Pretreatment is Still Important

Question: Good morning Mr.


Good morning Mr. Izzo. You probably don't remember me because we met only once, and that was 15 or so years ago. We were both in Buffalo at a conference that you chaired. I was subbing for my boss and gave a talk about pretreatment. I used to call it Phosphate 101. I worked for Company A, it is now Company B, at that time. I now work for Company C. You bought me either supper or lunch at this conference. I enjoyed talking to you and meeting you. Even then I was a fan.

I am not sure why I am contacting you now, except that I just wanted to tell you that I enjoy reading your column every month. I don't know how you keep your sense of humor when you get the same questions month after month. The advice you give is good, but people never seem to get it or don't want to get it. They expect you to solve their problems for them, so that they won't have to expend any effort other than e-mailing a message to you. This month (October 2002) you addressed four questions. In three out of the four you made the point that pretreating the metal before it is painted is critical to the success of the whole process. Even though you hammered hard on this issue this month, I bet you'll get more questions regarding this issue the following month. Anyway, keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your column every month. N. F.


Thank you for reading Painting Clinic. I do remember the incident, and it happened "or so" years ago, because I have been retired for 10 years. At first, I was disappointed that your boss wasn't able to present his paper, but I was later pleased that you filled in perfectly for him. The folks that worked for Company A (As you know, I don't mention company names in this column.) had that ability.

You said "...people never seem to get it..." I know your assessment of the situation is correct because you are on the firing line making direct contact with customers. I do this in my consulting business, but not to the same extent.

There have been 1,200 of my Questions and Answers published in Products Finishing Magazine since September 1979. I didn't do a complete analysis of the subject matter of these questions. However, using keywords, 25% of the questions were related to pretreatment of the substrate. As I have always said, " The greatest single cause of paint failure is poor surface pretreatment." Pretreatment is still important.