The metal coating is necessary for metal structure protection away from corrosion. Corrosion can be considered the biggest enemy of metal, it can seriously affect the longevity of the structure or equipment. In this content, we will introduce to readers 5 forms of metal coating that are widely applied nowadays.

5 effective metal coating measures help prevent the potential corrosion risk

Before coming to the main section, we will overview the definition of metal coating. This is a coating applied to metal surfaces for protection purposes against wear and tear. Appling this method, an additional layer of protection is provided. The common materials for those coatings are often polymers, such as epoxy, polyurethane, and urethane. The top 5 metal coating technologies being introduced today include anodizing, galvanizing, electroplating, powder coating and paint coating. 

1. Anodizing metal coating: The most eco-friendly metalization technology

Anodizing is a term related to accelerating the process of forming a protective oxide layer on the metal surface. This metallization process is carried out by dipping the aluminum component into a bath of electrolyte solution along with a cathode (aluminum or lead). An electric current will run through the aluminum causing it to oxidize and create a protective barrier.  The most prominent advantage of the anodizing metal coating is probably the easiest to maintain of all the 5 methods mentioned. Anodized surfaces can easily be cleaned periodically with mild detergents. It is also quite chemically stable and hardly degrades under normal conditions, which helps prolong the surface strength. Moreover, this is an eco-friendly method, which is non-toxic and does not create any harmful by-products. 

2. Galvanizing metal coating: The optimal choice for corrosion protection

Galvanizing is the metal coating process of dipping steel or iron metal into a bath of molten zinc. The coated metal reacts with oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air, forming a protective layer of zinc carbonate. There are two types of galvanizing: Hot-dip and cool galvanizing.  Due to many outstanding advantages, this metallization method is a frequent preference in many cases. Some highlights worth mentioning include:

The high cost is probably the biggest limitation of the galvanizing metal coating method, and the cost of each type of galvanizing is different, require you to choose the right one so as not to waste your budget. Hot galvanizing has a lower cost and is suitable for large-sized steel structures and vice versa. Another disadvantage is that the aesthetics of the zinc coating are not high, which may not be suitable for some civil works.

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3. Electroplating metal coating: Top choice for jewelry and decoration coating

Electroplating, also known as charge deposition, involves depositing a thin layer of one metal onto the surface of another metal in an electrolytic medium. The coated metal is the anode, while the other one is the cathode. An electric current is directed into the electrolytic cell, causing metal ions to move from the cathode to the anode, thereby forming a metal coating Not only does it have excellent corrosion resistance, but electroplating also enhances some of the metal’s mechanical properties. The aesthetic value of the electroplating layer is also appreciated, suitable for coating decorations or jewelry. 

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However, careless application of electroplating can result in an uneven metal coating, so this method is not recommended for high-precision facilities. At the same time, electroplating is also not applied on an industrial scale due to its high cost. During the electroplating process, handling waste must be taken with care. Since electrical chemicals are very toxic, they can negatively affect humans and the environment. Read more: What is the Metallization process? An overview of thermal spray coating

4. Powder coating: A metal coating method with high durability and a good appearance

Powder coating is the process of coating an object with a powder-based component. The coating elements carry a charge opposite to the part to be coated. The charge opposition causes the powder particles to adhere to the surface of the metal structure. Then a heat treatment is applied to it to harden the coating. This metallization method is widely known for its high durability and beautiful appearance. Besides, powder coating does not contain solvents, so it emits very few volatile organic compounds (VOC). Overall, powder coating is still considered a cost-effective method. However, the initial preparation can be quite complicated and expensive. The metallization process requires it to be carried out in a separate chamber, fully equipped with a special spray booth and spray equipment.

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Moreover, it’s almost impossible to create a thin layer of paint using powder coating. The smoothness of the surface finish resulting from this method is also not appreciated. Therefore, if your structure requires a coating thinner than 6 mils, another metal coating solution should be considered.

5. Paint coating: 

This is the simplest metallization method, as it is the application of a layer of liquid paint to the surface of the structure. Depending on the characteristics of each metal as well as the external environment, the paint chosen for coating will be different. For large-scale industrial applications, paint coating is not the optimal choice. First, it contains many volatile toxic substances (VOCs), which are harmful to the environment. The durability of paint coating is also worse than other methods; They are easily faded and peeled.

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Above are the 5 most common metal coating methods in many industrial fields. Each type sets its own advantages and disadvantages. The choice depends on the characteristics of the project, environmental conditions and your budget.

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