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Electrocoating – The Technology

Electrocoating is a finishing process technology used worldwide to achieve high quality, low-cost finishes at a level of efficiency and environmental compliance, no other finishing method approaches. The process involves submerging metallic products in a charged paint bath and electrically depositing the paint onto the product. With this process, paint only adheres to the intended product. The coating thickness is generally dependent upon the voltage applied to the paint.

End Use Applications and Electrocoat Properties

Market Segment Properties Added by Electrocoating
Agriculture Equipment High Gloss, Color Control, Weatherability, Corrosion Resistance
Appliance Corrosion and Stain Resistance, Color Control
Automotive Corrosion and Chip Resistance, Weatherability
Automotive Components Corrosion, Chemical and Chip Resistance
Containers (Cans) Barrier and Chemical Resistance, FDA-Approved, No Effect on Flavor
Electrical Switchgear Corrosion Resistance and U.L. Approval
Fasteners Corrosion and Edge Coverage
Frames Corrosion, Chemical and Chip Resistance
HVAC Corrosion Resistance, Color Control, and Weatherability
Laboratory Furniture Chemical, Stain, and Corrosion Resistance, Color Control
Lawn and Garden Corrosion Resistance and Weatherability
Metal Office Furniture Color Control, Hardness, and Stain Resistance
Plated Objects Clarity, Weatherability, Corrosion Resistance
Printed Circuit Boards Edge Coverage and Hardness
Railway Corrosion and Chip Resistance, Weatherability
Structural Steel Corrosion Resistance and Weatherability
Heavy Duty Truck and Bus Corrosion and Chip Resistance, Weatherability and Color Control
Wheels Corrosion and Chip Resistance, Weatherability

Performance Benefits  

  • Throw power for 100% coverage of complex parts
  • Uniform film thickness
  • Benchmark corrosion protection
  • Superior edge coverage
  • Product and process consistency
  • Compatibility with other coating technologies
  • One coat applications for optimized performance even under extreme performance conditions
  • Low temperature cure in many applications
  • Excellent color and gloss control
  • Stain resistant
  • Chemical resistant
  • Detergent resistant
  • System automation

Competitive Advantages

Utilization  Film thickness is easily controllable, unlike other types of coatings. With close-looped recycling, all coating paid for goes on the product.
Maintenance Less time and money is spent on cleaning and maintaining finishing equipment. As a result, less cost is passed onto the customer.
Labor costs  Unlike other applications, electrocoating requires a smaller worker pool. There are sprayers, paint mixers, touch-up personnel, and strip tank operators for other finishes and coatings; these workers are eliminated or reduced by electrocoating.

Electrocoating – The Process

Pretreatment

Using a water-based chemistry supplied and maintained by PPG, we pretreat non-aluminum stampings and assemblies to prepare the metal substrate for electrocoating. The process begins with two caustic cleaning stages, followed by two rinses, a conditioner stage, zinc phosphate coating, a sealer, and two more rinses before e-coat.

Cathodic Process

Utilizing PPG-supplied e-coat products, pretreated parts are inducted into a 33,500-gallon e-coat tank that is cooled by chiller. Programmable rectifiers and 32 anodes in the e-coat tank ensure consistent film build regardless of size. A large external cam mechanism provides end-to-end rocking movement of a pallet of parts to further enhance film build consistency. Passing through three post-electrocoating rinse tanks later, parts are inducted into an overhead oven where they are cured to a high-quality, corrosion-resistant finish.

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