PPG’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, USA

PPG’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, USA

New PPG products have cutting edge

The company’s Ultrax and Powercron AdvantEdge take metal protection in diverse products to a whole new level

August 2015

New products from leading US-based coatings company PPG are helping protect metal surfaces and prolong their life spans.

One of the most recent examples is Ultrax metal conditioner 257, a near-neutral descaler solution that removes weld scale, light oxide and other impurities from steel surfaces and preconditions galvanised steel, white metal, aluminium and other non-ferrous metals prior to pretreatment with zinc-phosphate and other thin-film pretreatments.

Ultrax metal conditioner 257 is a significant technical breakthrough because it enables descaling and surface activation of welds while pre-conditioning metal surfaces of parts comprised of mixed-metal substrates through a single descaling system. Multi-metal components are increasingly in demand among automakers because their lighter weight promotes greater fuel efficiency and improved corrosion resistance.

With conventional metal-conditioning technologies, there is no simple way for manufacturers to clean and precondition welded parts made with steel alloys, galvanised steel and non-ferrous metals prior to pretreatment. Ultrax metal conditioner 257 eliminates that problem by facilitating uniform application of zinc phosphate, which creates a corrosion-resistant barrier on mixed-metal frames, engine cradles, control arms, linkages and other underbody parts exposed to moisture, road salt, gravel and other hazards.

Randy Brent, PPG director, pretreatment and engineered products, said there are a number of operational and environmental benefits associated with Ultrax metal conditioner 257’s near-neutral pH composition.

“In addition to enabling a single descaling operation, Ultrax metal conditioner 257 emits no fumes, slows iron-build in the descale tank for longer bath life, and produces less sludge than standard acid-pickle descaling systems,” he explained. “The result is less waste, lower disposal costs and a safer operating environment.”

Performance benefits associated with Ultrax metal conditioner 257 include a dense, uniform phosphate coating on metal parts as well as improved phosphate coverage on and around welded seams and other zones affected by heat during welding and manufacturing, even after significant bath aging.

PPG, earlier this year, introduced Powercron AdvantEdge electrocoat (e-coat), a next-generation high-edge cationic-epoxy product, in North America.

Originally formulated to achieve Reach (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) compliance in Europe, Powercron AdvantEdge e-coat is formulated with a proprietary metal-free catalyst that eliminates the need for dibutyl tin and other scarce or restricted heavy metals as a catalysing agent.

Bob Enzerra, PPG product manager, electrocoat products, said Powercron AdvantEdge e-coat can help appliance, automotive and heavy-duty equipment manufacturers and other metal finishers gain a competitive edge, both in terms of environmental compliance and product performance.

“While other electrocoat manufacturers have developed new catalysing technologies that do not require dibutyl tin, all still demand the use of alternative metal feedstock that is limited in supply and availability and highly vulnerable to price fluctuation,” he explained. “By formulating and synthesising a catalyst that is environmentally advanced and abundant, PPG can help protect customers from future legislative and supply challenges outside their control.”

Specifically engineered for high-edge protection of cut, stamped or formed edges on complex metal parts, Powercron AdvantEdge e-coat offers several performance advantages over e-coats based on conventional metal-based catalysing technologies. They include cure temperatures as low as 320 F to reduce energy use and related carbon emissions, as well as excellent workability, a smooth film appearance, enhanced throwpower and excellent corrosion resistance.

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