2008 R&D 100 Winner
For decades, automakers have turned faithfully to phosphate-based technologies for their metal pre-treatment needs, because they predictably and reliably deliver protection against corrosion and have excellent paint-adhesion properties. They also have significant drawbacks: sludge produced as a byproduct contains carcinogens and heavy metals which create challenges in the handling and disposal of the sludge, and the presence of heavy metals results in significant wastewater management concerns.
Overcoming these weaknesses is Zircobond Pretreatment, a corrosion-inhibiting, adhesion-promoting product that uses a blend of additives and zirconium-based chemistry to deposit a conversion coating on metal surfaces. Developed by researchers at PPG Industries, Inc., Troy, Mich., Zircobond generates at least 80% less sludge than conventional pretreatment processes. It can be used in existing pretreatment lines and is safe for the conventional waste treatment systems in most automotive production facilities following a simple pH adjustment. In addition, the process leads to cost savings due to reduced waste generation, energy usage, and water consumption.
Corrosion-inhibiting, adhesion-promoting product
PPG Industries, Inc.