Guyson Tests its Metal with Cerakote
Cerakote is a thin film, highly protective, great-looking ceramic coating that is often used in the firearms and automotive industry. Guyson, one of the leading suppliers of blasting and prep for coat to the automotive and firearms industries, consistently deals with manufacturers in developing a proper finish on metal parts. In fact, Guyson believes they have a better finishing solution than the Cerakote recommended specifications. Here is the basis for that claim. Creating the best Cerakote finish has been a goal for our clients.
Cerakote states that a good mechanical adhesion is key to Cerakote’s performance, in fact the specification is for 100# aluminum oxide or garnet sand as the proper media options, blasted at a pressure between 80 to 100 psi. After blasting, inspection is recommended for a consistent matte finish which is important to the final outcome of the Cerakote product. Cerakote emphasizes not to use metal media to blast with. Cerakote is serious about the proper prep for coat finish being important to a proper long lasting final coat.
CMMG is a leading manufacturer of firearms – AR-15 rifles, components and small parts.
“We have experienced a significant improvement in blast time while maintaining a very consistent surface finish. With the Guyson in daily operation, we have increased or coatings throughput and freed up labor for other areas in the plant. The machine is surprisingly quiet and helped keep us below hearing conservation thresholds.”
Guyson Addresses Challenges with Innovation
Manufacturers have problems to overcome however — consistency, air pressure, floor space — when the Guyson Corporation works directly with the companies in the firearms industry who use Cerakote. The first concern is creating a consistent finish from firearm to firearm. Many manufacturers use hand held manual blast cabinets which make getting a consistent finish from product to product nearly impossible without the help of automation or robotics. Automated blast cabinets are not only expensive, they need a large air compressor to make the machine productive enough for industrial production, requiring large amounts of floor space that not all manufacturers can spare.
A high volume machine that could create a consistent finish, didn’t need an expensive air system to make it run, and didn’t take up a lot of floor space would be ideal. Guyson created one using their original Guyson blast cabinet systems, called the 401T wheel blast machine. It has a small footprint of 11 feet by 9.5 feet. The media is thrown with a spinning wheel, rather than air pressure. It has a large cabinet, consistent blast process, yet only needs a tiny compressor for the media blow off. However, you must use metal blasting media in a wheel blast machine, not the aluminum oxide media which is specified by Cerakote.
Guyson Puts Cerakote Blast Specifications to the Test
Guyson had questions:
- Why is metal blasting media not acceptable for a proper finish when coating with Cerakote?
- Is the abrasion area the correct depth for adhesion?
- Is it consistent enough?
- Is it rough enough?
To answer these questions Guyson began testing Cerakote finishes in their newly engineered Guyson 401T AR-MAX wheel blast system with various metal medias. Guyson tried stainless media, steel media, and peening media. The softer angular media had one result, harder round media had another. After weeks of testing, Guyson developed an ideal combination of media called “The Guyson Blend”. We crafted this to create the perfect depth and roughness that is able to create a strong bond that goes beyond the durability results of the Cerakote specified media.
Guyson’s 70 Years of Credentials
Guyson was able to create a stronger finish using a media that was specifically called out as improper. This is because Guyson knows blasting and the effect of different medias on specific metals. With a 70-year history of building the 401T, Guyson knew that they could match the Cerakote milspec with a metal steel media.
Guyson Laboratory, which researches media types and speeds for client specified finishes, was tasked with proving Guyson’s claim.
To hit the Cerakote milspec, Guyson spent hundreds of engineering hours, and weeks of blast experimentation. Lab testing was used following the ASTM (American Society of Testing Materials) methodology, which included an abrasive rotation test, scratch test, gouge test, adhesion test and impact test.
Guyson then contacted Cerakote to have them work out a testing process that could give an unbiased result. Cerakote sent “coupons”, which are 4″x4″ and 6″x3″ aluminum samples for Guyson to blast. Guyson blasted each with 3 different metal media and one with aluminum oxide. The samples were identified only with a code as an identifier to allow Cerakote to determine unbiased results.
Cerakote’s lab took over at this point, applying Cerakote to the blasted coupons using their usual protocol. The Cerakote lab then tested the coated products.
The 401T wheel blast system using three different metal media outperformed the aluminum oxide on all fronts. The aluminum oxide samples did reach the specification that Cerakote required, but the metal bead media samples created a better adhesion, better impact resistance, better scratch resistance and a longer lasting finish.
The Best Performance goes to… Guyson’s 401T AR-MAX
Based on Cerakote’s lab testing, Guyson’s family of 401T wheel blast systems, including the all new AR-MAX, created a better finish that is more consistent, with an extremely higher production rate than a manual blast cabinet. Guyson’s machines will also give any company the lowest cost per piece than any other machine when prepping for a Cerakote finish.