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From Beginning to Advanced: Blogs on Industry and Manufacturing

Greetings! My name is Adam. I work in the advertising industry as a brand developer. I also teach surfing lessons and spend a lot of time volunteering with an animal hospital. When I was on a gap year, I took a job in a pen factory. Through that experience, I learned a great deal about how pens were made, but I also learned a lot about industrial work and manufacturing in general. In this blog, I plan to write about all aspects of these topics, and I hope that this information is interesting and informative to you. Please, grab a tea and start looking around. If you like my blogs, share them. Thanks.

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From Beginning to Advanced: Blogs on Industry and Manufacturing

Sheet Metal Saviours: Choosing A Pre-Applied Coating For Sheet Steel

by Daniel Wilson

Contracting a metal fabrication service is the best way to ensure solid, professional fulfilment of your sheet steel fabrication needs. However, this service rarely comes cheap, so naturally, you'll want to ensure that your steel lasts as long as possible. With this in mind, metal fabricators offer a range of coatings to protect your steel from damage caused by moisture, salt and other corrosive chemicals -- these coatings are applied at the fabrication facility itself, ensuring high quality application and minimising your long-term maintenance concerns.

Paint

A wide variety of preservative paints are available, providing a range of different properties depending on your needs -- for example, paint for a sheet steel roof is highly resistant to perishing caused by UV radiation. Sheet metal due to be painted is first abraded slightly and then coated with primer before the paint is applied. This three-step process maximises durability and helps prevent problems with bubbling and cracking.

Paint is generally the cheapest way to apply a protective coating to sheet steel, but be aware that its lifespan is generally more limited than other, chemically bonded coatings. Functional life of your paint will be reduced further if your steel is used in outdoor applications.

Anodisation

Anodised sheet steel is coated in a thin film of inert aluminium oxide, which is bonded to the surface of the steel via electrolysis. This aluminium oxide is the matte, chalky substance that naturally forms on the surface of aluminium over time and provides an effective layer of protection against corrosion -- when applied to sheet steel, it can be just as protective. Having your sheet steel anodised results in a long-lasting and highly corrosion resistant coating that can be customised with a variety of colour dyes. The anodisation process can also be documented and certified if necessary, a common requirement in aerospace manufacture and other high-tech industries.

Anodisation involves more complicated processes and specialised machinery than painting, so it tends to be more expensive. Anodised coatings also have a limited lifespan, although they can be temporarily renewed by removing the top layer of aluminium oxide.

Powder coating

Powder coatings are similar to paint coatings. However, instead of being applied in liquid form, the coating comes in the form of a dry powder, which is electrostatically bound to the surface of the steel and then cured under intense heat to provide an immensely durable finish. Powder coatings are available in a range of colours that rival conventional paints, but do not peel or crack like paints, and tend to have much longer lifespans as a result. They can also be applied to anodised steel.

However, powder coating tends to quite expensive, especially when it comes to coating large pieces of sheet steel. It can also be a relatively lengthy process compared to painting or anodising.

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