It has long been established that metal blackening is one of the most effective ways of providing colour to any metal surface. Unfortunately, one common component of most blackening solutions is also highly hazardous to health.
There are ways in which you can reduce the prevalence of nickel in any blackening solution which we will outline here.
What is Nickel Sulphate?
Nickel sulphate is an inorganic compound which takes on a salt like appearance. It is highly soluble and blue in colour which makes it very popular for use in electroplating.
Unfortunately, nickel sulphate is also carcinogenic which means that it is dangerous to handle and can result in many unwanted health complaints. Nickel sulphate is particularly dangerous once airborne where it can be inhaled into human lungs. It should be noted that only those working with the substance are at risk and anyone using any metal blacked with it will have no cause for concern.
Electroplating and Aerosols
Some blacking processes will make use of methods that have an increased likelihood of exposing anyone in the vicinity to dangerous levels of nickel sulphate. Because of this, the electroplating industry is subject to a number of guidelines to maintain good standards of occupational health and safety.
Are There Any Safer Methods of Metal Blackening?
Yes, there are. It is now possible to reduce the amount of nickel sulphate in the blacking process to where it poses zero health risk. This is done by suspending nickel sulphate within a liquid rather than applying it through the use of high pressure aerosols. In addition, the quantities of nickel sulphate used in these blackening procedures is at a much lower level that other methods.
One popular but safe blackening solution is known as Blackfast 181. It shares a platform with many other similar solutions which aim to provide safer metal colour treatments at a low cost, whilst still maintaining high standards of quality and giving you all the benefits of traditional blacking. The company’s manufacturing these solutions adhere to stringent safety and quality guidelines. You should be able to find various product data sheets available online telling you exactly what is in these products as well as how they are produced.
Where Can I Use Blackened Metal?
Anywhere where you would use traditional metals. The process is that advanced that it doesn’t impact upon any tight manufacturing tolerances that you might have to adhere to. This makes it great for use in environments where precision is key.
Other great uses include:
- Providing a protective finish to hand tools such as wrenches, hammers and spanners. These tools encounter a lot of stress on a daily basis where their finishes become worn and damaged. Metal corrosion is also a big problem which blacking will take care of.
- Shiny metal objects are easily able to reflect both natural and artificial light. Blacking a metal will allow metal objects to absorb light instead, creating a less distracting environment for manual workers.
Metal blacking truly is the most versatile colour treatment on the market. Consider observing a demonstration to see just how it could benefit you.