Mar 3, 2003, 9:47 AM
Post #1 of 69
A couple weeks ago, I was discussing the possibility of getting anodized hardware put on rigs. Has anyone tried this or any manufactures looked into this?
Personally, I think it would be pretty sweet to have the hardware on my rig anodized green, and I think that if this was offered by manufactures, jumpers would probably get it. Sort of like getting stainless hardware now.
Getting it certified again is going to be expensive. Plus the fact that unless you get into some pricey block Aluminum is'nt the best materal for shock loadings. I am wondering what the tensile strength of the steel that is used now is.
I've seen steel called "anodized", but they really just mean colored, usually by some other process and usually black. I've also seen descriptions of anodizing steel, but by plating it with aluminum first. Here's a pretty good explination.http://www.docsmachine.com/tech/anod.html
Anodized hardware HAS been available. The chrysalis release used by ParaPhernalia on the Northern Lite was available, at least to a limited extent, anodized. There's a couple of those rigs around here in closets somewhere. Of couse the metal parts were aluminum.
(This post was edited by councilman24 on Mar 3, 2003, 10:49 AM)
I did ALOT of research on this, as we were considering offering colored hardware on the new Viper. This is what I found out. True "anodization" is only done on aluminum, which means you'd be introducing a new hardware, which means LOTS of testing and paperwork (read:$$$$). I'd also assume, although I have nothing to back this up with, that if the military hasn't converted to aluminum (as they're constantly trying to reduce weight) there is probably a reason...again, I have nothing to confirm this...maybe someone out there does?
I also looked into color-plating existing materials. There is a Cad. process that lets you add color, but it (like all Cad. plating) is rather toxic and so costs $$$$, and you have to get rather large quantities of each item...more than anyone but the biggest MFGs. could handle...and it's only in one color. Many Hardware MFGs are also fazing out Cad. plated products (for cost reasons $$$) which is why some rig companies have been batting around the idea of going all SS or Nickle.
Additionally, the colors in the Cad. process were pretty lame. Not like in the anodization market. I had a couple of companies very interested in trying to work with us on it, but, let's face it, skydiving just isn't a big enough industry to foot the bill for something this grand. At least not the way it was laid out for me.
So, sorry guys, unless one of the other MFGs out there has found some other way to do it, you're pretty much stuck with what we've got already...although we'll most likely have black hardware available, as there is some of that floating around out there from Military lots. Personally, I think it would be a super-hot option, but sometimes the $$$ just don't outweigh the cents.
You can actually get Nickle hardware in different colors. I have seen samples of RED, Royal blue, Gold, and shiny black done with a nickle finish.
It isn't a question of re certify but the cost of stocking the hardware. You have to order a large quantity. If there were enough requests then it would be worth it for the manufacturers to stock the colors hardware.
/me pokes head around/ Royal Blue, huh? Where do I sign up?
Seriously, if there was any way to do this, jumpers would buy it. Just look at what people spend on stainless steel hardware. If the nickel component were as strong (and maybe as smooth to prevent wear) as stainless steel, there would not be much of a downside. Can you imagine a yellow rig with blue hardware or black with red hardware? Those would be tight. But then again I love seeing engine compartments that are nothing braided hose with anodized clamps. Oh and my Fat Boy is slowly have all screw heads capped with anodized blue button tops. So I might be biased
bill, I think you are outvoted here But seriously, rig customization is a bit more common than canopy options. Plus...the canopy I just ordered does have color-coded lines. Well...okay, line attachement points....but.....
One potential downside....how will it wear? Enough friction with nylon webbing and that hadrware is going to show the base color.
How about once the customer has paid the down he or she receives the hardware their rig will get and its up to them to have it plated or powder coated in a timely manner and in a process that does not effect the hardware's strength, then the customer ships the plated parts back to the manufacturer for assembly of their rig? This is done in the custom rod and bike world all the time. Glen
How can you certify that the process does not weaken the material? Your average bike shope does'nt have to have all the paperwork on every item showing how and where it was certified, the batch number and everything else a modern rig has to have tracked.
/me pokes head around/ Royal Blue, huh? Where do I sign up?
Seriously, if there was any way to do this, jumpers would buy it. Just look at what people spend on stainless steel hardware. If the nickel component were as strong (and maybe as smooth to prevent wear) as stainless steel, there would not be much of a downside. Can you imagine a yellow rig with blue hardware or black with red hardware? Those would be tight. But then again I love seeing engine compartments that are nothing braided hose with anodized clamps. Oh and my Fat Boy is slowly have all screw heads capped with anodized blue button tops. So I might be biased [/reply
what kind of fat boy do ya got?
(This post was edited by underdog on Mar 4, 2003, 6:27 AM)
I did ALOT of research on this, as we were considering offering colored hardware on the new Viper. This is what I found out. True "anodization" is only done on aluminum, the cents.
NEGATIVE. Titanium and niobium both can be anodized very nicely.
Anodizing is a process in which an oxide layer is built up on the surface of a metal my making the metal the anode (positive electrode) in an electrolytic cell. The oxide layer is often porous so it can be dyed (aluminum), or transparent so that it forms colors by optical interference (titanium). It's use is limited to those metals whose oxides are hard and resistant to wear, like Al and Ti.