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...]

Increasing Bath Life and Quality of Trivalent Passivates on Zinc Plate

As published in Products Finishing Magazine, April 2019 issue. Q: What is the best way to increase the bath life and quality of trivalent passivates on zinc plate? A: One of the more significant developments of the last 20 years in the metal finishing industry is the commercial development and application of trivalent passivates on zinc electroplate. These developments have allowed applicators to eliminate the use of toxic hexavalent-chromate conversion coatings, thereby safeguarding the health of all involved in the handling and processing of zinc-plated parts. Further, these trivalent … [Read more...]

Asterion “Safety First” Training

As part of the company’s core values to provide safety tools and training to employees, Asterion is committed to conducting American Heart Association (AHA) safety training on a regular basis. The OSHA-compliant training provides critical skills required to respond to and manage an emergency until emergency medical services arrives. Skills covered include first aid, choking relief, and what to do for sudden cardiac arrest. Upon successful completion of the comprehensive course, all participants are certified for two years. As part of the training and our emergency action plan, … [Read more...]

Cleaning Cycle Optimization

Should we be content with letting cleaning baths get contaminated with oils and soils? We can just dump and make up a fresh bath, right? You could go that route, but beware; without proper cleaning blisters, poor adhesion, pitting, peeling, and flaking may start to rear their ugly heads before a fresh bath can be made. There is a better answer. What would happen if agitation and filtration systems were added to a cleaner? The filters remove bulk soils and particulates as they are being introduced to the bath. An agitation system mechanically sweeps particulate matter away from the … [Read more...]

Will 2019 Be Smooth Sailing?

Part of my job is to anticipate the future and like the captain of the ship, steer a course that avoids turbulence as much as possible. Unfortunately, in business there are few adages such as “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky at morning, sailor take warning”. As a result, organizational leaders must keep a watchful eye to spot those trends which affect their industry. One of the benefits of travel, whether by air or car, is the isolation which allows the mind to freely flow. Occasionally, these episodes provide an opportunity for reflection. On a recent journey, I noticed six … [Read more...]

Nickel Stripper Issues and Answers

A customer alerted us to an issue with their acid-based anodic nickel stripper. The issue had been ongoing for at least a couple of months and they had tried many different things to solve the issue. One of the issues was the automatic backwash filtration system had been down for an extended period. It was thought that was the main culprit, based on the appearance of the strip solution showing a great deal of floating solids that would settle to the bottom when there was no circulation. Filtration Fixed, but… The filtration system was fixed, and the customer decided to dump and make … [Read more...]

How to Keep a Plating Bath from Slowing Down

As published in Products Finishing Magazine, April 2018 issue. Alkaline plating baths form carbonates over time, and these carbonates cause the baths to become less efficient, resulting in slower plating speed. Asterion’s Roger Sowinski outlines three options for removing carbonates. Q. Why is the plating time in my alkaline plating baths increasing? How do I fix this problem? A. When it comes to plating, time is money, and nothing is more frustrating than your plating bath slowing to a crawl. The good news is that you can return the plating speed to its original levels; the … [Read more...]

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...]