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Old 08-26-2010, 11:45 AM
is thinning the herd
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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Heating Metals Question

A question for the engineers or metal experts. Can I safely powdercoat an aluminum valve cover, intake manifold, and turbo crossover?

My powdercoat guy is concerned that the heat will weaken the aluminum and warp it. He said he'd do it for me but at my own risk.

The powdercoating line is an industrial line at a factory, they just coat my parts in a mini booth by hand and throw them on the conveyor to bake. The parts bake at like 400 degrees for 18 minutes.

Would this damage my parts? I only have so many 603 parts haha.

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Old 08-26-2010, 11:48 AM
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That's a good question, I would think that a normal engine would get that hot.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:51 AM
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I don't think they would get that hot normally.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:07 PM
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I have had several aluminum valve covers powder coated and never had an issue with them.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:34 PM
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I am not what I'd consider an expert. Still, aluminum comes in various alloys and tempers. If the parts are cast, I doubt you would cause any harm to them, with powder coating.
Your modern aluminums are all alloys or mixtures. Pure aluminum will corode, rather quickly. Basically, in the machine shop we used 6160 and another type, that was like cast aluminum. The 6160 is hardened in a relative term. It is heat treated to suspend elements in its solution. Over time the solution goes back to its natural form. Heat accelerates this process.
As to cast aluminum, there are different alloys to achieve different results. Basically, I am somewhat familar with sand cast aluminum and die cast. Die cast is what you see a lot of. It is ecomonical on parts that will see high production numbers. They also have good dimensional toleranceing. Sand cast aluminum isn't as accurate, but is stronger that die cast.
Since I think you are going to have your valve covers powder coasted, I would think up to 400 F you'd be OK, possible more.
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:22 PM
is thinning the herd
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 3,330
The intake, turbo crossover, and valve cover are all cast. My big concern is the warping, not the weakening.

The weakening is a concern for rims, the intake and valve cover see no strain but if they warp I'll have an oil and boost leak which will end in tears haha.

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