The Basics of Phosphate Conversion Coatings

The phosphate process is the treatment of a metal surface that produces a reasonably hard, electrically non-conducting surface coating of insoluble phosphate that adheres to the underlying metal. It is used to enhance corrosion resistance, lubricity or as a foundation for subsequent coatings or paint. Zinc and manganese phosphates are also used to help break in parts subject to wear and to prevent galling. Zinc phosphate is often used with sodium stearate for lubrication in forging processes. It may be applied to a variety of substrates. Main Types of Phosphates The main types of phosphates … [Read more...]

Routine Maintenance in the Finishing Shop

Years ago on there was a television ad for a car repair shop that encouraged people to change their oil and brakes as well as maintain their fluids in the car. The tagline was simple: “Pay me now or pay me later.” Unfortunately in a metal finishing shop the same statement is true. Equipment maintenance in a metal finishing shop is often considered nothing more than an inconvenient hassle at the bottom of every plant manager’s "To-Do" list. However, with a little bit of proper care and some attention to planning, equipment can operate for longer periods of time without failure and dreaded … [Read more...]

Ratios in Metal Plating

3 common, “rule of thumb” ratios I come across regularly in metal plating deal with bright acid tin, spray washing, and high metal alkaline zinc.  This article will briefly discuss each “rule” and offer suggestions based on real life scenarios to determine if they are “rules”, helpful suggestions, or flat out myths.  It is advised that you contact your supplier before making any changes to your existing metal plating system, but these may be helpful when analyzing your baths and considering the efficiency, distribution, and/or bath life of the chemistry in your process. Bright Acid Tin … [Read more...]