonly being employed for anodized aluminum parts. The first two, silk-screening and ink stamping are widely used with results that can vary significantly. Both are applied to the surface usually with an epoxy based ink and can be easily removed or made unreadable by abrasion, chemistry, or by passing the part through heat and cooling cycles. The ink adheres to the part through mechanical interlock with the substrate which is a relatively weak bond.  One common problem is delamination and chipping during cleaning cycles when the adhesion bonds are weakened.  The process can occur rapidly depending on the seal chemistry the metal finisher uses to close the anodic pores.

The third method of marking, laser engraving, is more permanent as the aluminum oxide is either partially or completely ablated, and when done correctly, laser marking can have very good image quality. When not properly applied, the anodic film at the edge of the engraving can chip and have ragged edges and therefore display poor cosmetics. In addition, laser will usually cut through the anodic film to expose the bare aluminum that would otherwise be protected by the anodic coating. This can present many problems. When raw aluminum is exposed, it becomes susceptible to corrosion. In the case of parts that are exposed to harsh chemistries for cleaning or disinfecting, the exposed area will immediately degrade.  As anodic coatings do not “heal,” when corrosion begins it now only causes unreadable markings, but will eventually end up with the complete destruction of the protective coating.

Embedded Printing

Figure 1: Example of Embedded Printing on MICRALOX® coated part.

There is a better method for marking anodized aluminum articles.  Embedded printing where the print is embedded in the coating versus bonded to the coating’s surface. As anodic coatings produced using the sulfuric anodizing methods, including both decorative (Type II) and hardcoat (Type III), they are highly porous.  Because of this porosity, ink can be forced in the open pores before sealing by one of several methods.  Once the ink is in the translucent oxide of the anodic coating, the surface of the coating can be fully sealed.  The result is a readable print where there is neither a pathway to the base aluminum to begin corrosion nor any means to delaminate or smudge the print. Consequently, the print and coating have longevity.

There are a few considerations to keep in mind when using embedded print.  First, if the coating is very thin, the ink may have low optical density – i.e., it will not have a strong color.   Also, there are varying levels of expertise in printing.   So, work with a metal finisher who can produce a strong print and can solve harder problems, such as printing on recesses, on curved surfaces, and can handle the registration of different colors.

Even more expert metal finishers can tailor the anodic coating to the application while offering embedded print.  For instance, low voltage hardcoat anodizing meets all of the functional specifications of Type III hardcoat, but unlike conventional Type III high voltage hardcoat, the oxide doesn’t darken up and become discolored.  This allows sharp printing but the design properties of Type II decorative anodizing.

When embedded print is done on a MICRALOX® coated part, you get a virtually indestructible product that has clear and readable print for as long as the product survives.  Unlike other anodic coatings, the patented MICRALOX® process (micro-crystalline aluminum oxide) partially converts the coating molecules into crystalline structures which are much more chemically stable than the amorphous precursors. This results in MICRALOX® coatings being 10X chemically resistant compared to conventional anodic coatings; and when combined with embedded print, makes an ideal solution for parts that must be repeatedly cleaned or exposed to harsh conditions.

For samples of embedded printing using MICRALOX®, click here – Request for Embedded Printing Samples.

© 2014 Jack Tetrault, Sanford Process Co., All Rights Reserved

Posted in Aluminum Anodizing - Type II, Aluminum Anodizing - Type III, Embedded Printing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Does Anodizing Leave Rack Marks?

Aluminum Anodizing Process: Techniques for Minimizing Rack Marks
– Jack Tetrault, President of Sanford Process Company

Woonsocket, RI (December 6, 2013)

As a service provider of aluminum anodizing, we are often asked the question, “Can you anodize an aluminum part without leaving a rack mark?” The simple answer is no – but you may have more choices than you can imagine that will help make the marks unobjectionable. The new post by Jack Tetrault, President of Sanford Process Company explores why rack marks are inherent to the aluminum anodizing process for both Anodizing (Type II) and Hard Coat Anodizing (Type III), your choices in deciding where to rack the parts, and what directions to give to your anodizer to help produce the best result.

Racking serves two functions:

1) It provides a way to physically hold the part.
2) It is the means by which electrical current enters the part.

Better understanding of the best practices in racking, not only helps in minimizing rack marks, but ultimately affects the anodized finish quality. To read the detailed blog post, please visit – Sanford Process Blog

             © 2014 Jack Tetrault, Sanford Process Co., All Rights Reserved

Posted in Aluminum Anodizing - Type II, Aluminum Anodizing - Type III, Racking Techniques | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

DCHN, a Subsidiary of Katahdin Industries to Attend Design 2 Part Show in Marlborough, MA

DCHN, a full service metal finishing company, will showcase its range of anodizing and finishing technology, including MICRALOX® Micro-Crystalline Anodizing and QUANTUM® Hard Coat.

Woonsocket, RI (October 15, 2013)

micralox DCHN, LLC announces that it will be attending the Design 2 Part Show in Marlborough, MA from October 30-31, 2013 at Booth #326. As an industry leader in technical aluminum anodizing, electro-polish and passivation, and other related services, DCHN will showcase its high quality, fast turnaround metal finishing services – Sanford Quantum® for crystal clear and vibrant colored hard-coat, MICRALOX® for corrosion resistant micro-crystalline anodic coating, and Sanford Print™ for permanent printing solutions on metal.

MICRALOX® is a patented aluminum oxide coating with a micro-crystalline barrier that revolutionizes aluminum anodizing. MICRALOX® produces a long lasting, virtually indestructible surface that delivers dramatically superior chemical corrosion resistance and eliminates color fading due to super-heated steam, and is an excellent alternative to stainless steel, plastic and other materials.

Dave Di Biasio, sales manager for D-CHN explains the benefits of this innovative anodic coating, “MICRALOX® micro-crystalline structures have been proven in independent laboratory testing to extend the life of aluminum medical devices, instruments, and equipment, while being Cyotox and RoHS compliant. Because of its excellent galvanic corrosion resistance, MICRALOX® micro-crystalline aluminum oxide coating is the ideal coating for aluminum parts and components used in marine, medical and industrial applications”.

Sanford Quantum® custom anodizing solution utilizes hard-coat rectification with a unique AC/DC current overlay and achieves a hard anodic coating that meets all MIL – A – 8625 Type III specifications, including abrasion resistance standards. In addition, Quantum® hard-coat is exceptionally light in color and remains translucent, even at thickness well above 25 microns. It also has excellent color-ability and dye-ability equal to clear anodizing, allowing for all colors and color shades to be added for maximum design benefits. Sanford Print™ printing technology embeds the ink within the aluminum by putting it in the anodic pores of the material, below the surface which eliminates the risk of delamination.

For more information and to order test samples of MICRALOX®, Sanford Quantum® and Sanford Print™, please visit http://www.micralox.com/compare/. MICRALOX® was developed by the Sanford Process Corporation which can be contacted regarding licensing inquiries. Both DCHN and Sanford Process Corporation are subsidiaries of Katahdin Industries Inc.

About DCHN, LLC
As the largest aluminum anodizing and hard coater on the East Coast of the United States, DCHN has a broad range of production capabilities, starting at lab testing, to pilot/development, through production. Each production line has a wide variety of capabilities to produce anodic coatings exactly to our customers’ diverse and challenging specifications. DCHN operates one of the most complete and newest production line capabilities in the country.

DCHN, LLC recently received the accreditation for ISO-13485:2003, in addition to its continued accreditation to ISO-9001:2008. ISO-13485 represents the requirements that medical device manufacturers must incorporate into their management, engineering, distribution and quality systems. Receiving ISO-13485 is another example of the on-going investment DCHN has made to better serve its medical customers by meeting their critical supply and quality system needs.

For more information on DCHN, contact sales@d-chn.com, call (401) 288-5209 or visit their website, www.d-chn.com.

About Katahdin Industries, Inc.
Katahdin Industries Inc. provides high tolerance coating applications and specialized metal finishing technology and services to the medical device and industrial markets through platform-focused subsidiaries. Katahdin’s coating operations are conducted through Precision Coating Company, Inc., one of the largest fluoro-polymer coating applicators in the world, specializing in PTFE and Teflon® coating applications in the medical device market, and Medi-Solve Coatings, LLC, a provider of hydrophilic lubricious coatings to medical device companies. A separate co-located company, Precision Fabric, is a worldwide distributor and converter of PTFE coated fabrics, tapes and belts. Specialized metal finishing services are conducted through DCHN, LLC, an industry leader in technical aluminum anodizing, electro-polish and passivation, and other related services. Sanford Process Corporation provides hard coat anodizing solutions, as well as licenses the company’s intellectual property, to a range of well known OEMS and their prime subcontractors worldwide, with an increasing presence in Korea and China.

Posted in Aluminum Anodizing - Type II, Aluminum Anodizing - Type III, Post Treatment, Stainless - EP, Stainless - Passivation, Titanium Anodizing - Type I, Titanium Anodizing - Type III | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MICRALOX®, A Revolutionary Anodizing Technology for Corrosion Protection and Chemical Stability

Tim Cabot, President of DCHN talks at the MD&M East Show about MICRALOX® the patented micro-crystalline anodic coating and its relevance to medical applications exposed to higher PH detergents and autoclave for sterilization and cleaning, by improving corrosion resistance and chemical stability where other conventional hard coat and anodic finishes are deficient. MICRALOX® has changed the performance map of anodic coating, allowing new applications for aluminum parts to work in aggressive environments by making the corrosion resistance and chemical stability higher.

Posted in Aluminum Anodizing - Type II, Aluminum Anodizing - Type III, Company Activities, Other | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

MICRALOX Awarded First Patent by US Patent Office

MICRALOX®, the revolutionary anodic coating technology, has been granted and issued the first patent in its portfolio by the U.S. Patent Office (USPTO).

Woonsocket, RI (08/20/2013)

Sanford Process Corporation, a subsidiary of Katahdin Industries, Inc., announces that MICRALOX® micro-crystalline anodic coating has been granted the first patent (Patent No. 8512872) by the USPTO.

Developed and licensed by Sanford Process Corporation, MICRALOX® micro-crystalline aluminum anodic coating is designed specifically for applications where conventional anodizing and hard coat anodizing fail to protect the finish from corrosion, chemical attack, and steam discoloration. While it retains typical anodic coating properties such as abrasion resistance, hardness/chip resistance and dielectric properties, it is extremely stable in the presence of corrosive saltwater conditions, strong acid and alkaline chemicals, and superheated steam. It is an ideal finishing solution for challenging applications that require periodic cleaning, sterilization, harsh chemicals, detergents, and exposure to corrosive galvanic environments. MICRALOX® has been proven in independent laboratory testing to extend the life of aluminum medical devices, instruments, and equipment. It is also Cyotox and RoHS compliant. MICRALOX® protects the aluminum and eliminates the need for chromium seals, plastic coatings, or the use of more expensive metals. MICRALOX® can also be dyed in a range of bright and vibrant colors.

President of Sanford Process Corporation, Jack Tetrault, said, “We are thrilled that the first patent in the planned formal IP portfolio behind the MICRALOX® technology are now starting to be issued in the United States. Securing the formal patent is an important step in supporting our licensing of this revolutionary technology. MICRALOX® has had a huge impact in anodic coating applications requiring much higher chemical and corrosion resistance on aluminum parts, such as medical equipment that is frequently cleaned and sterilized. We expect further patents will be issued in the U.S. and in other major markets around the world”.

For more information about MICRALOX®, or to request a sample, please visit –http://www.micralox.com/compare/.

About Katahdin Industries, Inc.

Katahdin Industries, Inc. provides high tolerance coating applications and specialized metal finishing technology and services to the medical device and industrial markets through platform-focused subsidiaries. Katahdin’s coating operations are conducted through Precision Coating Company, Inc., one of the largest fluoro-polymer coating applicators in the world, specializing in PTFE and Teflon® coating applications in the medical device market, and Medi-Solve Coatings, LLC, a provider of hydrophilic lubricious coatings to medical device companies. A separate co-located company, Precision Fabric, is a worldwide distributor and converter of PTFE coated fabrics, tapes and belts. Specialized metal finishing services are conducted through DCHN, LLC, an industry leader in technical aluminum anodizing, electro-polish and passivation, and other related services. Sanford Process Corporation provides hard coat anodizing solutions, as well as licenses the company’s intellectual property, to a range of well known OEMS and their prime subcontractors worldwide, with an increasing presence in Korea and China.

Posted in Aluminum Anodizing - Type II, Aluminum Anodizing - Type III, Company Activities, Stainless - EP, Stainless - Passivation, Titanium Anodizing - Type I, Titanium Anodizing - Type III | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

DCHN, a Subsidiary of Katahdin Industries is attending Design 2 Part Show in Greenville, South Carolina

DCHN, a full service metal finishing company, will showcase its range of technology of hard coat anodizing including MICRALOX® Micro-Crystalline Anodizing and QUANTUM® Hard Coat.

Woonsocket, RI — (SBWIRE) — 08/15/2013 — DCHN, LLC announces that it will be attending the Design 2 Part Show in Greenville, SC from September 11-12, 2013 at Booth # 240. As an industry leader in technical aluminum anodizing, electro-polish and passivation, and other related services, DCHN will showcase its high quality, fast turnaround metal finishing services – Sanford Quantum® for crystal clear and vibrant colored hard-coat, MICRALOX® for corrosion resistant micro-crystalline anodic coating, and Sanford Print™ for permanent printing solutions on metal.

MICRALOX® is a patented aluminum oxide coating with a micro-crystalline barrier that revolutionizes aluminum anodizing. MICRALOX® produces a long lasting, virtually indestructible surface that delivers dramatically superior chemical corrosion resistance and eliminates color fading due to super-heated steam, and is an excellent alternative to stainless steel, plastic and other materials. Dave Di Biasio, sales manager for D-CHN explains the benefits of this innovative anodic coating, “MICRALOX® micro-crystalline structures have been proven in independent laboratory testing to extend the life of aluminum medical devices, instruments, and equipment, while being Cyotox and RoHS compliant. Because of its excellent galvanic corrosion resistance, MICRALOX® micro-crystalline aluminum oxide coating is the ideal coating for aluminum parts and components used in marine, medical and industrial applications”.

Sanford Quantum® custom anodizing solution utilizes hard-coat rectification with a unique AC/DC current overlay and achieves a hard anodic coating that meets all MIL – A – 8625 Type III specifications, including abrasion resistance standards. In addition, Quantum® hard-coat is exceptionally light in color and remains translucent, even at thickness well above 25 microns. It also has excellent color-ability and dye-ability equal to clear anodizing, allowing for all colors and color shades to be added for maximum design benefits. Sanford Print™ printing technology embeds the ink within the aluminum by putting it in the anodic pores of the material, below the surface which eliminates the risk of delamination.

For more information and to order test samples of MICRALOX®, Sanford Quantum® and Sanford Print™, Please visit http://www.micralox.com/compare/. MICRALOX® was developed by the Sanford Process Corporation which can be contacted regarding licensing inquiries. Both DCHN and Sanford Process Corporation are subsidiaries of Katahdin Industries Inc.

About DCHN, LLC

As the largest aluminum anodizing and hard coater on the East Coast of the United States, DCHN has a broad range of production capabilities, starting at lab testing, to pilot/development, through production. Each production line has a wide variety of capabilities to produce anodic coatings exactly to our customers’ diverse and challenging specifications. DCHN operates one of the most complete and newest production line capabilities in the country.
DCHN, LLC recently received the accreditation for ISO-13485:2003, in addition to its continued accreditation to ISO-9001:2008. ISO-13485 represents the requirements that medical device manufacturers must incorporate into their management, engineering, distribution and quality systems. Receiving ISO-13485 is another example of the on-going investment DCHN has made to better serve its medical customers by meeting their critical supply and quality system needs.

For more information on DCHN, contact sales@d-chn.com, call (401) 288-5209 or visit their website, www.d-chn.com 

About Katahdin Industries, Inc.
Katahdin Industries Inc. provides high tolerance coating applications and specialized metal finishing technology and services to the medical device and industrial markets through platform-focused subsidiaries. Katahdin’s coating operations are conducted through Precision Coating Company, Inc., one of the largest fluoro-polymer coating applicators in the world, specializing in PTFE and Teflon® coating applications in the medical device market, and Medi-Solve Coatings, LLC, a provider of hydrophilic lubricious coatings to medical device companies. A separate co-located company, Precision Fabric, is a worldwide distributor and converter of PTFE coated fabrics, tapes and belts. Specialized metal finishing services are conducted through DCHN, LLC, an industry leader in technical aluminum anodizing, electro-polish and passivation, and other related services. Sanford Process Corporation provides hard coat anodizing solutions, as well as licenses the company’s intellectual property, to a range of well known OEMS and their prime subcontractors worldwide, with an increasing presence in Korea and China.

Posted in Aluminum Anodizing - Type II, Aluminum Anodizing - Type III, Company Activities, Stainless - EP, Stainless - Passivation, Titanium Anodizing - Type I, Titanium Anodizing - Type III, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

DCHN, Metal Finishers with Micralox Finishing Solutions @ Design 2 Part Show

DCHN demonstrated MICRALOX, a revolutionary anodic coating technology with excellent chemical stability and corrosion resistance at Design2Part Show last year, Watch this video put together by Design2Part where David DiBiasio elaborates on the sheer brilliance of this anodizing technology.

Posted in Aluminum Anodizing - Type II, Aluminum Anodizing - Type III, Company Activities | Tagged , , | 1 Comment