What is the better coating method, Cerakoting or Anodizing?
This is more of an informational than a highly technical comparison. The reason being, I don’t think anyone disagrees that cerakote is better than anodizing as a firearms coating. However, most people think cerakote is just a coating used to make things colorful. But it’s way more sciency than that.
What is Cerakote?
Cerakote is a process of applying a ceramic coating to the outside of the metal. It is sprayed onto the parts, then baked in an oven to cure the coating. Now Cerakote has made leaps and bounds in its development over the years. In tests the coating out preforms all the other coatings by a significant margin. Especially in the corrosion resistant testing. Since it’s a coating it creates a very slick surface in the inside of the parts to further decrease the wear on the moving parts. Everything has some downsides. Since this is a coating, it creates a thicker layer on the outside. If you don’t know how to manufacture parts for this, it can lead to making too tight of tolerances that will hurt performance. The coater must be extremely consistent in order to produce the same thickness throughout the part. QC is something that must be thoroughly done in a production environment. So, make sure you use a reputable company when going something cerakoted. Also, Cerakote is more difficult to get in tight spaces since it is sprayed on.
What is Anodizing?
So, this is a metal treatment and not a coating. This process uses electromechanical process that creates an anodic oxide finish to the aluminum. I’m sure I just lost you there. What that means in normal folk terms is that you put the parts in a chemical bath solution and apply electricity. When you do that, it creates a chemical reaction with the metal and gives a very hard outter layer. This coating can’t chip or break away because it’s now part of the metal. This does a great job of creating and making the metal extremely corrosion resistant, abrasion resistant, and wear resistant. What this doesn’t do well is create an environment to expel debris. In a DI system the gas blows back directly into the upper makes it hard to keep clean since everything sticks to it. The military has used it for a while, so it does well its just not the best.
Does Mitchell Defense Cerakote or Anodize?
So, one thing that anodizing does well is create a far better surface for cerakote to stick to. It also gets to the places that cerakote can’t. So, we anodize all our parts and then cerakote on top of that. This gives us all the benefits of anodizing and cerakote without any downside. Also, between the E series cerakote we use and the BCG coating that is on our new BCGs there is nearly 0 friction between the BCG and uppers. That’s a good thing for reliability and durability if you’re wondering.