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Old 05-10-2006, 01:15 PM   #1
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Tungsten Diamond Like Carbon Finish or "W DLC"

Another SUPERB coating for ferrous alloys (in this case AISI 4140 and 4340) and stainless steels (in this case 1740, 415R and 416R) is the plasma assisted vapor deposition coating called Tungsten Diamond Like Carbon.

It, like Titanium Aluminum Nitride, is one of the newer coatings for us firearm enthusiasts and is virtually impervious to just about everything your pistol or rifle will be exposed to.

The total thickness of the coating is approximately 5 to 7 microns.

I have numerous articles in which I will add to this thread in the same manner that I did on the TiAlN.

I have a second Springfield TRP that is being coated with the W DLC coating with Ionbond as a test sample. I'll post photos and testing results. I can tell you now that I don't expect ANY issues with the coating.

One advantage is that the temperature for the coating application is approximately 300 degress Fahrenheit from what I've gathered from an exhaustive literature search and speaking with a gentleman in the industry. Compare this to the 900 degrees Fahrenheit for Ti coatings. I like 300 degrees over 900 degrees - even though 900 degrees doesn't negatively effect 4140 or 4340.

The W DLC coating will be black not charcoal, but it can be had in many colors depending on the process. In this manner Titanium Aluminum Nitride and W DLC are, again, similar.

There is an excellent SAE Paper Titled SAE 2002-01-3296 "Racing Applications and Validation of a Hard Carbon Thin Fim Coating" that essentially acknowledges WDLC being used in NASCAR engines. I can state - without divulging anything else - that NASCAR is NOT alone in this regard. The photos of wrist pins, cam shafts and surface topography specimens must been seen to appreciate.

Some properties:

Hardness: Typical 1500 HV (btwn 800 - 2200 HV specific application)
Young's Modulus: Typical 200 GigaPascals (btwn 150 and 250 GPa)
Coefficient of Friction: 0.1 to 0.2 Against Dry Steel
Max Temp in Application: 662 degrees F
Deposition Temperature: Less than 302 degrees F
Coating Thickness: 1 to 3 microns
Color: Dark gray-black
Adhesion to Steel: Excellent

I'll keep everyone posted on the results.
 
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:18 AM   #2
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Awesome. Sounds like the best option so far. I would be in for doing a gun if the prices can be kept at $250 or less. Let us know how it develops.
 
Old 05-16-2006, 09:13 AM   #3
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W DLC SA TRP

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10mm
Awesome. Sounds like the best option so far. I would be in for doing a gun if the prices can be kept at $250 or less. Let us know how it develops.
Will do. My TRP should be back by the end of the week.
 
Old 05-16-2006, 10:47 AM   #4
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W DLC Applications in Engines

Coatings To Improve Performance
By William Kimberley, Editor
Automotive Engineer, London, England

Friction loss in engines cannot be avoided and accounts for between 15 to 20% of the energy expenditure, depending on the size and configuration of the engine. Piston skirt friction, piston rings and bearings account for 66% of total friction losses and the valve train for 20 to 25% at low speed. The remainder of the losses come from crankshaft, transmission and gears. Various ways have been sought to minimize friction loss over the years, but one that is increasingly interesting to the automotive industry is coatings. This is hardly a new solution with surfaces having been coated for years, but what is starting to come to the fore is a process called “Diamond-Like Carbon” (DLC) coatings. It has already been applied to diesel injection systems, as without this treatment they could not sustain the pressure. Now, though, it is being extended into the nether regions of the engine.

Unlike other surface treatments that either increase wear resistance or improve friction behavior, DLC coatings make both properties available in a single surface treatment. At the same time, they possess a low coefficient of friction, a low surface energy approaching that of Teflon, and a hardness that is greater than that of carbide or titanium nitride (TiN). While TiN coatings, for example, have a coefficient of friction of around 0.3 and steel 0.7, the coefficient of friction of DLC type coatings is in the region of 0.1. The result is a coating solution that provides a combination of unique wear and low friction.

Coating engine surfaces with a diamond-like coating can reduce friction and improve performance.

There are a number of specialist companies involved in DLC coatings, many as suppliers to race engine manufacturers who adopted this technology a few years ago. However, some are beginning to transition this technology to the mainstream automotive industry, with Bekaert being in the vanguard. This is a €3 billion company employing 17,000 people that is headquartered in Belgium and has facilities located in 120 countries. A world leader in advanced metal transformation, advanced materials and coatings, it is already involved in the automotive industry which accounts for around 40% of its sales. It is number-one in tire reinforcement products, with one in four tires being reinforced with Bekaert steel cord products. It also supplies wire for clutch springs, steel wire and fibers in car seats, and it has developed a coating for flat wiper blades that not only improves their performance but also halves the weight and decreases the number of assembled parts.

For the last 10 years, though, it has also been developing and marketing diamond-like coatings following its acquisition of Sorevi, a French specialist coatings company, and a major supplier of advanced DLC coatings to Formula One and NASCAR engine manufacturers. Its Cavidur coating is a special type of amorphous carbon-based DLC, usually between 2 and 4 microns thick, with a key part of the coatings process being plasma-assisted CVD (chemical vapor deposition). Coatings are applied through a vacuum process at temperatures up to 350ºF. Using this technology, both electrically conductive and non-conductive substrates in a variety of shapes and sizes can be coated homogeneously. “This environmentally friendly technology can be scaled up, enabling Bekaert to offer cost-effective coatings in many industrial sectors,” says Mark Boghe, product market manager automotive of Bekaert. “Any material that can take these conditions without degassing can be potentially coated so even aluminum can be coated. However, because aluminum forms a weak substrate for hard coatings, the application must be oriented more towards reducing technology.”

Another technology used is physical vapor deposition (PVD), where atoms re deposited on a surface by physically removing them from another surface. It allows the design of advanced—or engineered—interlayers to improve the performance of the coatings in very specific applications. To obtain good adhesion, the substrate must be pre-treated by grit blasting, grinding, milling, turning, or a combination of these techniques. Applications include camshafts, finger followers, finger shafts, gudgeon pins, pistons, tappets and valves, plus clutches, brakes and the inner tubes of a racing bike shock absorber.

A spin-off from its DLC Cavidur coating, Bekaert introduced the Dylyn Plus DLC coating last year. Less than 12 months later it announced that it has delivered its 500,000th automotive valve train component to an unnamed European carmaker. “The valve train enables the engine to breathe which, in an engine, means controlling the inlet of a mixture of air and fuel into the cylinder and letting the gases out,” says Michael De Maegt, general manager DLC at Bekaert. “The better an engine breathes, the more efficient it becomes. Coating with Dylyn Plus leads to the reduction of friction in the valve train system, adding wear resistance to the component, extending its life time and allowing the automaker to produce engines with reduced fuel consumption and emissions.” A DLC coating can even allow design changes in the engine, says De Maegt. “Because of DLC’s low coefficient of friction it allows the elimination of bushings so that the piston, for example, can be smaller.”

Another coatings company with roots in motorsport but increasingly supplying the automotive industry is Tecvac, a small UK company based on the outskirts of Cambridge. Following a change in the Formula One engine rules, where engines now have to last two complete race meetings, including practice, rather than when the teams had special engines with different specifications for qualifying and racing, Tecvac found that it was losing business in terms of the volume of heat treatment work it was doing for the engine manufacturers. However, it has now found a new market for DLC on transmission components. “Previously, gearboxes and transmission parts did not represent much of a business for us,” says Mike Morris, Tecvac’s sales manager, “but the low temperatures involved in the DLC process have changed that. So while we have taken a step back with heat treatment, we’ve taken two steps forward with our coating business.”

“The cost for applying a DLC coating depends on numerous factors,” says Boghe. “Most important are the size and the volume of the application, but also significant is the ability to automate, the desired properties and delivery time.”
 
Old 05-22-2006, 07:04 AM   #5
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PULP FRICTION

This month's [April 2006, No. 66] RACE TECH magazine has an eight-page Technology Focus article on W DLC titled PULP FRICTION.

The website for RACE TECH is www.racetechmag.com

It's a good article and not so technical that it puts people to sleep.
 
Old 05-22-2006, 07:09 PM   #6
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Kevin,

I had a few questions about this finish, if you have few minutes.

I tried to email you at the email address you have on the forum, but got no response.

Would you mind emailing me, I have a couple specific questions and would like to find out about a trial with this coating.

Thanks,

Ray
 
Old 05-23-2006, 04:38 AM   #7
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Kevin - same here. I sent you an email about 2 weeks ago.
 
Old 05-23-2006, 10:56 AM   #8
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OK, sounds like some good stuff. How much $$$ to do a 1911? Who Does it, and is it available in pink? Just joking about the pink.......I want lavender. :wink:

Buddy
 
Old 05-23-2006, 12:33 PM   #9
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IONBOND's DLC Coating

This from 37Fordcoupe:

"Ionbond's DLC coating is being done at the Greensboro North Carolina Plant, $150.00 for a complete handgun from a gunsmith.

Darrell"
 
Old 05-25-2006, 06:42 AM   #10
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Can this be applied to aluminum?
 
Old 05-25-2006, 12:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigshooter
Can this be applied to aluminum?
I don't think that Aluminum easily lends itself to W DLC since it is applied at 300 degrees F. That does not mean that there aren't other coatings that can't be applied to the Aluminum and then W DLC. The RACE TECH magazine article spoke of just that.
 
Old 05-30-2006, 04:21 PM   #12
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Sounds a lot like the "E-Treat" that EGW is currently offering.
 
Old 05-31-2006, 07:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Mays
Sounds a lot like the "E-Treat" that EGW is currently offering.
I'm not familiar with E-Treat. Have you any additional info? I'll see what I can find.
 
Old 08-28-2006, 03:29 PM   #14
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W DLC SA TRP

Okay, guys. I've been playing with the W DLC TRP and I've begun shooting the Hades out of it. There is no noticeable wear. But first things first. The finish is fantastic. It's more attractive than the TiAlN to my eyes and it's definitely smoother in action than the original TRP with the TiAlN. I'll post pictures in a bit.
 
Old 08-28-2006, 03:41 PM   #15
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and


 
Old 08-29-2006, 07:28 AM   #16
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That's a beautiful 'black'! 8)
 
Old 08-29-2006, 07:56 AM   #17
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Need more info...

I am getting excited about this and EGW's E-treat. I have a stainless GSR Revolution... and sounds like this would be a great way to go tactical black and increase function and protection.

Keep the info coming.

Justin
 
Old 08-30-2006, 06:45 AM   #18
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Wear Characteristics

"Testing" this TRP is much more difficult than the TiAlN ONLY because I now know more than I did with the TiAlN.

The wear characteristics are similar. I'm watching TV and holstering and unholstering it and I'm managing to pull out all of the leather insides of my Galco Summer Special due to the slide serrations near the muzzle. (Remind me not to have serrations on the muzzle of my next 1911, please).

I've been practicing holstering and unholstering this one as it is now my primary concealed carry hardware. I carry with a Blade-Tech IWB holsterso occasionally I scrape the pistol on the outside fasteners which leave metal deposition on the slide. It comes off with a little bit of oil and a rag, but it does so a bit easier than the TiAlN due to the smoother surface finish and better, i.e., lower coefficient of friction perhaps.

Speaking of friction, I did mention that it definitely seems to cycle smoother than the TiAlN coating when cycling it by hand.

In summary, I'm extremely pleased with the coating and will have all of my 1911s coated with W DLC. More importantly, I'd like to have a rifle action, barrel and bolt coated as well.

I strongly urge any and all to investigate W DLC as the product speaks for itself. No fancy, smarmy tradenames needed and the cost is very competitive to the attractive, but much less effective polymer coatings so widely available.

I'll continue to report how the coating performs as I use it more.

Thanks for your time.
 
Old 08-31-2006, 03:57 PM   #19
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Kevin,

Please repost the link to the company you used for your weapon. Also, any additional info you may have on this. I am thinking of doing this ASAP.

Justin
 
Old 09-01-2006, 05:01 AM   #20
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The vendor who performed the work is IONBOND. The facility that performs the work is located in North Carolina.

They deal with only a few select dealers whom you must utlize. There are several that I'm aware of. One posts here regularly and the other is registered here, but does not post.

The dealer I used is Marianne Carniak [The Accurizer Gun Shop in Troy, MI]. Her phone number is (248) 528-1552.

Early in this thread I posted some of the characteristics of the coating. Post your e-mail and I can send you some technical papers dealing with automotive (mostly racing) applications.
 
Old 09-01-2006, 06:27 AM   #21
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Kevin,

Thanks. You can email me at:

sensei.campbell@gmail.com

Justin
 
Old 11-07-2006, 12:14 PM   #22
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DLC Coating

Bekaert is also coating in North Carolina. They have a much smoother coating who looks real high tech. It is shiny black, not like the dull W-DLC coating.

I do not have the right address, but I guess I can find out if somebody is interested!
 
Old 01-01-2007, 08:40 PM   #23
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I hate to dig up an old thread but I'm curious how the finish is holding up.
 
Old 01-12-2007, 12:12 PM   #24
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W DLC

The finish is holding up admirably - which is what was expected since I own two Sig P226 NSW-9 pistols which have the same coating.

Essentially:

Smooth to the touch
Not too slippery
Impervious to a knife blade scuffing
Black in color - no fading.
 
Old 01-12-2007, 12:13 PM   #25
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Re: DLC Coating

Quote:
Originally Posted by sergant Highway2
Bekaert is also coating in North Carolina. They have a much smoother coating who looks real high tech. It is shiny black, not like the dull W-DLC coating.

I do not have the right address, but I guess I can find out if somebody is interested!
If one has shiny flats on the slide of the pistol the finish will be shiny. It's all about the surface roughness of the coated material...
 
Old 03-17-2007, 10:53 AM   #26
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Wear Resistance of W DLC Coating

After over 5,500 holster presentations using a Blade-Tech IWB holster it appeared as if the W DLC was wearing on the muzzle end of the slide. Upon closer inspection and cleaning it was determined to be very thin deposits of kydex material being "shaved" off of the holster. The pistol -when cleaned - shows ZERO wear.

My testing now complete this is THE coating I recommend fwith no reservations or any aftermarket refinish for a high use duty gun.

Thank you, Darrell, thank you IONBOND/BODYCOTE
 
Old 03-18-2007, 11:13 AM   #27
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Possible Recommendations

Mr. Reed,

I, like many here on the forum, thank you for your time and contributions. There are two queries I have regarding the W DLC coating.

1. What is the corrosion resistance(sorry if I missed this, if such has been posted)?

2. What finish, other than anodizing, would be compatible(friction reducing and wear wise) with the W DLC in relation to aluminum alloy framed pistols?

Again, I thank you for your efforts in bringing the forum this information.
 
Old 03-18-2007, 12:35 PM   #28
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Thank you, nvrquit.

The corrosion resistance is enhanced with W DLC due to the 3 micron electroless Nickel being placed on the parts then the W DLC is added. I'll have to defer to my notes to give you a precise number of hours. Suffice it to say that the Sigarms P226 is the US Navy SEALs standard sidearm and it wears the electroless Nickel topped with W DLC (called "Nitron" by Sigarms). I'll get back to you on this. I will say that it demonstrably better than conventional Titanium Aluminum Nitride due to the undercoat of electroless Nickel even though it is very thin.

Sigarms uses the W DLC (on stainless steel slide) on Class III anodization (Aluminum frames).

I have been told that other PVD coatings are being developed to use on anodized aluminum such as W CC (Tungsten Carbon Carbon). I'm sure there are many options here and I'm not privy to R&D efforts but I am researching the research papers.
 
Old 03-19-2007, 04:53 AM   #29
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w dlc lube

OK, what cleaners and lubricants would you recommend for a W DLC coated part? Also, is the "navy" the only Sig pistol to use the two layer nickel under W DLC coating, and are the small parts/internals also so coated, or just the slide?
 
Old 03-19-2007, 09:15 AM   #30
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Re: w dlc lube

Quote:
Originally Posted by squinty
OK, what cleaners and lubricants would you recommend for a W DLC coated part? Also, is the "navy" the only Sig pistol to use the two layer nickel under W DLC coating, and are the small parts/internals also so coated, or just the slide?
One can use any lubricants on the market. I personally use Brian Enos' Slide Glide (grease) and on other occasions Slip 2000. There are two other products that have caught my undivided attention:

Gun Butter by Boeing Aircraft
Militec

The Gun Butter product was referred to me by Paul Erstgaard of MSTN in Tennessee. He builds phenomenal AR-15s for competition and for some SpecOps operators. It was designed to operate in jet turbine engines at temperatures of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit - and it doesn't burn off... If only I could make it smell like G-96 I'd repackage it as women's perfume! :lol: Also check out their other product called BoeShield which is a topical spray coating to inhibit rust. It works phenomenally well. Every 1911 owner should have a can or three.

The second product was referred to me by retired Detroit Police officer Larry Sullivan. After inspecting and experiencing the results on his new Smith & Wesson M&P I was impressed and will be obtaining this product as well.

Check them both out if you will.

I've run this second TRP without lubriction and there was no wear, but I'd not recommend this. Remember, I was trying to induce failures in the coating. I do, however, have a feeling of confidence after firing just over 1,500 rounds with no lubrication - including a one day class in which the pistol was fired 482 rounds to be exact.

All of the stainless steel slided pistols from Sigarms have the electroless Ni base coat followed by the W DLC top coat. In fact, all "Nitron"-coated pistols have this coating methodology. This would include:

P226 - all models
P229 - all models
P220 - all models
P239 - all models
1911 Series - all models

Also, keep in mind that any of the older model Sigarms pistols may be sent in to the custom shop for coating.

To coat other pistols and revolvers one must contact one of the authorized gunsmiths associated with Bodycote.
 
Old 03-20-2007, 04:50 AM   #31
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e-nickel base layer

So, to be clear, my P220 Equinox carry has an electroless nickel coating under the black "nitron" outer layer? The polished flats - are they exposed stainles or exposed nickel? Are the smalll parts/internals coated the same way? Or is the P220 just W DLC over stainless?
 
Old 03-20-2007, 11:12 AM   #32
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Ah, the Equinoxes... I forgot about them. I'm not sure about them. I'll contact my contact and get back with you.
 
Old 03-22-2007, 04:24 PM   #33
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the deepening nitron mystery

OK, I hear many conflicting stories about Nitron. Scott at Grayguns Inc. describes it as a "titanium fumed" coating and praises it's hardness. (Sounds like TiN?) Others tell me it's a "gas nitriding" process similar to Melonite or Tennifer. I'm reminded somehow of the blind men and the elephant. Maybe everybody is actually telling me the same thing but with different vocabularies, so to my uneducated ear it sounds like they are describing different things. Sig customer service won't respond to my e-mailed questions regarding the finish. :evil:

Anyway, I really like the idea of hard eNickel under a smooth black coating of W DLC, and got all happy and excited when I heard about it, but I really don't think that's what is on my Equinox (too bad, really) maybe the 226 Navy has that kind of coating. (Maybe my next purchase will be a 226 Navy, hmmm...)

Seems I've hijacked this thread as well, maybe this post would fit better elsewhere.
 
Old 04-30-2007, 09:08 AM   #34
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"Nitron" is most certainly a physical vapor deposition coating called Tungsten Diamond Like Carbon. A "titanium fumed" coating would be Titanium Aluminum Nitride or Titanium Carbonitride.

The "Nitron" name may well have initially been a nitrocarburization process to through-harden the stainless slides and then have a black oxide coating applied to the finished product. That changed, and as opposed to having large stocks of unsold pistols Sigarms chose to leave the name the same.

I don't think they'll choose to comment. This is what I HATE about trade names. I wish they'd just call it what it is. This is true of many companies not just Sig.

Look up Bodycote and IONBOND online.
 
Old 12-24-2007, 07:55 AM   #35
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Well, I now have 7,000 holster draws with no wear on the pistol. It does collect microthin slivers of kydex which makes me look thrice thinking that the coating is removed. It is not. I now have 2,000 of Fiocchi, WWB and Blazer rounds fired with no lube. The pistol is cleaned every 500 rounds. There is no wear on the frame rails.

I think I can put the test to bed.

In summary both the TiAlN and the W DLC are superb for wear resistane.

The W DLC will have better corrosion resistance due to the electroless Ni substrate.

One must still take care of the finish as they can still corrode (they are porous afterall).

A product called Boe-Shield is phenomenal to prevent corrosion and the W DLC 1911 just dried and it also has a three apllications of Mili-Tec on both the frame & slide rails and internal parts.
 
Old 01-27-2009, 02:24 PM   #36
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Re: Tungsten Diamond Like Carbon Finish or "W DLC"

6,000 rounds and 8,000 holster draws later the pistol is holding up very well. It's at my gunsmith to re-stake the plunger. I have managed to damage the coating on the outside magwell funnel while horseplaying, seatbelt and always bumping into the inside of doors - all hitting the EXACT same spot.

I'm too lazy to purchase a camera but I will and I'll provide photos.

Also the Les Baer Thunder Ranch is also coated with W DLC and I wear it daily. Hell, I do construction work with this pistol. Maybe I shouldn't but it wears well and shoots well. And it's beautiful, too.

Pictures will be forthcoming.
 
Old 03-07-2009, 11:00 AM   #37
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Re: Tungsten Diamond Like Carbon Finish or "W DLC"

Kevin...who did your Thunder Ranch?
 
Old 12-11-2009, 03:08 PM   #38
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Re: Tungsten Diamond Like Carbon Finish or "W DLC"

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophijo
Kevin...who did your Thunder Ranch?
Ionbond did all of my W DLC work.
 
Old 09-05-2010, 10:16 PM   #39
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Please can someone post a listing of places that perform Ion-Bond finishs on handguns? And who does Ion-Bond work in Greensboro,NC
 
Old 07-19-2011, 06:48 AM   #40
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Question W DLC Finish on Damascus Steel Slide?

Hi,

Im considering doing a custom 1911 using a Caspian Ti frame and Damascus slide. I was planning on finishing the Ti frame with a W DLC finish (Tungsten Diamond Like Carbon Finish) and was wondering if the W DLC finish could also be applied to the Damascus slide in such a manner (or perhaps just to the inside of the slide) so the beautiful Damascus steel will still be visible on the outside.

Thanks,
~ evenstill
 
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