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5 Reasons Plastisol is Perfect for Playground Equipment

The playground is more than a place to play. It’s where kids first learn to make friends, take risks, and let loose their imaginations. Plastisol, one of the most versatile metal coating technologies, helps to ensure that jungle gyms are as safe as they are fun. Here are a few of the reasons why Plastisol is the perfect industrial metal coating for playground equipment of all shapes and sizes.

 

Plastisol Playground Coating

 

1. Impressive Durability

 

Playground equipment takes a beating. It requires metal coating technologies that can withstand years of stomping, kicking, scraping, and whatever else kids can throw at it. Plastisol plastic coating holds up to this barrage while being safe for children to explore.

 

2. Colour Customization

 

While we typically work with black and white here at Plastico, it’s possible to dye plastic coatings just about any colour of the rainbow. This customization lets you build a playground that matches the surrounding neighbourhood and invokes the imagination of all those who see it.

 

3. Weather-Resistance

 

We experience the full spectrum of nasty weather here in Canada, from wicked windstorms to massive blizzards. This, combined with constant use by curious kids, puts a lot of strain on outdoor playground equipment.

 

Fortunately, Plastisol is made to handle the worst of our Canadian weather. The coating provides a barrier against rust and corrosion for longer than a coat of paint.

 

4. Cleanliness

 

Public parks are a haven for families who are looking to enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, parks can also be a haven for vandals. Graffiti can be an expensive (and annoying) problem, and playground equipment is no stranger to the spray paint’s wrath.

 

Plastic coating can’t solve this problem, but it can help to reduce the cost. It is possible to remove graffiti from plastic-coated playground equipment, eliminating the need to re-paint whenever a vandal chooses it as a canvas.

 

5. Cost-Effectiveness

 

Like all outdoor fixtures, playground equipment requires ongoing maintenance to look and perform at its best. Maintenance can be a significant expense for school boards and municipalities. It’s also an inconvenience to its users; no child wants to encounter a barrier and a “Wet Paint” sign when they go to the park.

 

No coating lasts forever. Plastisol is no exception. However, its superior durability and resistance to the elements will reduce the cost of maintaining the metal components of playground equipment compared to painted or bare parts.

 

Our Experience Coating Playground Equipment

 

Plastico first stepped into the arena of playground equipment back in 2016 when we partnered with a local outdoor recreation equipment company. Together, we worked to build a Plastisol coating line that could handle their large products. Now, we’re responsible for processing their entire inventory of stairs, bases, and other metal components for playground equipment. We’re thrilled to play a part in bringing safe, fun playgrounds to school boards and cities across North America!

 

Wondering what else we can do? Plastico is an industry leader for industrial metal coating, and we’re ready to answer any questions you may have about our services. Contact us today!

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Which Industrial Coatings are Considered Food Grade in Ontario?

Industrial coatings considered food grade in Ontario

Nylon powder coatings are as diverse as the many industries that use them. One often-overlooked application is that of food production and processing. From the farm to the dinner table, powder coatings help to ensure our food is safe to consume.


Of course, not all coatings are suitable for this purpose. Food processing equipment and containers must meet certain standards to be considered food grade in Ontario.

 

Specialized food grade industrial coatings are often necessary for both the longevity of part and the safety of the food it touches. The right choice coating can make the equipment easier to clean and sanitize. However, it must also be non-toxic, non-absorbent, and free from defects (like cracks or crevices) that could harbour bacteria.

 

Which Industrial Coatings Are Considered Food Grade in Ontario?


In Canada, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) set policies and standards to ensure a safe food supply, including the safety of the equipment we use to process food and the materials we use to transport it. The American equivalent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), oversees this area in the United States.


The choice of food grade powder coating for a part will depend on the manufacturing process. Parts that will be placed in an oven will have to withstand high temperatures; parts that will be submerged in liquid must have a high resistance to corrosion. Non-stick coatings with a low friction coefficient are often sought in the food processing industry as well.


The type of food ingredient in question may also play a role in the decision. For example, certain materials are more susceptible to corrosion on exposure to acidic foods like pickles or tomatoes.


The number of industrial coatings considered food grade in Ontario is too numerous to list. Below are some of the most common categories of food grade powder coatings in use:

 

  • Polytetrafluoroethylene coating (PTFE): A thin, non-stick coating that stands up to high temperatures. It does not absorb liquid and has a low friction coefficient. Non-stick cookware and bakeware often use PTFE coating.

 

  • Fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP): This food grade coating option is flexible and highly resistant to chemicals but lacks the high-temperature resistance of PTFE. Like PTFE, it is non-absorbent.

 

  • Antimicrobial coatings: A wide variety of food grade industrial coatings come with antimicrobial properties, which reduce the spread of bacteria and food-borne illnesses. Some contain an active ingredient that kills bacteria, while others resist them passively by preventing microbes from sticking to the surface of the part.

 

  • Rislan Nylon 11: This durable and versatile polymer coating boasts a low friction coefficient that makes it easy to clean. The main ingredient is Castor beans, which makes Nylon 11 100% renewable and environmentally friendly.


Here at Plastico, we’ve used Nylon 11 to coat everything from fryer baskets to pot handles to cutlery, food trays, and even seafood traps. While it doesn’t taste quite as good as it looks, it does qualify as food grade!

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5 Ways to Prevent Corrosion of Metal Parts

prevent corrosion metal parts

 

No metal is completely safe from the threat of corrosion. But it is possible to slow, manage, or stop corrosion before it causes a problem.

 

There are practical ways to prevent corrosion in metal parts. Engineers can incorporate corrosion control into the design process. Manufacturers can apply protective corrosion barriers. Finally, the people who use the part can take preventative steps to prolong its life.

 

What is Corrosion?

 

Corrosion occurs when a metal reacts with an oxidizing agent in its environment. This chemical reaction can cause the metal to degrade over time, tarnishing its appearance and compromising its structural integrity.

 

Each type of metal has different electrochemical properties. These properties determine the types of corrosion the part is vulnerable to. For example, iron tools are prone to rust from long-term exposure to moisture, while a copper roof will tarnish under the effects of the weather. While some metals stand up to corrosion better than others (depending on the environment), none are free from every type of corrosion.

 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to prevent corrosion of metal parts. With so many types of metal and thousands of possible applications, manufacturers must use various methods to prevent and control corrosion in different metals.

 

Ways to Prevent Corrosion of Metal Parts

 

Preventing corrosion in metal parts takes consideration at all stages in the process, from design and manufacturing to finishing and maintenance.

 

1. Design

Corrosion control begins at the engineering stage. If the part is for use in an environment where it is susceptible to corrosion, manufacturers should design the part with that in mind.

 

For example, parts exposed to the elements should allow water and debris to drain off instead of collecting on the surface. To reduce crevice corrosion, designers should eliminate narrow gaps that allow air or fluid to enter and become stagnant. For corrosive environments, such as in saltwater, it may be wise to engineer for a degree of corrosion allowance.

 

2. Protective Coating

Coatings can provide a layer of protection against corrosion by acting as a physical barrier between the metal parts and oxidizing elements in the environment. One common method is galvanization, in which manufacturers coat the part with a thin layer of zinc.

 

Powder coatings are another effective way to prevent corrosion in metal parts. With proper application, a powder coating can seal the surface of the part away from the environment to guard against corrosion.

 

3. Environmental Control

Many environmental factors impact the likelihood of corrosion. It helps to keep metal parts in a clean, dry place when not in use. If you intend to store them for a long time, consider using methods to control the level of sulfur, chloride, or oxygen in the surrounding environment.

 

Galvanic corrosion occurs when metal parts with two different electrode potentials are in contact along with an electrolyte like saltwater. This causes the metal with higher electrode activity to corrode at the point of contact. One can prevent galvanic corrosion by storing these parts separately. This effect can also work as an anti-corrosion measure, as explained below.

 

4. Cathodic Protection

It is possible to prevent corrosion by applying an opposing electrical current to the metal’s surface. One method of cathodic protection is an impressed current, using an outside course of electrical current to overpower a corrosive current in the part.

 

A less-complex method of cathodic corrosion protection is the use of a sacrificial anode. This involves attaching a small, reactive metal to the part you wish to protect. Metal ions will flow from the reactive metal to the less active part, reducing corrosion at the expense of the smaller piece.

 

5. Maintenance

Protective coatings, environmental control, and cathodic protection are effective ways of preventing corrosion in metal parts. However, these measures are nothing without ongoing maintenance and monitoring. Coatings can wear over time; even small nicks and scratches can lead to corrosion. Be sure to keep parts clean and apply additional protection as necessary.

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Five Industries That Use Metal Coating Technologies in Ontario

For more than four decades, Ontario companies have used Plastico’s innovative metal coating technology for various applications. However, our plastisol line has allowed us to venture into new areas where our unique coating is proving to be equally important. Here are five of the Ontario industries making regular use of Plastico’s metal coating technologies.

 

Automotive

 

Our largest client is Ontario’s automotive industry andwe process about 85% of the parts used in the province’s automotive manufacturing sector. That’s several million pieces each month! Even if you don’t own or service vehicles, you will still come into contact with parts we have run through our plant, including interior components such as latches, handles, and leavers. Our work also finds its way into other types of heavy machinery, including logging and farming equipment.

 

Agriculture

The comfort and humane treatment of animals is a concern for everyone. Plastico’s food grade plastisol coating contributes to this goal by providing a softer coating for the iron grate floors used in facilities housing pigs and chickens. It also does a better job of retaining heat, further adding to the creation of an environment that causes animals less stress.

 

Additionally, the coating lasts longer because the primer creates a very strong bond between the plastisol and the substrate. This makes the surface more resistant to the sort of wear commonly occurring when animals walk over flooring regularly. This property in the plastisol also makes clean-up worry free because the coating can easily withstand cleaning fluids and other chemicals.

 

Medical

 

Hospital equipment must meet certain safety standards to be suitable for use on patients, particularly with vulnerable groups, such as children. Plastico’s phthalate free plastisol makes it perfect for standard equipment such as defibrillator paddles and catheters, forceps,and tubing hubs.

 

Food Industry

 

As mentioned above, plastisol is food grade coating, which makes it ideal to provide extra protection for food industry equipment. We provide a durable, easy-to-clean finish for cutlery, trays, fryer baskets, seafood cages, and more.

 

Children’s Playground Equipment

 

If you have children, you know how rough they can be with things. This is not their fault; they are merely learning about how things work and expressing their joy. Don’t consider that toy ruined—consider it well loved.

 

 

Fortunately, makers of children’s playground equipment can provide a product kids enjoy that will also stand up to their wear and tear. Plastisol ensures vital components such as stairs and bases have the extra protection required for the equipment to stay in use for years on end. It also provides extra protection against the yearly ravages of the Canadian winter.

 

One thing we have learned after so many years in business is the need for versatility. Plastico is well known for its extensive work with Ontario’s automotive industry, but the usefulness of our coating technologies has allowed us to branch out into areas the company’s founders wouldn’t have considered back in 1977. Our aim is to continue being the forward-thinking innovators you can count on.

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How to Keep Metal Parts From Rusting

Rust can have a severe negative impact on metal parts. It can compromise the strength and appearance of the parts, as well the safety of any structure, vehicle, or machine it affects. Thus, it is extremely important to ensure you do everything you can to keep metal parts from rusting as much as possible.

 

To that end, we are here to educate you on everything from what rust is and whether it’s contagious to how you can easily and effectively protect against rust on all metal parts.

 

rust parts

 

What Is Rust?

 

Rust is the commonly-used term for what we know as the red-brown, flaky coating that develops on metal. The term refers to a specific type of corrosion, otherwise known as oxidizing (rusting) with the resulting iron oxide (rust). This process occurs when iron or one of its alloys, such as steel, reacts to a combination of oxygen and water.

 

Since iron reacts relatively easily with oxygen and water, rust is quite common and often inevitable if you are not careful about protecting metal parts made from iron or an iron alloy. While water itself will produce the quickest reaction, rust can still occur where there is excessive air moisture present.

 

Is Rust Contagious?

 

Since you know what rust and the oxidizing process that causes it are, now comes the question of whether rust is contagious to other metal parts. Meaning, will rust spread quickly to other metal parts if one is already affected?

 

This can be a tricky question for some, but what it comes down to is no, rust is not contagious. If you have a flake or two of rust on an unaffected metal part, this does not mean it will soon start to rust. The issue does not lie with rust itself, but rather the reason rust occurred in the first place.

 

If you keep metal parts in the same environment and one of them starts rusting, the other metal parts will also begin to rust unless you fix the conditions causing oxidization. But a well-maintained metal part (one kept clean, dry, and/or with additional protection) will not automatically rust simply because of a couple red brown rust flakes.

 

Simply put, in order for rust to occur, there needs to be prolonged exposure to both oxygen and water (or excessive air moisture).

 

How Can I Keep Metal Parts From Rusting?

 

The first thing you need to do in order to prevent your metal parts from rusting, of course, is to keep them clean and dry. But this is not the only thing you can do by any means!

 

Providing your metal parts with a protective coating, such as our Aquence coating (A-coat), protects against both this specific type of corrosion as well as scratches. You can protect metal parts already affected by rust, though they will need cleaning prior to the application of this protective coating.

 

So how does A-coat work?

 

It is a dip process where our organic polymeric emulsion bonds to iron or other ferrous metal. One of the excellent benefits of Aquence is how the coating process is environmentally friendly and sustainable with complete coverage—and uniform coverage too! It is also quite the powerful coating, as it is able to coat a part inside and out, something you do not see often with other protective coating options. This makes it perfect to help you prevent your metal parts from rusting.

 

 

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Tim Keane
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April 17, 2018
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