Pre-treatment is the essential preliminary stage where metals are prepared prior to electrostatic powder coating.

This cleansing process removes any residual dirt, oil and contaminants and prepares a suitably conductive surface to receive the electrically charged paint particles. This enhances the coating adhesion and strengthens the durability and corrosion resistance of the powder coating finish.

Traditional steel pre-treatment processes have used zinc or iron phosphates, which produce a toxic waste sludge that is environmentally harmful and requires costly and time-consuming disposal.

Aluminium pre-treatment has traditionally incorporated a chromate-conversion system, adding a protective layer to the metal. However, there are concerns about the long-term carcinogenic effects from exposure to chrome in the workplace and environment.

Chromate pre-treatment is banned in Europe, because it does not comply with European Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) standards.

Progressive companies such as SupaCoat, who are sensitive to environmental issues and adopt a whole-of-life product responsibility, have looked towards more environmentally benign pre-treatment processes that do not involve the use of heavy metals. SupaCoat employs Chemetall’s Oxsilan™ nanotechnology pre-treatment system for both steel and aluminium.

This next-generation system is phosphate and chrome free, environmentally friendly and RoHS legislation-compliant whilst providing substrate surface pacification and coating adhesion that meets stringent Qualicoat™ approvals.

SupaCoat is one of only a handful of companies in Australia to operate a chrome free pre-treatment facility. These environmentally friendly pre-treatment processes have proven to be more efficient and gentler on the environment, resulting in minimal waste and reduced energy and water consumption.