Inside Zinc and Zinc-Nickel Post-Plating Protective Finishes

As published in Products Finishing Magazine, August 2020 Issue. When I began my career in metal finishing in the mid-1980s, the industry took an introspective view of where it came from and in what direction it was going. It is interesting to look back at that time and remember all of the changes that began occurring as we entered the 1990s. Environmental concerns dominated the industry. I can specifically remember the market being flooded with new technology and equipment to deal with environmental concerns about the plating process. This was followed by developments in plating … [Read more...]

Why You Should Include Tin in Your Finishes Portfolio

Are you looking to expand the surface finishing options you offer clients? Are you prospecting for new clients? When choosing to expand your plating processes what factors come to mind? Cost? Market for process? Robust system? Application? Waste? Please allow me to introduce to you TECHNIBRITE™ SN 200 bright acid tin plating system! The TECHNIBRITE SN 200 system is a terrific addition to broaden your plating capabilities. The system produces exceptional brightness and leveling while maintaining exceptional solderability. Why Tin? Tin plating is used for several key … [Read more...]

The Importance of Value

The 19th century poet and playwright Oscar Wilde was famously quoted as saying, “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” It’s been well over 100 years since this quote was published, but it certainly has remained relevant in today’s world.   However, it is a challenge for people to universally agree on what defines value. The word value has 11 definitions in Merriam Webster’s online dictionary. With so many definitions of a single word, it’s no wonder we are challenged to determine what true value is. How do I define value? In my position as a … [Read more...]

Suggestions on Shutting Down Plating Lines for the Short-Term

With more factories redirecting their production capacity to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, you may find yourself needing to idle one or more of your plating lines for a few days or weeks. While shutting down a plating line is rarely desirable, today's business environment may demand it. On behalf of the Asterion Team, here are some suggestions on shutting down your lines for the short-term. Each suggestion should be further customized to best suit you plating operation and business requirements. Keep heated plating baths at minimum temperatures Top off cleaner tanks and shut … [Read more...]

STAY AT HOME…and Cook!

During this time of "Stay at Home," have you had enough of Netflix? Are you finding you’ve had your fill of the news? Has your appetite for Amazon Prime been more than satisfied? Time to get off that couch and hit the kitchen to whip up these culinary delights! Recommended by two of our top-notch technical sales engineers extraordinaire, Doug Trageser and Randy Postoak, these guys know yummy recipes when then EAT THEM. "Good chemistry," extends beyond the plating floor for these gents. Just wait until you savor these sausage balls. And then top it off with a superior strawberry … [Read more...]

On Air with Blair

For many, in this time of “Social Distancing” and “Stay at Home Orders,” every day seems like the movie “Groundhog Day.” Since I seem to have a very boring social life and enjoy a good television series, over the past months, my friends have asked for recommendations of web-based television show recommendations. Provided below is a list of recommended shows that my wife and I have enjoyed. I have limited the recommendations to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. They are in no particular order of recommendation. These shows are also NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN. Many have adult themes, … [Read more...]

Alkaline Zinc Plating Revisited

Alkaline non-cyanide zinc (ANCZ) plating has been prevalent in the plating industry for about 50 years. It has become a preferred process for finishers who require a fairly bright zinc-plated finish on parts that have challenging geometrical shapes. ANCZ is typically the chosen zinc process for complicated geometrical shapes due to its ability to plate zinc at a preferred low ratio of zinc thickness from the high current density areas to the low current density areas. Thickness ratios can range anywhere from 1:1 to 2:1 from the high current density area to the low current density area. Bath … [Read more...]

Fixing Excessive Brightener Consumption From Dull Work In Alkaline Non-Cyanide Zinc

As published in Products Finishing Magazine, October 2019 issue. Q. During the summer months as the temperatures have risen in the plant, we’ve been seeing an ever increasing dropoff in brightness of our alkaline zinc line. Even adding significantly more product than normally prescribed dosages has been somewhat ineffective in restoring overall quality. How do we maintain process performance and achieve the finish our customers expect while staying cost effective? A. Although great strides have been made over the last 30 years in the development of alkaline non-cyanide zinc processes … [Read more...]

Is there a better way to provide a high corrosion resistant finish that is not an expensive alloy process?

If a high corrosion resistant finish provided 400+ hours to first white corrosion product and 700+ hours to red corrosion, until now, the answer was NO. Alloy finishes with passivate and seals that were complex and difficult to control were the only choice to achieve 400+ hours to first white corrosion product and 700+ hours to red corrosion. Traditional zinc plating just could not meet these requirements. As a result, finishers and their customers could only look to zinc alloy systems to provide high corrosion resistant attributes. The challenges associated with these processes were just a … [Read more...]

What Would We Do Without SUR/FIN? 

As long as I can remember, there have been musings about SUR/FIN® and its value.  While I agree, there are ways SUR/FIN can be improved, without SUR/FIN where would we as an industry be? There would be no opportunity for surface finishers from various disciplines and backgrounds to meet and discuss issues formally and informally. The latest information on regulatory developments would have be discerned via webinars or articles. While these forums are truly valuable for some things, the opportunity to ask questions in person, or meet with a speaker “offline” do not occur in the … [Read more...]