Surface technology shines without chromium VI
Major focus is on green surface treatment technologies as well as energy and resource efficiency at the new "Surface World".3 Mar 2015
"Help shape the transition to green surface treatment." The German Surface Treatment Association (ZVO) invites visitors to “Surface World". At the ZVO joint pavilion at the Surface Technology trade fair, 45 exhibitors will demonstrate the latest developments in surface technology. One central theme is optimizing and integrating planning and manufacturing processes, another is the greatest possible efficiency in the use of energy and resources.
The sector is also engaged in developing new chemicals that comply with increasing environmental concerns. The demand for surfaces that shine like chrome in the automotive industry continues unabated; however, the EU’s REACH chemicals regulation requires alternatives to chromium VI in the medium term. Substituting chromtrioxid with chromium III or other compounds is the focus of several exhibits. BASF for example is showcasing ionic liquids as a replacement for the chrome-sulfuric pretreatment of plastics. The German firm Coventya is showing chromium VI-free mordants for ABS plastics as well as the chromium VI-free layering system Strata for decorative corrosion protection. Vopelius, a market leader of chrome products, is also presenting a broad range of raw materials for trivalent chromium plating. The process provider Atotech in Berlin has even promised to replace all hazardous chemicals in its products “in order head the movement toward green surface treatment technologies.”
The galvanizing and surface treatment industry is motivated by more than ecological factors. A reduction in raw materials, energy and water is "definitely called for" economically according to ZVO. Starting points can be found along the entire process chain. According to H2O, a specialist for treating industrial wastewater, the answer to improved profitability lies in effectively and safely pre-treating the parts to be surfaced. Re-circulating cleaning liquids and distilling using the ClearTec process can reduce both the costs of H2O and the environmental impact. "Effluent free production" is the motto at Antech Wassertechnologie, a company that also reduces energy consumption with its new EVALED evaporator technology series.
In the energy-intensive surface technology sector, energy efficiency is an important consideration when developing new installations. The pump manufacturer Sondermann is therefore showcasing compact magnet pumps and energy efficient multi-frequency technology with which "several thousand Euros in operating costs can easily be saved per year by infinite adjustment of pump capacity". The German company ICOM will be present with three intuitively operable program systems to control waste water. Metzka GmbH, manufacturer of galvanizing, printed circuit board and special installations, is presenting new heat recovery systems and heat exchangers at the joint pavilion.
Kerpener AHC Oberflächentechnik focuses on selective surface coating to conserve resources. Its Lasox-Coat process selectively protects aluminum components against wear and corrosion with an oxidation layer using only lasers and oxygen. Another selective process presented by AHC will be partial hard chrome plating that can be used on carbon or hardened steel parts.
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