Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols > Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-08-2011, 10:58 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: East of the Mississippi
Posts: 64
Likes: 4
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Default Melonite, Tennifer, Nitron, are the same?

Was just told that Melonite (Smith & Wesson), Tennifer (Glock), Nitron (SigSauer) are actually just different brand names for one and the same product. Is this so? What do all of you say?
__________________
Martin
QM3
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-08-2011, 11:23 AM
markush's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: WI.
Posts: 407
Likes: 12
Liked 34 Times in 25 Posts
Default

I first heard this a few years back when the M&P fan boys were just getting organized and trying to find reasons to justify their um...love of the M&P. Of course the Glock followers denied it and said Tennifer was superior.

It sounds plausible that they are the same but what really matters to me is that the finish on my M&P holds up..and it has very well.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-08-2011, 11:31 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Nawth Carolinah
Posts: 137
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Default

If you were able to get the (proprietary, no doubt) chemical names for these materials, I suspect they would all be at least very similar, even if only tweaked a little in the polymer structure; all being in the polycarbonate family. This is a polymer chemist's $.02 worth.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-08-2011, 11:53 AM
Forsmithers's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 349
Likes: 56
Liked 58 Times in 34 Posts
Default

Well, I'm a bit disappointed to say that the Tenifer finish on my Glock 23 has held up better with four years of duty use and three years of retired service over my issued M&P40C which has only been in service for a little more than 3 years. I won't blame just the Melonite finish on the M&P because the place I'm noticing the most wear is where the top of the slide rubbed against a plastic block and brass threaded insert which is part of the locking mechanism on the Safariland ALS holsters.

When I noticed the rubbing I immediately put a little black electrical tape on top of the block and brass insert. No additional wear can be noticed there but the damage was done.

Between the two finishes I think I am partial to the Tenifer which seems to be VERY strong and has held up perfectly on my retired G23. I will also never forget attending my Glock Armorers training and watching Frank DiNuzzo, retired head of the New York State Police Firearms Training Unit, scrub away on the slide with a Starrett pin punch and seeing the metal shavings all over the place. I was in shock when he wiped the shavings away, showed the undamaged Glock slide and explained that the metal shavings were from the pin punch wearing away on the Tenifer finished slide.

Now that I think about it, two other place where I have noticed wear on the M&P is the breach face of the slide and on the chamber hood of the barrel. My G23 has at least two thousand more rounds through it over the M&P and still remains in like new condition...

Don't get me wrong though, the M&P shoots better for me and I love the trigger and grip angle of the M&P over the Glock.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-08-2011, 11:58 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 483
Likes: 0
Liked 88 Times in 54 Posts
Default

Quote:
If you were able to get the (proprietary, no doubt) chemical names for these materials, I suspect they would all be at least very similar, even if only tweaked a little in the polymer structure; all being in the polycarbonate family. This is a polymer chemist's $.02 worth.
Tennifer, Melonite, and similar finishes have nothing to do with polycarbonates nor polymer finishes. They are hot salt nitriding processes. There are dozens of sources on this that you can Google- here's one:

Melonite vs Tenifer on semi-auto pistol slides
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-08-2011, 12:28 PM
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Western NC
Posts: 1,576
Likes: 296
Liked 906 Times in 347 Posts
Default

Thanks VT, that was one of the more interesting and knowledgeable threads about anything that I've read on the 'net.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-08-2011, 01:38 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: East of the Mississippi
Posts: 64
Likes: 4
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forsmithers View Post
Well, I'm a bit disappointed to say that the Tenifer finish on my Glock 23 has held up better with four years of duty use and three years of retired service over my issued M&P40C which has only been in service for a little more than 3 years. I won't blame just the Melonite finish on the M&P because the place I'm noticing the most wear is where the top of the slide rubbed against a plastic block and brass threaded insert which is part of the locking mechanism on the Safariland ALS holsters.

When I noticed the rubbing I immediately put a little black electrical tape on top of the block and brass insert. No additional wear can be noticed there but the damage was done.

Between the two finishes I think I am partial to the Tenifer which seems to be VERY strong and has held up perfectly on my retired G23. I will also never forget attending my Glock Armorers training and watching Frank DiNuzzo, retired head of the New York State Police Firearms Training Unit, scrub away on the slide with a Starrett pin punch and seeing the metal shavings all over the place. I was in shock when he wiped the shavings away, showed the undamaged Glock slide and explained that the metal shavings were from the pin punch wearing away on the Tenifer finished slide.

Now that I think about it, two other place where I have noticed wear on the M&P is the breach face of the slide and on the chamber hood of the barrel. My G23 has at least two thousand more rounds through it over the M&P and still remains in like new condition...

Don't get me wrong though, the M&P shoots better for me and I love the trigger and grip angle of the M&P over the Glock.
You don't have to make excuses for the S&W M&P's unsatisfactory finish. If it sucks, it sucks. Let's call a spade a spade. But I do agree with what some one else said here. The melonite itself is probably not to blame but the lack of care taken in applying it is the more likely cause of the shortcomming.

The only S&W pistol I have is a 6904 9mm which has a blued slide and anodized alu frame. After 18 years the wear is no more and no less than on any other standard out of the box quality pistols I have seen.
__________________
Martin
QM3
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-08-2011, 03:27 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 69
Likes: 1
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Default

From my Glock armorer days, Tenifer is a metal finish that permeates the metal itself and is not the black finish on the gun. Tenifer makes the slide very hard and difficult to machine. When I asked the Glock rep about the black finish, he said he used Krylon flat black.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-08-2011, 04:02 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 483
Likes: 0
Liked 88 Times in 54 Posts
Default

I do not believe that Glock (nor S&W) uses Krylon Flat Black nor any other spray paint on their firearms. Tenifer and Melonite both usually impart color to the metal. Black Oxide is also used on some frames. Better factory gunmakers do not overspray surface treatments with Krylon. (nor do they use Rustoleum...........)

Unlike colors that coat the surface like polymers, paints, ceramic coatings, etc., salt nitriding and similar processes are both surface hardening treatments that penetrate the metal and impart color to them. I think this Glock rep was pulling your leg. Austrian humor or something I guess.............

Here is an interesting summary of tenifer and also a good post from another forum on what (supposedly) creates the black color:

Ferritic nitrocarburizing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
10-25-2010, 14:47
Tenifer is a salt bath ferritic nitrocarburizing process developed by HEF, a French / Belgian company. HEF USA is located in Springfield, OH. In the United States, HEF markets the salt bath ferritic nitrocarburizing process as Melonite. Melonite is applied to several of Smith & Wesson's semi-automatic pistols.

The process involves the following:

Degreasing the parts to be run, followed by either aluminum oxide or glass bead blast finishing to prepare the surfaces for processing.
Preheating the parts ~ 750 F.
Immersion of the preheated parts in a nitriding salt bath usually operating between 1000 and 1100 F; the parts are left in the bath for 45 minutes to 2 hours.
The parts are removed and quench cooled in an oxidizing salt bath at a temperature of ~ 750 F, left in the bath for ~ 30 minutes.
The parts are removed from the bath and water cooled to room temperature.
The parts are next washed in hot water to remove salt bath residues.
Next, the parts are lightly polished or glass bead finished to remove surface smut. At this point,the parts have a dark gray color.
If desired, the parts are run a second time in the oxidizing bath at ~ 750 F for ~ 30 minutes, followed by water cooling, washing and light glass bead cleaning.
The finish on the parts is now a lusterous black color.

The surface treatment developed as noted is a thin compound layer of nitride ranging from 0.0002 to 0.001" in thickness. A diffusion zone beneath the compound layer exists measuring around 0.004 to 0.008" in depth. The compound layer has been oxidized to form a thin layer of magnetite ( FE3O4), which is the lusterous black color present. The nitride layer provides a measure of wear resistance to the part and has a low coefficient of friction. The magnetite layer over the compound layer provides an increased measure of corrosion resistance.

Greg
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-08-2011, 04:06 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 483
Likes: 0
Liked 88 Times in 54 Posts
Default

I haven't used these guys and am not vouching for them, (although I've read good stuff about Coal Creek) but here is an interesting summary of some popular gun finishes by one of the well know gun re-finishers:

Coal Creek Armory Custom Finishing And Refinishing
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-08-2011, 10:47 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 69
Likes: 1
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Default

Sorry I don't mean to be disrespectiveful but Tenifer is not the black finish on the slide. It is a metal treatment process. If you stripped the black off the tenifer is still there. When I asked the Glock rep about restoring the black finish, he stated he used the Krylon flat black as a quick match. He was not joking.

You can check on the Glock websites and verify that Tenifer is a metal treatment and not the finish.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-09-2011, 02:58 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 648
Likes: 6
Liked 27 Times in 21 Posts
Default

Well, HEF owns the trademark "Tenifer" and "Melonite" and this is what they say:

"Dear remat457-

Tenifer is a name used most often in other parts of the world; Melonite is exclusive to North America . However, they are the same. Please let us know if we can help you further.

Michael *****
Manager, Sales & Service
HEF USA


I think that the confusion is in the fact that it is a metal treatment (hardening). The finish on top is different. From experience, S&W's M&P finish doesn't seem to be as rugged as Glock's, however, unlike Glock's it can be touched up with a blueing pen. Also note that Glock has changed the finish/color/formula several times. The Gen4's look different too.

"Nitron" is a polymer coating. I had good luck with it on my SP2009. Seemed to be more scratch resistant than my M&P's. Unfortunately, I didn't have the pistol long enough to evaluate it's long term durability.
__________________
NRA Certified Instructor
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-10-2011, 01:13 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,128
Likes: 25
Liked 447 Times in 266 Posts
Default

One of the things I don't see noted here is the base material. Grock uses carbon alloy steel and S&W uses stainless. This can affect the finish.

I'm not sure what HK uses now, they used to paint over parkerizing and it was extrememly weather resistant.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-10-2011, 02:33 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 483
Likes: 0
Liked 88 Times in 54 Posts
Default

Sorry guys, I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but there's still a bit of confusion and misinformation.

While it's true that Tenifer and Melonite, which are basically the same process, are surface hardening treatments, and penetrate into the metal (and correctly noted by some posters above as being different from surface finishes); these treatments can and do impart some coloration and a surface finish.

Notwithstanding that, other surface finishes may still be applied over the Tenifer. I've heard that Glock uses a Parkerized finish over the Tenifer- I can't confirm it. And I have no desire to own a Glock so I don't plan to delve into the subject.

Here's what two leading providers of Melonite type treatments say about the process (note- bold fonts and italics are my emphasis):

Coal Creek Armory Custom Finishing And Refinishing

Quote:
ISONITE QPQ

Coal Creek Armory is proud to offer the ultimate black "finish" for your steel firearms - Isonite QPQ.

Isonite QPQ is a thermochemical process (ferritic nitrocarburizing) used for the case hardening of iron-based metals. In a molten bath of special salts, nitrogen, carbon, and small amounts of oxygen are diffused into the surface of the steel, creating a super-hard surface, called the "compound layer." Additionally, small amounts of carbon are pulled from within the substrate, toward the surface, creating a "diffusion zone," which exhibits a gradient of concentration of carbon and nitrogen, decreasing toward the core. Thus, the process provides both a hardening of the surface, and a gradient alloying of the substrate, which improves the ductility and overall strength of the material.

Isonite QPQ can be used on both carbon steel and stainless steel. Melonized steel gun parts will be blue-black in color, and will exhibit surface hardness in the area of RC70, lower coefficient of friction/enhanced surface lubricity, superior running wear performance, superior sliding wear resistance, superior heat resistance, and superior corrosion resistance. The treatment penetrates to a depth of ~.004" to .008," with surface dimensional growth of only .0002" to .0004"(negligible), so post-treatment fitting is not a concern. Final appearance of the surface is dependent on the type of surface prep used, with surfaces tending to appear a bit smoother than before treatment. Thus, surfaces prepared via our preferred method of aluminum oxide blasting, which have a matte appearance, bear a smoother, yet non-reflective, satin post-treatment appearance. Polished surfaces tend to retain approximately the surface appearance they had prior to treatment. For those who love the look of a "tactical" black finish, Isonite QPQ is, without doubt, the best practical surface treatment available for firearms today.
Melonite Processing

Quote:
The MELONITE� Nitrocarburizing Process
MELONITE is a thermochemical treatment for improving surface properties of metal parts. It exhibits predictable and repeatable results in the treating of low and medium carbon steels, alloy steels, stainless and austenitic steels, tool and die steels, cast and sintered iron.

Melonite Processing : Salt Bath Nitriding System
As the first job shop on the west coast to offer Melonite processing, Burlington uses its salt bath experience to diversify its servicing to the Southern California metal finishing industry. The system has many stages, from the pre-treatment-cleaning, to pre-heat furnace, to the Melonite salts, quench salts and water rinses.

Melonite Processing: Melonite QPQ
Melonite and Melonite QPQ are thermochemical processes intended for the case hardening of iron based metals. These processes are categorized as molten salt bath ferritic nitrocarburizing. During these processes, nitrogen, carbon, and small amounts of oxygen are diffused into the surface of the steel, creating an epsilon iron nitride layer (e - FexN).
A degraded form of this nitride layer (gamma prime: g' - Fe4N) is obtained during plasma or gas nitriding. The nitride layer is composed of two principle zones. Zone 1, called the compound or "white" layer, extends to a case depth of ~0.0004" to 0.0008". The compound layer is porous, which lends to the lubricity of the finish, and hard (~700HV to 1600HV). Zone 2, called the diffusion zone, extends to a case depth of ~.004" to 0.008".

In addition, small quantities of substrate carbon are pulled from deeper within the substrate toward the surface. The diffusion zone demonstrates a decreasing gradient concentration of carbon and particularly nitrogen as the gradient extends deeper into the surface of the substrate. This property yields a tough outer surface or shell, yet alloys the material to retain ductility, thereby lending to the overall strength of the material.

Resulting properties from these chemical and structural composition changes are increased surface hardness, lower coefficient of friction, enhanced surface lubricity, improved running wear performance, increased sliding wear resistance, and enhanced corrosion resistance. Naturally, the alloy of the substrate will influence which properties are principally affected and to what extent they are affected. The following chart demonstrates what properties are best enhanced by varying the Melonite process:

Melonite Processing: Melonite Q
Improved Wear Resistance
Improved Running Properties
Increased Fatigue and Rolling Fatigue Strengths
Heat Resistance
Black Color
So I doubt Glock puts any type of Krylon paint on their slides or any other type of industrial paint. Although some lazy Glock armorers might choose to do that as a quick cover-up.

Black Oxide would be a better choice as well as Parkerizing. I'd like to know if S&W adds any additional color treatment on top of their Melonite treatment.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
belgian, glock, hardening, parkerized, polymer, safariland, springfield, tactical, trademark

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols Thread, Melonite, Tennifer, Nitron, are the same? in Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols; Was just told that Melonite (Smith & Wesson), Tennifer (Glock), Nitron (SigSauer) are actually just different brand names for one ...
LinkBacks (?)
LinkBack to this Thread: http://smith-wessonforum.com/smith-wesson-semi-auto-pistols/199500-melonite-tennifer-nitron-same.html
Posted By For Type Date
Thread Melonite, Tennifer, Nitron, are the same? | S-W Forum | BoardReader This thread Refback 07-13-2012 10:34 AM

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Melonite on a revolver? Titan S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 4 11-09-2009 07:37 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:53 PM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)