Pre-treatment may seem like an extra expense when coating your components – but it is an important aspect of the coating process. Whether you are powder coating, anodising, Teflon coating or having a custom coat applied to your parts, it is essential to make sure your components are properly pre-treated to ensure the coating is effective.
Pre-treatment can be chemical – such as etching and rinsing or zinc coating – or mechanical, such as abrasive or wet blasting. Different types of pre-treatment offer different benefits for protecting and cleaning your components prior to coating, and depending on the size, material and application of your components, you may need to apply one ore more different types of pre-treatment for effective protection.
The benefits of pre-treating your components include:
Remove old coatings
If you are having your components recoated, the old coating will need to be removed properly before a fresh coating is applied. Particles of the old coating can affect the adhesion of the new coating, so it is important they are stripped completely off. Abrasive blasting is an excellent way to strip old coatings off, leaving the surface of the part ready for a fresh coating
Remove impurities and decontaminate your components
Metal components, whether they are steel or aluminium, can accumulate surface contaminants over time. This is true whether you strip off an old coating, or are coating a part for the first time. Mechanical pre-treatment such as blasting can strip particles of contaminants off your parts, preventing them from being trapped beneath the coating and affecting the components over time. Chemical pre-treatments such as etching can also clean and decontaminate parts, removing a thin top layer of the component to remove impurities from the surface of the part. Rinsing, which usually takes place after chemical pre-treatment, also serves to remove any remaining impurities on the part.
Enhance Corrosion Resistance
Some pre-treatments, as well as removing unwanted particles from your components, can also serve to strengthen them. Pre-treatments such as zinc coating adds an extra layer of protection to parts prior to adding another coating, acting as a sacrificial coating to keep corrosive elements from contaminating the part. Mechanical pre-treatments can also strip away any particles of rust that may have formed on your components, preventing them from spreading.
Deburr and remove sharp edges
If your parts are being used in an application where they may be handled frequently, are used as moving parts, or come into contact with other components, sharp edges can cause unnecessary friction, scratching and even potential injury. Removing sharp edges can not only make your components more aesthetically pleasing, but make them safer for use. Wet abrasive blasting is an excellent method of deburring components.
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