What is Black Oxide Coating?
Ask the Pros: Black Oxide Coating
Black oxide (also known as “black” or “oxidation”) is a chemical reaction between two metals, usually iron and oxygen. When these metals come into contact with each other, they form oxides which are insoluble in water but soluble in acids such as hydrochloric acid. These oxides then react with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide gas and heat.
The oxidation process produces a variety of products including carbon monoxide, hydrogen peroxide, sulfur dioxide and various forms of ozone. Carbon dioxide is a very powerful greenhouse gas; it traps heat and prevents the Earth from cooling down.
Ozone is a potent carcinogen. Ozone pollution causes eye damage, lung cancer and other diseases.
How does Black Oxide Coating work?
When metal surfaces come into contact with each other, the surface oxidizes. The oxidation reaction releases energy which is released when the metal reacts with oxygen to create carbon dioxide and heat.
The black oxide process uses a special type of stainless steel called “black oxide.” This process creates a protective layer of oxide over the blade making it virtually impervious to rusting and corrosion. Because black oxide protects against corrosion, it reduces maintenance costs because there are fewer parts to replace and maintain. It preserves the life of tools and machinery.
Black oxide also improves the efficiency of production because tools last longer and projects are completed quicker.
Stainless steel is a very strong, hard metal, but it has one disadvantage: it’s prone to rust unless protected. Black oxide provides the protection that stainless steel needs to prevent rusting and corrosion. This process prevents stainless steel from being destroyed by water, oxygen or other elements.
Who Uses Black Oxide Coating?
Black oxide is used extensively in the construction industry, engineering and manufacturing. It is primarily used for the processing and manufacturing of pipeline equipment, valves, ships, offshore rigs, tanks, heat exchangers, and many other large metal structures. Black oxide prevents rust from damaging important machinery such as power stations and oil rigs when left unattended for long periods of time. It also prevents components and buildings from rotting away in wet or damp conditions.
Black oxide is a very common finish for cutlery, especially higher quality knives such as in professional kitchens. These knives need to be extremely sharp and durable so that chefs can easily slice, dice and chop ingredients without damaging or warping the blade. Black oxide also prevents food from sticking to the surface of the knife.
How to Black Oxide My Knife?
Keep your knife dry and don’t let it sit in water. After cutting food, wash it and dry it thoroughly. Do not store your knife in a drawer with other utensils or let it sit in water. Don’t leave your knife in a sink filled with water.
If your knife becomes rusted or starts to oxidize, you can use oil or grease to help remove it. Keep knives sharpened because a dull blade will cause the knife to bend and put excess pressure on the edge which can cause the knife to warp or crack. Don’t use a knife for purposes other than what it was designed for. Cutting hard materials such as bricks or stone can cause the edge to become uneven and possibly warp.
Use a hammer or axe to break hard materials.
Stainless steel knives can be re-blackened when required. Take a knife to be re-blackened only if it is absolutely necessary. If the knife is badly rusted or heavily worn down, take it in to be re-sharpened or have the factory refurbish it.
Black oxide is easy to apply and doesn’t require much maintenance. If the black oxide starts to fade or wears off, it can be re-applied at a local, mobile knife sharpening service such as those offered by Knife Merchant or another professional knife servicing company.
Knife Merchant offers professional knife sharpening services that can keep your blades sharp and effective for daily use in the kitchen. If you’re looking to purchase professional knives such as those used in culinary schools and higher end restaurants, browse our online catalog to find the knife of your needs.
Knife Merchant is a trusted online store that offers knives of all types and qualities. We have been in business for more than a decade, and we are ready to offer you the best customer service and after sale support should you have any questions. Browse our catalog today!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Corrosion: Pros and Cons (A GROYSMAN – eurocorr.efcweb.org)
- Manufacturing of Metal and Metal-oxide Coated Nanocarbon Electrodes for Electrochemical Energy Storage and Desalination (M Li – 2019 – research-collection.ethz.ch)
- Thermophotovoltaics: Fundamentals, challenges and prospects (H Daneshvar, R Prinja, NP Kherani – Applied Energy, 2015 – Elsevier)
- Microplasma sprayed hydroxyapatite coatings (A Dey, AK Mukhopadhyay – 2015 – books.google.com)