Posted by Phineas Gray , on Jan, 2015
Zinc chromate plating is a type of coating that is done by depositing a layer of oxide on the surface. It is generally used as a corrosion inhibitor, a primer, which is the preparatory coating that is put on materials prior to being painted. It can also be used as a decorative finish or to help, and keep hold of, the electrical conductivity. In most cases, when chromating is used, it is placed on zinc-plated parts in order to help them last longer.
The Origination of Zinc Chromate Plating
Zinc chromate plating was a process that was first used by the Ford Motor Company in the late 1920s as a type of primer coating. In 1936 the aviation industry began to use zinc chromate plating. Since this substance is sensitive to light, it is typically mixed with a black pigment in order to provide some UV protection. As a result, the color that is typically seen is green.
Applications of Zinc Chromate Plating
While there are a number of different uses for zinc chromate, there are some that are more known than others. For example, the most popular use for zinc chromate is to inhibit corrosion. The use of the substance as a corrosion resistant agent was initially used for aluminum alloy parts in commercial aircraft, and later in various military aircraft. In most cases, the zinc chromate plating is applied in a paint booth like environment in order to prevent corrosion on various parts.
Health and Safety Precautions When Using Zinc Chromate
Since zinc chromate can be toxic, the OSHA (Occupational safety and Health Administration) has determined that the permissible exposure to zinc chromate is just 0.1 milligram for every cubic meter or air. It is important that if you will be working with the substance that you take the proper safety precautions, since it can cause serious health issues if you are exposed to it on a regular basis or for an extended period of time.
While there are now a number of alternatives to zinc chromate plating, it is still an extremely popular option due to the fact that it is so effective at preventing corrosion. While most people will not have to deal with the toxic nature of the substance, it is important to fully understand how it works and why it is important.
A large number of industries now use zinc chromate plating, due to its effectiveness at preventing corrosion. If you are planning to use this for any type of application, learning all you can about its application and use can be extremely beneficial. Keeping in mind the information that is highlighted here will help you see the benefits it offers, as well as how it impacts your industry.