Coatings: Metal Fusion Helps Stop Corrosion

Monday, March 08, 2004

New advances in metal fusion technology produce a metalized coating with no porosity, which can be applied at rates similar to those achieved by airless painting practices. The substrate temperature does not affect the process, and there is no curing time. The competitive process results in extremely long term near permanent corrosion protection, which is designed to be competitive in price with conventional corrosion systems. High speed metalizing of a variety of substrates can be accomplished rapidly under harsh field conditions. As there is no cure time required for the process, which can be used to apply up to 35 mils with only one coat, the application time is often much reduced from a conventional corrosion prevention system. Pitted steel and corroded rivets can be filled with metal easily, thereby eliminating welding and steel replacement. Rivet seams on oceangoing vessels were sealed and operated for years through difficult weather conditions without leaking after quickly metalizing corroded areas. Pure copper, as opposed to leaching cuprous oxide, can be permanently bonded to steel, wood and fiberglass providing permanent protection against marine fouling. The process throws plasma or molten metal against the substrate at high velocities, which melt the peaks of steel substrates forming an alloy bond at the surface. This produces very high adhesion and tensile strength when compared with conventional systems. The metal alloy which forms on the surface is impervious to air and water inclusions, and when zinc or aluminum are applied, provide cathodic protection as well as a total oxygen and moisture barrier. The new advanced technique produces a film of metal on the substrate that will not undercut, has no porosity, and less than one percent air inclusions in the coating. Most metals that can be put into wire form can be applied. The process has design approval from ABS, and has been approved for use in chemical tank linings by the USCG. The Federal Highway Administration endorses metalizing for bridges with no topcoat, or with a single cosmetic coat only. Some marine applications include using pure aluminum for a near permanent non-skid, which has very high abrasion, and wear characteristics when compared with conventional materials. Aluminum non-skid can even be steam cleaned when contamination from hydraulic fluids, grease and fuel are encountered. Applying stainless to bowthruster tunnels helps to eliminate cavitation problems, which can erode carbon steel quickly. Application of zinc to ballast areas turns the entire tank into a zinc anode, and zinc can be applied to tightly adhering rust providing a hard coating without surface prep. As there are no chemicals, curing time, or solvents involved in metalizing, a variety of cosmetic topcoats can be applied directly to the metalized surface as soon as it is applied.

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