Avoid Wasting Money On the Wrong Coating Materials For Steel

Coating materials are absolutely necessary to protect steel surfaces. There are no two ways about it. But there are different types of coating materials used for the protection of various surfaces. Using the wrong protective coating on steel (or the wrong application method) is not only a waste of the coating material, but inadequate for the protection needed.

The Wonders of Steel

Steel exhibits highly desirable characteristics: recyclability, flexibility, and exceptional strength. In fact, its only real drawback is the fact that it is so very susceptible to rust and corrosion. Iron is used to make steel. In combination with other elements, iron occurs in nature. When manipulated artificially to make steel, iron ore becomes unstable, meaning that it then combines readily with oxygen. This leads to metal corrosion.

In both industrial and consumer applications, one of the most commonly used materials is steel. Here are some other interesting statistics about steel:

  • Each year, from steel, nearly 200 billion cans are produced for food.
  • In your average computer, nearly 25% of it is composed of steel.
  • In delivering renewable energy, the main material used is steel.
  • The largest consumer of today’s steel is the construction and housing sector. Of all steel produced worldwide, it uses approximately 50%.

How Can We Protect Our Steel?

Other metals, such as NI (nickel) or CR (chromium) can be alloyed with steel in order to protect it. This makes stainless steel. It is then coated with nonmetallic and metallic coatings to improve appearance, extend product lifetime, and provide the best barrier against corrosion. Coating materials can include the following: silver, iron oxide, nickel-chromium, nickel, chrome, aluminum, cadmium, zinc, and paint. To prevent against galvanic corrosion, as an example, aluminum and zinc coatings are used. To prevent against stress cracks and corrosion, cadmium coatings are used. As you can see, each coating can have certain applications for which it is best suited.

Wrong Application – Wrong Coating

This all sounds wonderful, but here’s the thing. Coating materials are expensive. Not only will the steel that you are supposed to be protecting be wasted, but the coating materials themselves will be wasted if they are applied incorrectly or if the wrong coating material is used on the product (substrate). To verify that a coating meets the required specifications, coating measurement systems are used. But, inefficiencies can occur even with the measurement systems. To prevent against such inefficiencies, one solution is on-line coating weight measurement instruments.

High-Tech, High-Quality Methods

The use of x-rays, FSIR (full spectrum infrared), and XRF technology (x-ray fluorescence) are some of the on-line coating measurement instruments involved in non-contact sensor technologies. Selective coating weight measurements are possible for various metal layers with the use of specially designed filters.

At A&A Coatings, we offer a variety of protective coatings and thermal spray methods – all using the latest technology. No matter what your industry, we have the protective coatings you need. Contact a knowledgeable representative today to find out how we can assist you in prolonging the life and improving the operation of your parts, machinery, components, and more.

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