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PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT: International Compound 2287

PRODUCT TYPE: Biodegradable, Mildly Acidic, Non-Phosphate
Conversion Coating

CUSTOMER: Manufacturer of Deep Drawn Cold-Rolled Steel Components
for the Automotive Industry

OBJECTIVE: Replace a Phosphate Metal Coating with a
Non-Phosphate Conversion Coating

DESCRIPTION: The customer manufactures deep drawn cold-rolled steel components in varying press types. The components are processed in a 5-stage, conveyor-type in-line spray washer. The customer had utilized a phosphate metal coating that was very sensitive to concentration fluctuations and caused that age old issue associated with phosphate metal coatings . . . sludge, and lots of it. Due to the age of the washers, they had to be dumped, thoroughly cleaned and recharged on a weekly basis, resulting in exceedingly high costs to operate the third stage of the wash line. In addition, the phosphate required elevated temperatures (up to 140°F) in order to perform at an optimal level, resulting in unnecessarily high utility costs. The customer was led to believe by their former vendor that this product was the only chemistry that would guarantee the success of subsequent operations (e.g. painting, powder coating) and provide effective corrosion protection.

ICC performed a comprehensive survey of their operations and determined that an alternate chemistry would provide equivalent paint adhesion performance and corrosion protection while saving them lots of money. A non-phosphate conversion coating was recommended for trials: International Compound 2287. This product is biodegradable, mildly detergent, non-toxic, and environmentally responsible, does not generate sludge, is very effective within a comparatively wide concentration range and operates efficiently at ambient temperature.

CONCLUSION: The customer performed an extensive test of International Compound 2287, processing in excess of 2,000 individual components to verify its performance. Upon receiving positive reports from the end users of our customer’s products, the switch to ICC 2287 was made at the earliest possible convenience.

Benefits were myriad and wide-ranging. ICC 2287 was marginally less expensive than the phosphate metal coating, but other cost savings were much more significant. The bath is able to operate effectively at ambient temperature, saving thousands of dollars annually in utility costs. The bath life has nearly tripled (change-out occurs once every two to three weeks). The formulation is biodegradable and non-toxic, facilitating the ability to dump spent baths directly into the waste stream with little to no pretreatment. ICC 2287 is mildly acidic, making this process much more operator friendly than the highly acidic phosphate metal coating. The applied coating provides an excellent surface finish for paint adhesion. And finally, sludge has been totally eliminated. The costs associated with exhaustive clean-up and waste hauling charges to remove the spent phosphate coating have also been totally eliminated. Cost savings exceeded $100,000 in the first year of operation.

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