What is Lifecoat?
VooDoo Innovations (VDI) has trademarked the term LifeCoat. The term is used to describe a multitude of coating processes that best fit the application of the part. Each part serves a different purpose and therefore has different applicable needs for surface protection, lubricity, hardness and color. Some coatings are “Line of Sight” coatings and can only coat outside dimensions of a part. While other coatings are baths and therefore have the ability to coat blind holes as well as other internal cavities. All coating processes have an intended purpose. Some coating processes offer superior lubricity, but may not be hard enough to hold up over long periods of time on point-to-point contact surfaces.
At VDI, we have taken our years of experience in the world of Mechanics, Engineering and Firearms’ Technology to apply these processes to their best intended application. Having the ability to offer specific materials, machining techniques, coatings and apply them to the purpose of the part is what allows us to offer Life-Time Warranties on the parts we produce.
Many variables come into play when applying various coatings; from heat and surface preparation to friction on mating contact points. We have decided to define each LifeCoat coating that takes place on our parts now that trademarks and patents have been applied.
Direct Impingment Carries
We start with an 8620 Forging on the carrier, which is then machined on our High-End Lathes with Multi-Access Live Tooling. This allows us to machine more of the carrier without changing the fixture and hold points a multitude of times, thus giving us a more consistent, higher quality part. The carrier is then Media Blasted on an automated, custom built blaster using our proprietary blend of media. This allows us to control the consistency of each part while maintaining redundancy in production. It’s critical to the adhesion of these advanced coating processes to have a consistent surface finish prior to application. Once the carriers are prepped, they are individually packaged to prevent contact during shipping. Any part on part-to-part contact could contaminate and compromise the finish, therefore reducing aesthetic and potential functional integrity.
The 1st stage of coating is to deposit a layer of pure Nickel on all surfaces of the carrier. This gives superior Lubricity and Corrosion Resistance. The shortfall of Nickel and/or Nickel Boron is wear on part-to-part contact surfaces where intense friction takes place.
To overcome this shortfall and retain the integral properties of the Nickel, we permeate a 2nd layer of coating. This is a Physical Vapor Deposition type application that adds superior outside wear resistance during surface-to-surface contact and adds a Dark Grey/Black Pigment.
The collaboration of these 2 coating processes, along with the superior surface preparation unites in sequence to offer superior lubricity, corrosion resistance, surface hardness and texture for the optimal functional performance of this part.
We begin our bolts with Mil-Spec C158 material that is machined using some of the most technologically advanced equipment available. This allows us to machine the bolt without multiple touches, therefore reducing the potential of human error while driving down the overall cost. Once the bolt bodies are machined they go through a rigorous internal inspection to confirm they meet our strict guidelines and prints.
After the bolts have cleared QA they are then put through MPI testing and are Shot Peened to eliminate any sharp corners as well as harden the outside of the bolt. Next the bolts are sent to be processed in Nickel. This seals the bolt both internally as well as externally. Once the bolt has been sealed in Nickel we then send it through a Physical Vapor Deposition process to harden the outside of the nickel as well as give it the added protection and color of the PVD.
All VDI bolts are laser marked and come with the standard Life-Time Warranty
Barrels undergo a QPQ or Quench Polish Quench process to increase corrosion resistance, wear strength, fatigue strength, and lubricity. QPQ is a 3 step process that starts with the Nitro-Carburizing of the part, the part is then mechanically polished, and finally re-immersed into the salt quench bath to optimize the corrosion resistance and to create a uniform pigment in the finish. This process offers several distinct advantages for barrels because the bath Nitro-Carburizing process does not add any tolerance stack compared to traditional hard chrome. This allows us to bore the barrels diameter closer to the projectile diameter decreasing the gas passage around the projectile. This along with the surface properties and strength of the QPQ process creates faster and more accurate barrels.
Direct Impingement Gas Tubes & Cam Pins
Gas tubes and Cam Pins undergo SBQ or, Short Bath Nitro-Carburizing processes that is very similar to QPQ without the temperatures and stresses of the long QPQ process. This coating elongates the service life of the Gas Tube and increases the surface hardness to match the carrier key to significantly reduce gas tube erosion.