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The Future Of Brake Caliper Finishing

June - 2014
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There isn't just one surface finish option for brake calipers. Calipers are now often anodized aluminum, powder coated, zinc plated or zinc alloy plated. Each finish is used for a variety of functional (corrosion resistance) or aesthetic reasons.
Anodizing of aluminum will continue to grow steadily as automakers use aluminum where possible to reduce weight. However, limitations of strength to mass will limit growth below that of other finishes. 
Powder coating has evolved into a high-end fashion finish. There is increasing use of this finish over zinc nickel to provide high corrosion resistance while adding a highly visible color accent to the vehicle design. But increased processing and masking or machining requirements make this a costly niche finish with slower growth prospects.
Zinc plating is stable and growing along with overall automobile production levels. While capacity investment in this finish is limited, it appears to have a long future and a majority of over-all caliper finishing business. Reasonable corrosion resistance, industry capacity and lower cost result in zinc continuing to be the global standard. 
Zinc alloys show by far the most activity and highest growth compared to other finishes. Despite the decline of zinc cobalt, there is still some demand for this economical black finish with moderate corrosion resistance.  Zinc nickel has enjoyed significant global growth and promises a bright future of investment and interest for future programs. This growth is driven by the development of advanced acid zinc nickel chemistries which are compressively stressed and have good alloy and thickness distribution. The advancement in plating technology has allowed brake manufacturers to offer highly corrosion resistant, bright, aesthetically pleasing finishes to OEMs. And, as there is no end in sight for caliper-exposing open wheel designs, I expect this trend to continue.
Published with Permission From:
Rich Lynch
Director, Industry Management
Enthone Americas
rlynch@enthone.com
Refer to the Original Article published HERE