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Pre-treatment cleans, phosphates and dries in one process

Stowlin Croftshaw : 29 November, 2004  (New Product)
Cool-Phos pre-treatment combines the benefits of vapour degreasing and aqueous phosphating, but produces a better key for paint or powder coating and also protects the parts against in-house corrosion. It reduces rejects, cuts production time, takes up less space and is very efficient.
Cool-Phos is a solution, which is made up of dichloromethane, and co-solvents, which dissolve the phosphoric acid and the other chemicals that stabilise and modify the process and the coating. Vapour degreasing is part of the Cool-Phos process, but only a small part. Cool-Phos will remove solid dirt and produces a phosphate conversion coating at the same time.

Cool-Phos is a single tank process and total process time is about 10minutes, which varies depending on workload but, typically, the process would be 30 seconds in the vapour, 90 seconds in the Cool-Phos liquid, 30 seconds to drain and 40 seconds to rinse and dry the parts.

All Cool-Phos units are fitted with a pump filtration system. The bag filters remove not just the dirt from the metal but also swarf and excess phosphate which is formed naturally in the process. The oil stays in the solution but this is not a problem until it exceeds about 6%, which normally takes about two years, but it can be much longer.

A Cool-Phos immersion tank acts the same way as a vapour degreaser. You can load baskets or jigs (via automatic hoists). Because Cool-Phos operates at 40C, the parts can be handled immediately, when they emerge from the tank and either be painted straight away or can be stored in house for long periods without rusting, as the phosphate coating protects the surfaces.

If the costings are done properly, Cool-Phos is almost always cheaper than the water based alternatives. In space alone, a Cool-Phos tank will only take up 25% of the space required for an aqueous system, which needs at least three tanks and a drying oven. In energy costs, Cool-Phos will require less than 20% of the energy needed for aqueous systems.

The cooling system on the Cool-Phos tank is recirculated and water is not part of the process. The operation of an aqueous system needs much more chemical control than the Cool-Phos process. Drying of aqueous phosphated parts is extremely difficult. Flash rusting will occur very quickly and parts must be painted within 30 to 60 minutes. The parts processed in a Cool-Phos tank emerge dry, can be handled and are protected against in house rusting. Running a Cool-Phos plant does not need a full time chemist a simple daily test using the kit we supply monitors the liquids specification.

A more detailed chemical analysis is provided on a monthly basis, free of charge, by the company's Technical Support Engineers. They keep a watchful eye on the condition of the bath to make sure that it is maintained in an optimum condition. All Cool-Phos customers are visited on a regular basis.

Cool-Phos is based on dichloromethane- probably the safest of the chlorinated solvents, both to the environment and for people. Dichloromethane has an amazing environmental profile: extremely low ODP (Ozone Depleting Potential), it does not produce ozone at ground level and has a very short atmospheric lifetime, so it is easily absorbed by the normal atmospheric processes. It is now generally agreed by the experts that dichloromethane is not a carcinogen in man and causes no long-term health problems, providing it is used sensibly.

In short, Cool-Phos is environmentally and people friendly, cheap to run, takes up little space, only needs minimal heating, is simple to operate, compatible with all coatings, gives excellent adhesion and in-house rust protection.
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