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Steam Homo Treatment vs Black Oxide Treatment


Q. We currently steam homo treat and wax dip all of our castings for long term protection (96 salt spray hours). We are looking for an alternative process that can be done in production cells and give us the same protection as steam homo. Any suggestions?

D Hughes
- Salem, Virginia, USA

Q. I am interested in this as well. Did you ever find a better solution?

J Odum
- Salem, Virginia
April 6, 2022

A. Hi J. D's posting was from 21 years ago and I suspect s/he was probably your predecessor at your company. You might inquire if any projects on this are on file.

I don't pretend to actually know anything substantial about Homo Steam Treatment, but I understand it involves exposing the parts to 1250 °F steam, and is very useful for sealing and strengthening castings and improving their corrosion resistance.

There is no such thing as a material with all of the properties of another material, and few examples of processes which impart identical properties as other processes. So the question becomes "what do you want the substitute process to do for you?". If it's solely a matter of corrosion resistance, waxed black oxide will deliver some corrosion resistance but probably not the 96 hours that D was looking for; clearcoated black oxide might. But if sealing/strengthening is required, black oxide doesn't offer it, and I don't see feasible alternatives that do. Further, most metal finishing processes are not well suited to the "production cell" approach.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
April 2022

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