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""Self-colored" finish / "self-colored" chain"

December 10, 2015

Q. I've seen the finish of Grade 43 chain often listed as self-colored. Sometimes there is a mention of an oil type rust preventative added to the self-colored or 'plain' finish. Is that standard for self-colored chain? Why not just make the chain with a zinc plated (or galv or SS) finish, why self-colored?

Charles Chambless
- Atlanta, Georgia

December 2015

A. Hi Charles. "Self-colored" is just slang for "plain" or "unfinished" or "no plating or coating". Further, this piece of slang seems to never have found its way outside of the chain industry. Google "self colored finish" and you'll probably find no other references except to chain.

Slang is not a specification and you can't put a fine point on it. Thus the chain may look different depending on grade and heat treatment, and it may or may not have been dipped in some sort of rust preventative. One reason for plain finish is just economy -- it costs money to zinc plate or galvanize chain.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 14, 2015

Q. This self-colored finish seems to mainly be used for Grade 43 (not so much for other grades). And often used as a logging chain. Hardware stores specifically sell a logging chain with hooks that is grade 43, self-colored.

Is there something about grade 43 or the logging industry that prefers a self-colored/plain/no finish chain?

Charles Chambless
- atlanta, Georgia

December 2015

A. Hi again. I'm not from the logging industry, so I wouldn't know if unplated chain offers some particular advantage for that industry. But my guess is simply that they want strong inexpensive chain cheap because of lost chains, abrasion of the coatings anyway, etc. Avoiding plating, galvanizing, hydrogen embrittlement relief, etc., certainly saves cost.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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