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Blackening process named BLACK-T

An ongoing discussion from 1996 through 2014 . . .


Q. Does anyone know a blackening process named BLACK-T? It is a mixture of polymers, Teflon and graphite and has very good corrosion resistance. Sara

Sara Michaeli
chemical process supplier
Tel-Aviv, Israel


A. I am not familiar with "Black T". However, by your description it sounds like a brand name for a permanent dry film lubricant. Typically these products are a blend of fluoropolymers (i.e., Teflon®), molybdenum disulfide, graphite, and/or pigments in a polymer resin binder system.

At Luke Engineering, we apply Everlube brand products from E/M Corp. and Xylan brand from Whitford Corp.

Other manufacturers have similar products.

Chris Jurey, Past-President IHAA
Luke Engineering & Mfg. Co. Inc.

Wadsworth, Ohio


A. Black-T is a process of applying Teflon polymer as a coating on firearms. It is known in the custom gunsmith circles as having been developed by William Birdsong. Other than that, I don't know much about it.

Harold Mayo


A. W.E. Birdsong & Assoc. Inc. Black-T (tm) and Green-T (tm) are NATO Black and NATO Green respectively. Some claimed basic Stats: ASTM G87 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet] Kesternich Cabinet (Acid): greater than 60 cycles; ASTM B117 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet] (Salt): greater than 4000 hours; Surface COF: 0.08; Thickness 18 to 22 microns.

Steve Weinert

A. Black-T is a coating by a company called CRT (Corrosion Resistant Technologies).

Mark Musselman
- Troy, Michigan

Ed. note: CRT is one applicator of the W.E. Birdsong coating.


Q. Hi,

I am a materials engineer for an electro-optical company, we have been using black oxide MIL-DTL-13924 [link is to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency /] , and BLACK T (VICKERS SPEC VS-1-3-1-165) on stainless steel bolts for some time now. The BLACK T has always proven superior in both corrosion and wear resistance, but we now have a customer who will not accept processes that are not MIL or other int'l spec (ASTM/SAE etc.) Is anyone familiar with a MIL Spec equivalent to the Black T, or any other black coating with higher resistance than black oxide?


Baruch B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Materials R&D Engineer - Modi'in, ISRAEL

December 31, 2012

A. Hi Baruch. Salt Bath Nitriding, or QPQ (quench-polish-quench) salt bath nitriding, is a process available from many vendors which offers hardness, wear resistance, black color, and good corrosion resistance. With respect to firearms, Glocks use the Tennifer brand name for this process.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey


RFQ: What is a Black-T Coating per VC-1-3-1-165 Class 2, Type 1
I'm interested to contact companies who are capable to proceed with this coating.

Frederick Shterenberg
- Garland, Texas

January 7, 2009

Q. Does anyone have information on the optical properties of this coating (such as reflectivity/emissivity)?

Ron Fourier
- Yokneam, Israel

November 30, 2009

Q. Is there any detail spec to be found on internet? Or there any replacement for such coating?

Jason Chen
Kodak - shanghai, PRC

December 1, 2009

A. Hi, Ron; hi, Jason.

As far as we see, Black-T is a trademark for a proprietary technology so I think a "replacement" for a secret proprietary would be an oxymoron. But if you tell us what properties you are looking for, I'm confident that there are other coatings which offer the properties that you seek.

Why does the question come up? Is it spec'ed on a drawing or a P.O.? Thanks!


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

June 23, 2010

Q. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the specification for Black T finish (VICKERS SPEC VS-1-3-1-165)?

Mark Sheridan
Mechanical Engineer - Ramat Gan, Israel

December 31, 2012

A. We have in our company few years of experience with Black-T coating, using it to coat steel parts for mechanical and hydraulic applications.
It is a very good coating for steel hydraulic manifolds, and due to its small thickness and teflon additive it is also very good for shafts coating.

- Tel Aviv, Israel

Ed. note: Thank you very much for your willingness to share your positive experience, Yoah. But we really don't like to post testimonials on this technical site. For one thing, people are leery of posting negatives for fear of hearing from a company's lawyers -- so testimonials usually end up unbalanced and overly favorable. For another, there's no practical way to know the vested interests of the posters, so testimonials encourage phony "plants".
thumbs up signFinally, a favorable review of the products of our supporting advertisers who make the site possible will naturally be viewed with a bit of suspicion, while a favorable review of a non-advertiser will not ... how fair is it to not only have to pay for promoting your competitors' products, but to have the review judged by a more tolerant standard?  :-)

December 3, 2013

Q. I would also like to know if anybody knows where I can get a copy of the specification for Black T finish (VICKERS SPEC VS-1-3-1-165)?


Tom Anderson
- Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom

December 3, 2013

A. Hi Tom. Vickers is now a part of Eaton Hydraulics, so if the spec is still in effect you should be able to get a copy from your Eaton buyer. If the work is not being done directly or indirectly for Eaton, I'm having a hard time understanding why people are trying to process to that spec. But if you are looking to perform or have performed the Black-T process, I think Birdsong can provide the info you need. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 17, 2014

A. Dear Sara,

We are representing Everlube products in Israel and have a solid film coating that can replace Black T and was already tested and approved locally. Will be happy to help you with this and provide TDS and MSDS.

Ami Talmor
ITC - Kfar Saba

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