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Fast method for oiling parts?

Comatose

Titanium
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Location
Akron, OH
I have a bunch of 416 stainless steel parts that get built up into an assembly. They're hardened, bead blasted and then passivated. They look good. But they're fingerprint magnets. The slightest touch leaves a super obvious mark.

If I take a bit of oil and slowly and carefully wipe it on and buff it off, it leaves enough in the pores to make them fingerprint proof. But that takes a long time and I need to make thousands.

These are consumer goods, so I don't want them dripping in oil or feeling slimy.

Does anyone have a good, quick solution or product for this? The ideal would be something I could dip them in and mostly evaporate, or maybe a treated walnut shell type product where I could drop them in a tumbler and have them come out treated.

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

EPAIII

Diamond
Joined
Nov 23, 2003
Location
Beaumont, TX, USA
I believe it is common practice to add some oil to a solvent bath. That way the parts can be dipped in the solvent and they come out with a bit of oil covering them. You can use a wire rack or strainer to dip them and then let them drip back into the tank to recover most of the solvent.

You may need to experiment with the percentage of oil, but I would start around 5% or so. Low odor mineral spirits for the solvent may work well.

I am not sure what OSHA would say about this but a vent fan and hood is probably a minimum precaution.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
IIRC there is "Vanishing Oil":
There are wax compositions that might prove better.
 
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Comatose

Titanium
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Location
Akron, OH
Use cotton (or some inexpensive material) gloves during all that hand manipulation at assembly/packaging. If you avoid getting prints on them in the first place you won't have to clean them up afterwards.
The issue isn't us leaving fingerprints. The issue is the first time a user touches the part is goes from looking pretty good to looking like a crime scene!
 

tylersteez

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
The issue isn't us leaving fingerprints. The issue is the first time a user touches the part is goes from looking pretty good to looking like a crime scene!
sounds like their problem then, you delivered a clean new part to their fingerprint magnet spec
 

Comatose

Titanium
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Location
Akron, OH
Okay, let me be more specific. These are our products. The users are our customers. The spec is our spec. Oiled, they look fine and work fine. "Hey, sucks to be you for buying our product" doesn't seem very customer friendly.

I just need a faster way to get there.

Tried oil in odorless mineral spirits, it still needed buffing, but I'll play with the concentrations.
 

eKretz

Diamond; Mod Squad
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Location
Northwest Indiana, USA
Maybe a thin wax-in-solvent dip would work, and would allow you to do them in large batches. Wire basket, dip a batch and shake them mostly dry then let 'em air dry or even put 'em in a low temp oven for a few minutes to accelerate drying. Something like BoeShield or LPS2 or 3 thinned way out would probably be pretty good. Once dry you wouldn't really be able to feel it I think if it was thinned enough. Worth a try.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
How about tumble them in sand or sawdust with a little oil.
I like Dupont Chain Saver Lube. Goes on like wd40 quickly dries to a clean wax layer.
Bill D
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
While I'm all for making a product that looks good forever...what you're really doing is wanting a product that looks good long enough for it to no longer be out-of-the-box new before it starts getting fingerprints. That's because whatever oil you put on it will only last a short while anyway.

Like a lot of people, I have a fancy SS refrigerator covered in fingerprints and other smudge marks. It's what's what.
 

Sharps1874

Cast Iron
Joined
Oct 10, 2002
Location
Boalsburg, PA USA
Here's another upvote for the wax-in-solvent suggestion. As far as I know, any other solvent-based solution will be either oily or a standard surface finish such as lacquer. I regularly use a product called Barricade on shop projects and firearms. It seems to be a wax-in-solvent product. It holds up well, but a wiped-on coating takes a couple of days to air dry.
 

Comatose

Titanium
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Location
Akron, OH
While I'm all for making a product that looks good forever...what you're really doing is wanting a product that looks good long enough for it to no longer be out-of-the-box new before it starts getting fingerprints. That's because whatever oil you put on it will only last a short while anyway.

Like a lot of people, I have a fancy SS refrigerator covered in fingerprints and other smudge marks. It's what's what.
Yep, exactly.

In this particular case, this is a handheld product, so once it is sufficiently covered in fingerprints the look doesn't really change.

It's just after the passivate process (alkaline clean, rinse, citric passivate, rinse, alkaline clean, rinse, neutral clean, rinse rinse) there are zero oils left on the metal, so the first ten or so touches are really prominent.
 

MrWhoopee

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 8, 2017
In black oxide processing, the final dip is in a hot soluble oil tank. The water evaporates quickly, leaving a thin oil film behind. Not sure if it is the same soluble oil used for coolant.

edit: one of the brand names is Pen Dip. These people carry all sorts of sealing dips.
 
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boslab

Titanium
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Location
wales.uk
If it’s a problem perhaps the shot blast should be bead blast?
I don’t know but the surface of say a starret mic doesn’t pose a problem?
Might need a rethink?
Mark
 

r1xlx

Plastic
Joined
Oct 26, 2019
Fingerprints are actually grease so you need to sell to customers who have acid etched off their fingerprints.
But seriously as you can't stop fingerprints how about thinking laterally and packing each part in a bit of tissue like lens and glasses tissue?
 








 
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