The GardoFlex pretreatment technology from Chemetall offers the automotive industry a multi-metal treatment that is easy to implement at unlimited throughput of aluminum substrates and high cost efficiency in production, the company says.
The system features a large number of high-performance modules available for the entire process, from cleaning and degreasing to activation and phosphating through to the last rinsing step, all combined with conventional zinc-phosphate technology with optimized process component. This combination suits each individual production line, allowing an increased efficiency process combined with conventional zinc-phosphate technology
For example, if the temperature is reduced to 35°C in the zinc-phosphating bath, the results can yield in lower economic production costs. According to the company, field experiences have shown that, depending on the throughput and plant location, energy costs in the six-digit range can be saved. All process elements are optimally aligned and, together with a distinctly longer bath service life, provides for a lower water consumption and smaller effluent volumes, contribute to resource-saving.
The zinc-phosphate technology can be used for all standard metal materials used in the automotive industry. There are no limits with regard to the throughput of aluminum substrates, and the system is said to significantly improve the corrosion resistance on high-strength steel.
The system also offers the deposition of a uniform-thin phosphate coating on the aluminum substrate. With only a zirconium passivation, surface irregularities resulting from car body construction or pressing could lead to visible problems for the subsequent application of the cataphoretic paint (e-coat) which could only be remedied by way of extensive manual work, inconveniences which can all be reduced with the pretreatment.