How can you make sure your gate does not look like this in a couple of years?

If you want your new or refurbished gates, railings or fabrications to look like new for years to come, then AFT thermally sprayed zinc is an ideal solution.

AFT Fluorotec Coatings have been providing corrosion protective solutions to our customers who manufacture gates and railings by means of our thermally sprayed zinc.

Why use zinc?

Zinc has excellent sacrificial corrosion resistance and forms a self-passivated surface, so that in harsh weather conditions, steel fabrications are more resistant to environmental corrosion. Steel rusts quickly in an outdoor environment, but AFT's thermally sprayed zinc provides our customers with the desired long service life.

concentration on quality

We understand that excellent surface preparation is essential to ensure maximum performance from our coatings. No matter how good the liquid or powder coating is, it will not perform to its full capabilities on a poorly prepared surface.

The surface preparation process

For a refurbished gate/fabrication, the removal of an existing coating is one of the most important aspects of preparing the material in advance of a new coating solution being applied. Our coating removal processes such as our pyrolysis burn off oven provide an extremely effective solution for the removal of previously applied plastic or paint coatings and contaminants. It works by burning off the unwanted paint or coating whilst leaving the original material with little to no damage.

For a new fabrication or a refurbished part where the coating has been removed, cleaning the surface and preparing it for the coating is essential. At AFT Fluorotec Coatings we ensure the surface is clean from oil and other debris, which could cause contamination. Blasting also ensures good adhesion of the thermally applied zinc to the surface area of the part.

Zinc Thermal Spraying

Following the surface preparation, zinc is then thermally sprayed onto the prepared surface. As the name implies, thermally sprayed zinc is a process where zinc is softened by heating. The small molten particles are then projected onto the cleaned and prepared surface where they adhere to form a continuous protective zinc coating.

The combination of thermal then kinetic energy causes the particles to flatten or ’splodge’ onto the surface and surrounding droplets. Our thermally sprayed zinc is known as a ‘cold’ process as there is virtually no heat input to the substrate (<80oC), so there is no distortion to the steel.

The thermally applied zinc surface provides a textured finish that is excellent preparation for the application of a topcoat. The topcoat can be applied by either powder coating or utilising our long-standing expertise in technically advanced liquid functional coatings.

Why choose thermally sprayed zinc over Hot Dip Galvanizing (HDG)?

Hot Dip Galvanizing has been used for a hundred years but thermally sprayed zinc is being preferred more and more. Some of the benefits include:

  • Thermally sprayed zinc coatings can be applied with a thickness of up to 0.25mm, compared to 0.05-0.1mm with HDG.
  • The textured finish provides an excellent preparation for the application of a topcoat, whereas the use of HDG requires acid etching or acid primers to be used to ensure good adhesion. 
  • Thermally sprayed zinc is a cold process with no heat input to the substrate, so it has a smaller carbon footprint and designers love that there is no distortion to the metal.
  • Gates and railings coated by thermally applied zinc do not require fettling to remove sharp edges as is often required with HDG. This means minimal dross produced during the process.
  • When using AFT's thermally sprayed zinc, designers don’t have to drill holes in hollow/tubular structures as they have to with HDG to avoid explosions. 

thermally sprayed zinc VS zinc electroplating

Electroplating requires baths of chemicals, many of which are toxic. Our thermally sprayed zinc is a much greener, environmentally-friendly, process.

Hydrogen is produced at the part during the electroplating process, which causes hydrogen embrittlement in high strength steels. For this reason, companies in the energy sector do not use electroplating and insist on their parts being coated using processes like our thermally sprayed zinc.

Where else is thermally sprayed zinc used and why?

Our thermally sprayed zinc provides environmental protection for decorative steelwork and sculptures prior to the final application of a powder of liquid topcoat.

Architects and designers even request low cost steel items to be thermally sprayed with bronze and/or brass, on top the thermally sprayed zinc, enabling long-lasting very decorative items to be produced far more cost effectively than with solid bronze items.