Hot salts and aluminum BAD combination?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by ShawnDow, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. ShawnDow

    ShawnDow Member

    Jun 17, 2012
    Tawas City, Michigan
    So, I hear that aluminum can't go through a hot salts bluing process.:( Thats understandable, now I have a brain scratcher for you all that do this.:confused: Some guns (rifles) have aluminum receivers and steel barrels that are a pain in the caboose to pull apart; and even if you did.. I hear the fit between the two can be compromised afterward. This sounds like a problem...

    So.. I like to solve problems.. But I have no experience with the hot salts solutions and how they react with anything besides steel... and ... Im told to stay away from this (right Goofy?) :dontknow:for experimenting with, and I thought if I got you the professionals opinions and possible remedies I could develop a solution to help all you hot salts bluing guys out.:dance:

    So I understand the solution gets to about 295 degrees give or take depending on the solution. This temperature wont have an affect on the aluminum.. I know this because I heat treat aluminum... so... I have an Idea as to how to cover the aluminum to keep it separated from the salt solution while submerged.. Im just curious if it would work.

    In the aviation industry (I work on Boeing Aircraft) :tapfoot:we have this "High abrasion, chemical resistant" paint (thank you Boeing) that is composed primarily of Teflon (it will withstand anything an aircraft can spew on it)... My thoughts were to cover said aluminum receiver (or parts) with the Teflon coating... blue your parts as you would normally do... then when all is said and done... remove the coating.. with.. paint stripper of all things...:eek:

    I know this may sound silly.... and this is where the pros come in (thats you guys and gals) but would the teflon be affected by the salt solution? or would the Teflon mess up the chemical balance of the salts solution?

    Any feed back on my ramblings would be greatly appreciated. And if this problem solving works.. I have "other projects" running around in my noodle.:crazy:
    Thank you,
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    alu oxide and sodium chloride = BOOM yeah not a great thing if your seal between the paint and alu aint great

  3. ShawnDow

    ShawnDow Member

    Jun 17, 2012
    Tawas City, Michigan
    Thats good to know...we dont want anything going BOOM! Now if the aluminum was dipped instead of brushed or painted???
  4. ShawnDow

    ShawnDow Member

    Jun 17, 2012
    Tawas City, Michigan
    Sprayed .. i didnt mean painted.. its still painted.. listen top the meaning not my ramblings...
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    i've dipped engineering wax and got bad seals its something you really need to experiment , steel first paint some and cook it to see if the paint lifts from heat if not try alu if ok then try it fully but make sure you have all the PPE you can get and that everything is safe
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    If the paint or sealant could be applied perfectly with no chance at all of any of the caustic salts getting to the receiver, that idea might work. But any paint applied that way could not be left in place. In other words, you couldn't just do a quick spray of the receiver and blue the steel barrel, you would have to make sure every part of the receiver was sealed off; if even a square millimeter was exposed, or the tiniest crevice remained open, the receiver would be ruined.

    Then, because the receiver could not be used with all that paint on it, the paint/sealant would have to be removed from where it is not wanted, a time consuming process. And then you would still have to blue the aluminum in a way that would leave a working receiver. All in all, it is more efficient to simply remove the barrel, blue the barrel, and paint or anodize the alloy receiver.

    FWIW, caustic soda does dissolve aluminum. A friend of mine was almost blinded because of that. He had been used to bluing M1911 magazines by washing them and throwing them in the tank without disasembly. One day he did that with a Browning High Power magazine, forgetting that the BHP magazine has an aluminum follower. He leaned over the tank just as the follower let go, with the spring throwing hot salts and the remains of the follower at his face. Fortunately, he was wearing goggles and his eyes were spared but he suffered burns of his face.

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Yep hot salts and aluminum = no more aluminum.

    Bets to separate them or select a different method of finishing the 2 together. Like Cerakote or something similar thats materially unbiased.
  8. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    Shawn and I were talking about a Mossberg 400 ware the barrel can not be separated without the possibility of it not going back together so it is right.
    I am trying to restore it (it's a project that I have been working on for a while) and I want to blue the barrel not paint it.
    So we were looking at different ideas as to how to do it.
    I asked him to post this Idea because I know nothing about the coatings he is talking about.
  9. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    lotsa a ways of laying a colour on alu just most are either ionic transfer or a dye

    get yourself the matching grade of alu ( manufacturer should specify the type of alu generally 6061 T6 grade is used

    then select some Black and either navy blue or mahogony RIT r fabric dye ad 1 part black to 4 parts colour and test and adjust , do 3 coats to test leave for 15 mins and wipe clean and reapply and see if that will get the colour to your likeing \

    the compound dye used by rit is a bastard staining dye on alu and will stain alu bowls forever if used to dye stuff in but its never a real deep stain and its hard to get even unless you spray gun the whole thing to get a even coverage on fast

    some places use a varnish type stuff on alu parts this will block any stain finish etc test with a small dab of amour all if it goes white ish after a few its coated if not the metal will disperse the amour all (then ya gotta degrease ya gun , oh well )

    if not then ionic transfer

    normally used is anodizing but theres a few others , mild acid can transfer various colours from metalic bases and attraction and deposit is provide via a current passing from one annode to the other ( the alu being the neg so the metal deposits on it )

    most anodized finishes are rather shiny but there are matt compounds on the darker shades t5o at the better shops ..
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
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