Nonphosphate Conversion Coatings that Help the Environment and Reduce Energy Costs from Chemical Methods, Inc.

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For decades the metal finishing industry has relied upon iron phosphate conversion coatings to pretreat metal in preparation for paint. Iron phosphates work well but their waste byproducts contain phosphates and phosphates have been identified as a major source of pollution in lakes and streams. Chemical Methods’ new Cool-Green™ conversion coatings are phosphate free. Also, the Cool-Green products can be used at ambient temperature so in addition to helping the environment they also help reduce energy consumption as well.

In the metal pretreatment process, iron phosphates create a chemical reaction with the surface of the metal and build up a microscopic texture. This texture is required for liquid or powder coatings to adequately adhere to the metal. Countless products that we use everyday such as automobiles, lawn mowers, snow blowers, and appliances have iron phosphate treatments underneath the paint that we see.

Most of the phosphate pollution of our waterways comes from fertilizers and laundry detergents. When these phosphates dump into rivers, streams and lakes they cause an artificial enrichment of the water that in turn causes huge blooms of algae to grow. The term used to describe this phenomenon is eutrification. When these large algae blooms die, the rotting process steals oxygen from the water. This loss of oxygen causes a chain reaction of small insect death – leading to the death of fish that lived on the insects – and finally local birds either die or leave.

“Many of our customers are coming under strict local regulations that require them to reduce phosphate emissions. Our Cool-Green products are custom engineered to work well without phosphates so our customers can be in compliance with important environmental regulations. We all need to do our part to protect our valuable water supplies” said Dan Gaba, Technical Director of Chemical Methods.

“Typically iron phosphate conversion coatings are heated to temperatures of 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. An added benefit of our Cool-Green products is that they can be applied at ambient temperature. The trade name Cool-Green is designed to reflect this double benefit – Cool for ambient temperature energy saving benefit and Green for the non-phosphate environmental benefit” said Tom Fabek VP Sales & Marketing.

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Tom Fabek