Many people believe that Cerakote, like other coatings is mainly just for looks. While it is, and it can lend itself to many colors and patterns, that is not why it was developed.
Cerakote is actually a military grade polymer ceramic that resists corrosion (they have some colors that have lasted over 6000 hours in a salt bath) is flexible, scratch resistant, adds luberisity, aids in being a thermal barrier, can be IR invisible, an electrical insulator and much more.
Cerakote H Series is usually sprayed at a thickness of .0015 of an inch.
Cerakote Elite series is sprayed at a thickness of .00085
Being so thin, it has the ability to be applied on screw threads and not interfere with the function of the threads.
H Series can with stand on average 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
While C Coat can with stand up to 1720 degrees Fahrenheit.
Glacier Series can with stand 2000 degrees Fahrenheit!
Cerakote not only aids in being self lubricating, it also helps prevent carbon build up on parts internally and externally where applied.
Where people have seen failures in the bonding of Cerakote to any given material is usually due to improper surface preparation or in correct mixing and curing of the Cerakote.
Key factors are complete degreasing of the materials including off gassing through heating parts to 300° F , surface prep (all parts have to be media blasted for most applications) and properly applying of the coating.
Another key factor in applying Cerakote is knowing how the parts to be coated will be used and how they interact with other parts. While many people can figure out how to apply Cerakote, how to apply Cerakote to a firearm can be a bit more difficult. This is where many new companies or individuals run into trouble with Cerakote.
1911s, and the higher end bolt actions that have precise tolerances become tricky to coat. Some manufacturers take the thickness of the Cerakote into account, leaving extra room for fitment in the machining process to account for the thickness of the Cerakote. This runs true with anodizing too. Companies like LWRC both hard coat anodize and Cerakote on their weapons. Fitment is a concern in this because reliability can be effected if tolerances are to close.
As an applicator, companies who cut corners during production are well known. We see the firearms from the inside out. Fitment issues, metallurgy, quality of parts. We have seen factory firearms come out with Bondo covering up machine tooling marks or imperfections in the materials.
Like buying a lemon car, all can be revealed once parts become stripped of their paint or protective coatings.
But this is also a great way of protecting investments. Factory HK weapons (roller block weapons) are not really coated internally. With Cerakote, they can be. This helps protect the weapons for premature wear and unseen corrosion.
So before scoffing off Cerakote as just another fad or coating that will not hold up, do some research. Cerakote is used on F-16 fighter jets and the Joint Strike Fighter jets so it maybe good enough to help protect your investments. We will keep coating.