Oil Skimmers Achieve Desired Level of Water Purity

The content of this blog post has been provided courtesy of Abanaki Oil Skimmers. Have you ever heard the old saying, “Oil and Water Don’t Mix?” This is also holds true in metal finishing. The relationship between oil and water in a mixture is well-known and governed by two physical properties: Specific Gravity: Most hydrocarbons have a lower specific gravity than water. Without agitation, oil separates from the water and floats to the surface. These oils are known as LNAPL’s – Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid. Oils (and other compounds) that sink in water have a higher specific … [Read more...]

Perfecting your Phosphate Line

Spotty parts. These two words pretty much sum it up when issues arise with your phosphate cleaning line. Incomplete coverage ---or ---no coverage at all is another sign that your phosphate line is negatively impacting your shop’s efficiency and your company’s profitability. There is a cure. Incomplete Coverage - Substrate: Incomplete surface coverage typically indicates adjustments to the pretreatment process may be necessary or that there are variations in substrate manufacturing that need to be addressed. Substrate issues should be reviewed with the supplier to confirm consistent … [Read more...]

Uncovering the Evidence of Poor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality is more than frustrating. It’s a serious problem that can cause issues ranging from mild eye irritation, to an itchy nose and sore throat, to persistent headaches and fatigue. The prolonged effects of poor air quality and other pollutants are widely documented to cause more severe health concerns impacting respiratory and cardiovascular systems, as well as cancer. Whether sitting at your desk or processing parts on the plating line, ventilation systems abound throughout the ceilings, walls and floors of the workplace. When maintained and audited on a regular basis, … [Read more...]

What’s Suddenly Causing a Cleaner’s Short Bath Life?

As published in Products Finishing Magazine, September 2017 issue. Q. My cleaner is suddenly experiencing a short bath life. Did something change? A. The very short answer is, “yes.” However, exactly what those changes could be is a much more nuanced answer than you might expect. They may be changes in the substrate, the oils used in manufacturing, or in some cases a combination of factors that have impacted the entire process line. Given the numerous possibilities, I recommend reviewing all other variables before assuming that the culprit is the cleaning chemistry itself. Doing so will … [Read more...]

Equipment Purchasing Shouldn’t Be So Perplexing

Are you frustrated with having to spend valuable time researching and sourcing metal finishing equipment? And, when you finally get a vendor to provide a quote, do you get an uneasy feeling of being overcharged? Your vendor should make you feel confident about every equipment purchase you make. Instead of doing most of the talking, they should be listening to your needs while reviewing the following considerations: Equipment Selection: Based on your budgetary and performance criteria, a focus on equipment options that meet your specific applications and productivity objectives should … [Read more...]

Cleaning Leaded Brass

  If you have ever tried plating over leaded brass, you’ve most likely experienced the dreaded lead soap at some point. So, you may be asking… What is Lead Soap? It’s just what you’d expect it to be --- saponified lead. How can you tell if you have lead soap? Telltale signs of lead soap include either cloudiness in the deposit or a dark appearance in one particular current density area. Is Lead Soap Difficult to Clean? You betcha! Metallic soaps are typically difficult to remove from a part’s surface, with lead soap being one of the most stubborn. How is Lead Soap Formed? … [Read more...]

Alkaline Zinc Black Systems Offer Ultimate Performance

The recent introduction of the Asterion® Ultra alkaline zinc systems has placed a spotlight on a truly integrated approach to reducing rejects and increasing productivity. Of special note is the high interest in black trivalent systems that are production-proven to maintain and enhance the appearance of complex part geometries, while not sacrificing corrosion resistance. To address some of the questions (and excitement!), I’ve authored this blog specifically on Ultra black systems, with a special emphasis on passivate and sealant process operations. TECHNIBRITE™ Ultra Zn Before we … [Read more...]

What’s the Best Cleaning Method?

How many times have you asked, “What’s the best cleaning method?” Most likely, more times than you may be willing to readily admit without creating a furrowed brow or other visible sign of discontent. More often than not, you probably received a highly complex response that thrashed around operating parameters, rack or barrel, tank construction, bath make-up …and the list goes on. This same question has been and continues to be posed to Team Asterion on numerous occasions. The good news is that there is a simple answer when water soluble-based oils are used in the manufacturing process. No … [Read more...]

Sample Analysis with Confidence

Regardless of the circumstances, Asterion is committed to supporting each ounce of chemistry that leaves its facility. While there are many ways we support our customers, sample analysis is arguably the most useful and efficient form of technical support a chemical supplier can offer. And as hard as it may be to believe, many chemical suppliers do not provide any free technical support or laboratory analysis. I’m pleased to note that this is not the case with Asterion. Our sample analysis process, while detail-oriented and comprehensive, is designed with timeliness and accuracy in mind. … [Read more...]

Tips for Maintaining Your Process Line

If you are like most platers, you have a laundry list of things that need to be accomplished around your shop. Realistically, you don’t have enough time to do it yourself. However, if you were to divvy these jobs up, it would substantially assist in ensuring your shop is running at optimum performance. With this in mind, I offer you the following checklist that will assist in completing the tasks at hand. The list should include those responsible for completing each individual item, as well as the frequency for the task to be completed. Most importantly, posting the list in a common area, … [Read more...]