Some folks might choose this type of finish for aesthetic appearances, but anodizing truly makes a difference with general maintenance and performance of any AR-15 80 percent lower.
Being one of the toughest finishes on the market, anodizing produces one of the most durable surface treatments available. The process creates a protective coating over the metal that will not flake, chip, or peel over time while being easy to maintain.
Anodizing should not be confused with plating, which involves painting a superficial coating on top of the metal surface. A majority of the standard AR-15s are finished this way. In fact, this application is used in building construction, spacecraft production, kitchen appliances, boats and motor vehicles components, and even Apple phones and watches.
Anodizing Your 80 Percent Lower
Anodizing is an electrochemical process that turns the metal surface into a durable, corrosion-resistant, decorative finish. The electrochemical reaction forms pores on the surface as excess positive ions escape. A geometric pattern forms and the surface combines with the negatively charged O2 ions to create aluminum oxide.
As the current continuously applied, weak and reactive areas of the pores continue to penetrate deeper, forming a series of column-like hollow structures. When the current is applied for a longer time, the greater the penetration of these columns. Then rinsing the surface with water seals it off permanently.
The new surface is now a hard, durable oxide aluminum coating that rates 9 out of 10 Mohs on the hardness scale, with diamond holding the spot for 10 Mohs.
Adding Color to Your 80% Lower
Folks can choose from a wide range of colors whether they choose the Type II or the Type III finish. If included, pigment fills the hollow columns during the electrochemical process, then is permanently sealed off.
Scratches can’t remove the color, like other surface treatments, such as plating. Grinding and sanding away the coating down to the original metal surface is the only way to remove the color coating entirely. The process is safe for humans and the environment. It uses no heavy metals and produces no toxic waste.
Anodized aluminum is known for its characteristic metallic sheen. Uniform electro-chemical etching leaves a rough surface. The deeper the pores, the rougher the surface will be. When light strikes this surface, it interacts with the color and the uncolored metal underneath.
Also known as Type III, hard anodizing provides corrosion and wear protection in extreme environments or with moving mechanical parts subject to friction. This type of finish is more expensive and take more time, but the resulting product stands superior to other varieties.
The Benefits of Anodizing
Anodizing your 80 percent lower can not only increase wear and abrasion resistance, but it is also light-weight and flame resistance. This type of surface treatment produces a longer lasting finish with lower maintenance costs.
Since the finish bonds to the surface metal, little work is needed to keep parts clean, just a little soap and water is needed to restore any anodized surface to its original appearance. Here at AR-15 Lower Parts Kit, we highly recommend this surface treatment.