Cleaning Q&A: Zirconium Pretreatment

Details about the setup, installation costs, benefits and limitations of zicronium pretreatment.


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Q. The zinc oxide pretreatment we use requires a primer for outside parts. What about zirconium pretreatment? Could you provide details about the setup, installation costs, benefits and limitations? Ours goes through a 5-stage system and then through a powder coating process.

A. A zinc oxide coating will not provide significant corrosion resistance, as it appears you have discovered. The zirconium oxide conversion coating should provide a superior coating for corrosion resistance and overall performance of your powder coating. The zirconium oxide process is generally performed at a lower temperature, so it should result in a cost savings related to a lower energy usage. Additionally, the tank will not produce significant sludging (as would be the case with a zinc phosphate conversion coating process). The coating weight is generally low, but still produces high performance results. Another potential benefit is that it may produce smaller environmental footprints in more than just the lower energy usage. It will likely generate a lower amount of chemicals that need disposal with a lower toxicity. One potential difference is the need to use water with possibly a higher purity than you may otherwise use with a traditional zinc oxide or phosphating conversion coating process. 


Originally published in the January 2016 issue.

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