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Insta-Blak A-385

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Insta-Blak A-385 is an aluminum-blackening process that can be used as both an immersion and a swab-on solution. It's an easy-to-use finish that requires no special equipment or procedures. One gallon of Insta-Blak A-385 can coat 150–250 sq. ft. of aluminum parts.

Samples available to purchase - CALL #262-786-9330.

PLEASE NOTE: Orders ship within 3 business days.

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How to Use Insta-Blak A-385

Insta-Blak A-385 can be used to give aluminum and its alloys a decorative gray-to-black finish without the use of professional equipment or precautions.

Use Insta-Blak A-385 to:
  • Blacken aluminum and its alloys at room temperature
  • Eliminate need for special equipment, safety/control procedures, ventilation, and heating
  • Achieve pewter gray to deep black finishes, depending on dilution and immersion time
  • Use as an immersion solution (when diluted)
  • Use as a swab-on solution (when used at full strength)
  • Achieve minimal thickness and no dimensional change
  • Avoid caustic fumes, unpleasant odors, and safety hazards

Guides & Manuals

Safety & Technical Data

The Blackening Process: Insta-Blak A-385

For the longest-lasting, deepest, and cleanest black finishes, we recommend the following blackening process. Please read all safety data sheets and technical data sheets prior to beginning a project.

1. Clean

Soils such as cutting oils, coolants, lubricants, and rust inhibitors must be removed from the metal workpiece. Soils can inhibit the blackening process and negatively affect coating adhesion and appearance. Thoroughly clean and deoxidize the parts prior to beginning the blackening process.

 Recommended Cleaning Products:

2. Rinse

After cleaning the metal parts, rinse them in cold, overflowing tap water; it’s necessary to rinse the parts to remove residual cleaning solution. Parts carrying over un-rinsed film of alkaline cleaning solution would quickly contaminate the subsequent chemicals in use, resulting in a spotty or non-adherent black finish. 

Immerse the parts to be blackened for 30–60 seconds.

3. Blacken

Some experimentation will be required to determine the optimal concentration and length of immersion for achieving the depth of blackness desired. Begin with a 1:1 solution of Insta-Blak A-385 concentrate and water and adjust as needed to achieve desired depth of blackness. The parts should be immersed for the shortest period of time possible, which should be approximately 30–90 seconds.

Alternatively, Insta-Blak A-385 may be applied with a swab-on technique. Complete steps one and two first. Use a swab, brush, or sponge to apply the solution generously and at full strength. The blackening reaction may take up to 90 seconds.

If Insta-Blak A-385 isn't quite what you’re looking for, consider these similar products:

4. Rinse

Rinse in cold, overflowing tap water for 30–60 seconds to remove residual blackening solution and ensure sealant will not be contaminated.

5. Seal

Seal the black-oxide finish by immersing the still-wet parts in a corrosion-inhibiting and rust-preventative solution. E-Tec corrosion inhibitors are formulated to rapidly displace the residual acidic solution from the preceding rinse and produce long-term corrosion protection. As the E-Tec is absorbed, it enhances the depth of black, which may take several hours.

Recommended Sealing Products:
  • E-Tec 504 is a solvent-based oil that leaves a dry film.
  • E-Tec 521 results in a waxy and glossy finish.
  • E-Tec 520 is a water-based lacquer that leaves a hard, dry finish.