Parkerizing is a metal finishing process that was first developed by British inventors William Alexander Ross, who filed a patent in 1869 and Thomas Cosslett, who also registered a patent in 1906. Cosslett was also granted a US patend for the process in 1907. This patent was based on an iron phosphating process using phosphoric acid. In 1912 an improved patent was filed in the US, based on the British iron phosphating process and issued to Frank Rupert Granville Richards. American, Clark Parker acquired the patents from Cosslett and Richards as he experimented with the process in the family kitchen.
In 1915, Parker, along with his son Wyman, started the Parker Rust-Proof Phosphating Company of America. In 1919, R. D. Colquhoun, of the Parker Rust-Proof Phosphating Company of America, filed another upgraded phosphating patent application. The patented improved manganese phosphating technique was called Parkerizing.
Parkerizing gained popularity during World War II. The US Government wanted an updated finish over the standard blued process used on most of its small firearms. Ideally, the new process needed to act not only as an anti-reflective finish but a rust-resistant one as well. The Parkerizing process was chosen not only because of its rust durability and lack of shine but because it was abrasion-resistant and held up to extreme weather conditions.
You might be surprised to know that Parkerizing is still relevant today and is utilized in the automotive industry. One company that takes advantage of this process is Howard Cams & Racing Equipment. The company is based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and has been a pioneer in the camshaft and valvetrain industry since 1945.
In the video, Howard Cams gives us a glimpse of the Parkerizing process that it performs on each one of its camshafts. Howard Cams uses the Parkerizing process as a way of protecting the steel surface on its cams. Much like a firearm, the Parkerizing process defends against corrosion and increases its resistance to wear, creating a durable, long-lasting part.
For more information, please visit their website at www.howardscams.com.