A Re-introduction to E-Coating for Industrial Metal Fabrication Projects

We’ve referred to e-coating in this blog, covering many articles. However, we still need to introduce the process properly. So, without further ado, I introduce you to e-coat.

E-coating is a popular and efficient way of protecting metal parts and components used in industrial fabrication processes. E-coating, or electrodeposition, paint covers metal surfaces with a protective layer, and it is a cost-effective solution for protecting metal from corrosion and other environmental factors.

Component in the Process of E-Coating
A component in the Process of E-Coating

E-coating provides a consistent, uniform coating that is durable, reliable, and used in many industries, including automotive, aerospace, and military. It also coats components for construction, industrial machinery, and household appliances.

What is E-Coating?

Electrodeposition creates a coating by applying electricity to a liquid or powdered base material, which transfers electrons from the coating’s surface to the base material, creating a coating layer on all sides of the part, including inside the recesses. Electrodeposition coatings are durable and resistant to corrosion, abrasion, and chemicals.

E-Coating Benefits

 I can talk all day about the benefits provided by an e-coat. Sometimes, those thousand words a picture provides tell the story even better. Here are several examples of salt spray testing performed on perforated pieces – among the hardest substrates to effectively protect from corrosion.

  • Longer life: E-coating provides corrosion resistance, particularly in wet and salty environments, low friction, weldability, and low friction.
  • Protection against abrasion: Creating an anti-abrasion layer increases durability.
  • Protection against wear: Provides static and kinetic friction to reduce wear and tear on moving parts.
  • High gloss: Provides a high-gloss, durable finish that resists stains and wear.
  • Low cost: E-coating applications are inexpensive and available in smaller quantities.

Common Uses

E Coating System General Layout

Automobiles are subject to high levels of wear and tear, with the brakes, tires, and steering system all vulnerable to this level of wear. Tires, brake pads, and hoses are susceptible to corrosion when exposed to salty environments. So, with e-coating, manufacturers reduce the risk of damage to these components and extend the vehicle’s useful life.

Other common applications of e-coating include parts of machines that experience wear and tear – motor parts, transmission parts, and hydraulic systems are all susceptible to wear.

Types of E-Coatings

  • Polyester coatings are an e-coating with recycled polyester resin as the base material. It is a tough material that offers high impact resistance, good chemical resistance, and resistance to hydrolysis.
  • Epoxy coatings are another popular type of coating made of a plastic blend of polyester and epoxy resin. Epoxy coatings provide better chemical resistance and resistance to hydrolysis than polyester coatings while also providing better abrasion resistance and wear resistance than polyester coatings.
  • Hybrid coatings combine polyester and epoxy resins, which balance the properties of the two materials.
  • Penetrating coatings are e-coating designed to enter through cracks and pores in part. It forms a film on the surface of the part, and it seals the cracks.
  • Functional coatings provide a range of benefits, including anti-corrosive protection, resistance to abrasion, and low friction.
The two coat e-coat/topcoat process
E-Coat/Topcoat Process

Environmental Considerations

To ensure the safety of people, the environment, and plants, e-coating manufacturers must comply with strict laws and regulations regarding the handling and disposal of hazardous materials. Proper training and licensed employees are essential to minimize the risks to workers and the environment. E-coating manufacturers should also take precautions to prevent contamination of the electroplating bath.

Quick Recap

Electrodeposition coatings are a cost-effective way to protect metal parts and components from corrosion and other environmental factors. E-coating is produced by applying high voltage to a base material to create a coating layer on all sides of the parts, including inside the recesses.

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