H-Kote is a very thin, hard layer of vaporized titanium/ceramic composite that is deposited on the surface of stainless steel. It is commonly used on implantable medical devices and surgical tools because of its biocompatability and on tooling for manufacturing for its hardness/toughness properties.
The best application for our purposes is on the mouthpiece rim. H-Kote is scratch-resistant, ultra smooth, has excellent wetting properties, and is highly resistant to wear!
H-Kote can be applied to brass that has been nickel plated. Unfortunately brass is soft and easily nicked. Nickel plating will chip over the damaged brass thus, the benefit of the H-Kote is lost. For this reason we do not offer coating for brass mouthpieces.
So what are the benefits to you, the player:
1) Increased comfort(even beyond stainless steel)means reduced bruising/swelling during intense or long playing sessions and an increase in endurance. Many teachers report that students who wear braces can improve their range and comfort with H-Kote rims. The gold titanium is similar in feel to conventional gold platiing while the black titanium coating creates a sensation of even less adhesion to the chops.
2) Durability far surpassing gold plating for roughly the same cost. Conventional gold plating is a low energy bond to the silver on a mouthpiece. Over time it easily wears off or migrates into the silver- either way, the benefit of the gold is lost. The H-Kote should last indefinitely barring it being cleaned with abrasive paper!
3) H-Kote is hypoallergenic and in many cases provides an effective barrier for those who experience mild metal allergies. If you’ve experienced a sensitivity to brass (actually the zinc in brass) or metal allergy with a rash in or outside the mouth, blistering on the lips, — switching to H-Kote stainless can be an important step in reversing or eliminating these problems. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your options to see if there is a solution for you.
4) It looks great, period!