Clear Coating Polished Aluminum
The hard part is finishing the handles. We are sanding in stages going up to 800 wet to achieve a polished look, which is no problem. We are having problems finding a finish to protect the polished look our customer is after. I know I can send these out for dipping but prefer to keep them in-house if possible. We are open to any finish supplier, but typically use SW products. Does anyone have any thoughts?
From Paul Snyder, forum technical advisor:
My first choice would be to send it out for clear anodizing. There are probably other chemical dips/treatments that would also last a long time. Second choice would be a clear powder coat. If the budget was too tight for either of these options, I'd use a clear catalyzed polyurethane rated for exterior use. I use Matthews MAP a lot because I have a good local supplier that can match any color; it comes in gloss, satin, and matte; works well on a variety of substrates including plastics (start with "Tie bond"), metals, and wood; it's as durable as any other auto paint; sprays well; and polishes well. To clearcoat aluminum, start with "Spray Bond" and then topcoat with gloss MAP. You can probably get the same results from other brands of automotive clear coat, you'll just want to make sure they're compatible with raw aluminum.
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