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topic 4108

New finishes for magnesium alloys -- anodizing and chromating


Q. I am currently doing research on Mg alloys in watch making. I want to know the different finishes available. The finishes need to be decorative, corrosion resistance, hypo-allergic and have reasonable mechanical properties. Any comment on the subject is appreciated.

Doris Wong
- Hong Kong


A. You can either anodize it or put a chrome conversion coating on a magnesium alloy. You can also paint after treating the surface with a chrome conversion coating.

S. Y. Yuen
- Hong Kong, China


A. There are new ceramic oxidization coatings which produce extremely high hardness and corrosion resistant surfaces on Mg. This can be polished to produce a pleasing appearance (depending on alloy) and accept paint easily as well as certain dyes.

Trevor Amos
- Southampton, England, UK

March 6, 2009

A. Hi, Doris. We have a review of magnesium finishing on line here: "Finishing of Magnesium". Further, magnesium can be electroless nickel plated.

If you can possibly find it, try to get hold of Dow's "Magnesium Finishing" handbook. Good luck.


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

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