May 28 & 29, 2025
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Do Looks Matter in Fastener Coatings? Sometimes

Too glossy, not black enough... fastening elements must have certain characteristics, which have more to do with design than with their functional

characteristics, accordingbto “The Notion of Appearance in Coatings,”  a white paper from Bossard. This requirement is ever more frequently added to traditional characteristics, such as resistance to corrosion, mechanical resistance, and dimensional requirements.

However, the solution cannot be limited to just one color, or a level of gloss. it must also take into account the primary function of the coatings.

Resistance to corrosion, dimensional compatibility, preserving the strength of the base materials; these are the principal functions. Several functions can be involved in coatings: the esthetic element; the brilliance, the color, and the roughness, which will allow the fastening element either to be seen, or to blend in with the assembly.

Glossy, Satin and Matte Coatings

A familiar  example of “appearance” are nickel-plating and chrome-plating. For ages, the esthetic coatings of choice have been nickel-plating and chrome-plating, which are deposited onto steel and copper-based metals. The iridescence and brilliance allow for coatings that are often compatible with industries that have little to do with mechanics, such as interior design, health management, luggage... and which are used on screws, rivets, and special fasteners.

These coatings are relatively costly as the price of the materials based on Ni and Cr are high; however, the vat based electrolytic process allows one to moderate the manufacturing costs. To learn more about these and other coatings, including zinc flake, colored anodization, and more, download  the full white paper by Bossard.

Bossard,  headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, is among the market leaders in fastening technology in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. With 2,500 employees in 80 locations and carefully selected international partners in all regions of the world.