The Parkerizing process is a method of protecting a metal article from corrosion, and at the same time giving it a smooth surface that will not be affected by friction while being handled or while under use. Parkerizing also allows for easy cleanup of the metal item following exposure to messy environments such as grease, dirt, oil and other elements which would normally adhere to the surface of a metal item and lead to corrosion. Parkerizing is most often used on firearms, but also has applications with any tool or object that must be strong and corrosion resistant. Parkerizing allows for ease of cleaning where solvents such as gun oil would normally dissolve the original finish. Parkerized items require little to no maintenance and will remain in good usable condition for years. Parkerizing leaves the metal item with a flat gray color which provides low visibility on most surfaces, and Parkerizing paints can be added afterwards to further reduce visibility, providing concealment.
The Parkerizing process involves the use of phosphoric acid and other chemicals combined with high heat and electric current which results in the Parkerized finished product. Parkerizing is a difficult process, and Parkerizing services are often found through local gunsmith or metalwork shops who will Parkerize small batches of items as needed for customers. Large Parkerizing jobs which require more material than a small shop can handle are contracted to larger Parkerizing companies who provide Parkerized parts as needed to Parkerizing shops which in turn Parkerize the parts and then send them on to the original equipment manufacturer for installation or install themselves. Parkerizing is not a difficult process but does require an experienced Parkerizing shop with the proper Parkerized equipment necessary for production of high quality Parkerized finishes.
The Parkerizing process begins by submerging the metal item into a bath which contains Parkerizing chemicals. This can be done in either an electrolysis Parkerizing tank or an acid Parkerizing tank, both accomplish the same task. Submersion submerges the metal part completely in Parkerizing solution for even Parkerizing of all surfaces. A current is then passed through the Parkerized object to chemically activate the Parkerizing process.
Parkerized objects must be submerged in Parkerizing solution within a temperature range of 120 degrees to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and de-oxidizers such as phosphoric acid and salts are mixed into the Parkerizing solution for maximum Parkerizing results. The Parkerizing chemicals used in Parkerization must remain under strong agitation until correctly mixed and use of Parkerized chemicals is strict and Parkerizing shops follow very strict safety guidelines because Parkerizing chemicals are hazardous to human health.
The Parkerization process time depends upon the metal part size and shape, but averages around 20 minutes. Parkerizing solution must be recirculated and filtered while Parkerized objects remain submerged in Parkerizing solution for maximum efficiency. Parkerizing solution is filtered and recirculated through Parkerized objects for a total of 4 minutes to ensure all Parkerized surfaces are exposed to Parkerizing chemicals during the Parkerizing process. After the Parkerization process, Parkerized objects must be immediately removed from Parkerizing solution and then dipped into cold water or otherwise rinsed with cold water.