WIL­WOOD BRINGS TYPE III MIL­I­TARY-SPEC HARD AN­ODIZ­ING HOME

Street Trucks - - TECH -

Street Trucks : Thank you, Michael and Phil, for tak­ing time out of your busy sched­ules to give our read­ers bet­ter in­sight into Wil­wood’s in-house hard-an­odiz­ing pro­duc­tion. Can you please let our read­ers know who you are and your role with the com­pany?

Phil Dunne : I’m a process en­gi­neer here at Wil­wood, and I come from a long fin­ish­ing back­ground. I’ve worked on ev­ery­thing from con­sumer elec­tron­ics to things that blow up for the mil­i­tary.

Michael Ham­rick : I’ve been in the au­to­mo­tive af­ter­mar­ket in­dus­try now for 25 years and have spent 16 of those years with Wil­wood. When I started here, Wil­wood catered mainly to rac­ing-based parts, that has trans­formed more into the street-per­for­mance market now, but our roots are still in rac­ing prod­ucts.

Im­pres­sive! Glad to meet you both. For some of our read­ers who don’t know ex­actly what an­odiz­ing is, could you give us your def­i­ni­tion?

An­odiz­ing is all about abra­sion re­sis­tance. Alu­minum ox­ide is a re­ally hard ceramic. When we ap­ply elec­tric­ity to it in the chem­i­cal bath, the alu­minum ox­ide mi­grates up to the top sur­face and cre­ates a buildup on the part. The thing that makes an­odiz­ing re­ally unique to other fin­ishes is that when it’s mi­grat­ing through, it also builds up that same den­sity, mir­ror­ing its growth on the out­side, on the in­side. It’s in­te­gral to the part, as op­posed to a pow­der coat, which is just on top of the part, so ad­he­sion is never an is­sue.

Can you ex­plain where the Type III Mil-spec hard an­odiz­ing fits into this process?

The Type III re­ally is a step above the Type II, which is usu­ally of­fered in an as­sort­ment of pretty color fin­ishes. Ei­ther one can be dyed black, but gen­er­ally you’ll see Type II in red, blue or clear. The dif­fer­ence there is that when the alu­minum ox­ide grows out, it grows out in a hon­ey­comb shape.

So, when we’re look­ing at the Type III an­odize, the di­am­e­ter of the pores in the hon­ey­comb are very small and tight, and you have a lot more ma­te­rial there. The Type II has much larger pores in that hon­ey­comb, which is why you are able to get the dye into it.

Phil had a great way of ex­plain­ing it with straws as an ex­am­ple that re­ally hits home when think­ing about the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two. Could you go over that one more time, Phil?

Sure, think of a reg­u­lar drink­ing straw and the slim, tall red bar straws. If I held a group of straws from Mcdon­ald’s in my hand tightly, and we looked at the top of them, they’d be about 2 inches tall, and the straws would have larger di­am­e­ter holes; this would be the Type II an­odize. Type III would look more like a group of the bar straws with much smaller di­am­e­ters, and many more of these straws are able to take up the same space as the Mcdon­ald’s straws. It’s that ex­tra ma­te­rial that gives Type III bet­ter abra­sion re­sis­tance.

That makes a lot of sense. Is the Type III able to be dyed at all?

A nat­u­ral gray color re­sults in the Type III an­odiz­ing, be­cause—go­ing back to the straw com­par­i­son—the Type III straws are twice as tall as the Type II, so none of the light is mak­ing its way in there, al­low­ing the alu­minum to re­flect out with that clear white look. If a cus­tom color is de­sired for Type III calipers, we do of­fer a pow­der coat that would cover the an­odize fin­ish, leav­ing the cus­tomer with a nice cos­metic ap­pear­ance on top of the Mil-spec abra­sion re­sis­tance of the mov­ing parts.

It’s good to know that there is an op­tion to have the best of both worlds when or­der­ing prod­uct. Wil­wood has of­fered the Type III for some time now, right?

Wil­wood has al­ways of­fered Type II an­odize on its brake calipers, but as far as the Type III hard an­odize, most of the parts of­fered were ex­clu­sively for race ap­pli­ca­tions. We’ve al­ways had a strong net­work of

THIS IS A VIEW OF THE WORK­STA­TION WHERE AN­ODIZE LOADS ARE PRO­GRAMMED TO RUN AU­TO­MAT­I­CALLY TO A COAT­ING THICK­NESS OF +/- 10%.

HERE’S A LOOK AT THE HIGH-EF­FI­CIENCY AN­ODIZE LINE DE­SIGNED AND EN­GI­NEERED EX­CLU­SIVELY TO PROCESS WIL­WOOD EN­GI­NEER­ING PROD­UCTS IN-HOUSE.

ON THE LEFT IS A 14,000 CU­BIC FEET PER MINUTE AIR SCRUBBER TO CLEAN THE ROOM OF ANY FUMES GEN­ER­ATED FROM THE AN­ODIZE PROCESS.

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