Alkaline Zinc Systems Answer the Call for Integrated Solution
Asterion introduces a comprehensive plating system covering demands for productivity, corrosion resistance and appearance.
Alkaline zinc plating is often met with a range of requirements including cost, corrosion resistance and aesthetic appeal. Providing plating processes, pretreatment chemistry and powder coatings to the surface finishing industry, Asterion introduces an integrated system it believes meets those demands, increases productivity and reduces rejects.
According to the company, several chemical suppliers have introduced an integrated zinc system approach with varying degrees of success. Although the systems may have worked well in the lab, many were deficient in high-volume production. As a result, surface finishers often revert to “cherry-picking” an alkaline zinc process from Supplier A, a passivate from Supplier B and make a final “coin toss” decision for a sealant.
With these challenges in mind, Asterion collaborated directly with customers, gaining knowledge on current and emerging application requirements. The result is the company’s Ultra alkaline zinc system released in April 2017.
Each Asterion Ultra system includes the company’s Technibrite Ultra Zn alkaline zinc formulated to produce bright, ductile deposits with uniform and precise thickness distributions over a wide current density range.
According to Roger Sowinski, Asterion’s VP Technology, the alkaline zinc maintains enhanced chromate adhesion and is highly tolerant to zinc brightener levels and temperature conditions.
“Unlike conventional alkaline zinc processes,” he says, “Technibrite Ultra Zn provides comparable performance to chloride, acid-based systems but with the added benefit of more uniform plate distribution.”
Asterion Ultra systems also include the company’s UltraPass trivalent passivates that offer +144 neutral salt spray (NSS) to white corrosion at 6 percent, 30 second immersion (ASTM). Fully RoHS compliant, the dyeable formulations range from iridescent bright blue to jet black. UltraSeal sealants have also been developed to ensure an added level of corrosion protection.
“Color versatility, coupled with the ability to plate thin coating thicknesses on complex parts, make Asterion Ultra systems ideally suited for automotive and building/hardware applications,” says Blair Vandivier, Asterion CEO and president. “The ductile, corrosion-resistant coatings produced are coveted by the fastener, oil and gas, and heavy equipment markets for such applications as hydraulic tubes and fluid lines that are exposed to harsh environmental conditions.”
Highly receptive to post organic coatings, Asterion Ultra alkaline zinc systems are engineered for both rack and barrel operations without burning. The company says customers are already witnessing ease of operation and waste treatment.
The system also aims to eliminate the inefficiencies associated with selecting products individually from various sources.
“Individual process selection is no longer sustainable. Our new Asterion Ultra systems address the industry’s call for a truly integrated approach that reliably and cost-effectively delivers on the promise of functional and aesthetic performance,” Vandivier says. “This ‘promise’ is achieved through our close collaboration with applicators and job shops that desire zinc systems that meet stringent requirements for extended component life and consumer design preferences.”
For more information, visit asterionstc.com.
Originally published in the May 2017 issue.