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A-Coating vs E-Coating: What’s the Difference?

A-coating and E-coating are two industrial metal coating technologies used to apply a rust and corrosion-proof coating to metal parts. Both are dip-coating processes that see wide use in the automotive and heavy machinery industries as a means of coating large components.

 

 

Despite these similarities, there are important differences to consider when selecting the correct industrial metal coating process.

 

What is A-Coating?

A-coating is a colloquial term for coating with Aquence, a Henkel® specialty coating product. Aquence was previously marketed as Autophoretic coating.

 

Aquence or A-coating is a waterborne poly coating that bonds to iron on contact. When a part made of ferrous material is dipped in a tank of liquid Aquence, the product bonds to the part with a chemical reaction. Next, manufacturers place the part in an oven to cure the coating.

 

A-coating has gained recognition in the automotive and heavy industrial manufacturing industries as a reliable metal coating technology. It has unlimited throwing power, and excellent corrosion and scratch resistance.

 

Aquence is also environmentally sustainable, containing no heavy metals and very few volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Any wastewater resulting from the A-coating process can be treated and disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way.

 

There are two types of Aquence coating available:

Aquence 866 leaves a matte-like finish and cures at low temperature, enabling manufacturers to coat full assemblies without affecting plastic or rubber bushings.
Aquence 930 is an epoxy acrylic coating with a semi-gloss appearance, ideal as Class B finish or primer coat.

Plastico is the only industrial metal coating company in Canada to offer A-coating in both Aquence 866 and Aquence 930 coatings.

 

What is E-Coating?

E-coating refers to electrophoretic painting or electrocoating, a metal coating technology developed to apply anti-corrosive coating.

 

The e-coating process involves immersing the part in a series of dip tanks, first to pre-treat and apply zinc phosphate and then to coat, clean, rinse, and condition it. When the part is dipped into the coating materials, the manufacturer activates an electrical current that passes through the tank using the part as an electrode. This electrical activity causes a layer of resin to adhere to the part, coating all surfaces exposed to the substance.

 

As with A-coating, a part coated with E-coating must be cured after application.

It is possible to control the thickness of the coating by adjusting the electrical current to the tank. A higher voltage will result in a thicker coating.

 

Differences Between A-Coating and E-Coating

While these metal coating technologies sound similar, the differences between A-coating and E-coating are significant.

 

A-coating bonds to metal using a chemical reaction, while E-coating bonds through the application of an electrical current.
A-coating equipment requires fewer dip stations and has a much smaller footprint than E-coating equipment. E-coating involves a lengthy pre-treatment process with multiple washing, cleaning, rinsing and conditioning stations.
Since it uses less equipment, the A-coating process consumes significantly less energy than E-coating.

While durable, E-coating is vulnerable to UV rays. A-coating is a durable poly coating that withstands UV.

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Why Use Aquence Metal Coating?

Aquence®, previously branded as Autophoretic® and known also a-coat, is an environmentally-sustainable dip coating made exclusively for parts made of iron. This thin but highly durable rustproof paint is widely used as an industrial metal coating for automotive parts.

 

 

Why use Aquence coating? Whether you call it Aquence, Autophoretic or a-coat, the product offers solutions to many common metal coating concerns, including:

  • Coating fully-assembled parts
  • Coating parts with a complex shape
  • Protecting parts from scratches or corrosion
  • Providing a very thin coating (between 0.5 and 1.0mm in thickness)
  • Minimizing environmental impact
  • Coating iron parts while leaving other metal parts untouched

 

Able to Coat Fully-Assembled Parts

Aquence has the ability to coat entire parts, inside and out, which is a rare feat for an industrial rustproof paint. The coating uses an organic polymeric emulsion to chemically bond to the surface of iron. This property makes it possible to produce a uniform coating parts that are already partially or fully-assembled.

 

Superior Throwing/Wetting Power

The consistency and properties of Aquence coating make it ideal for coating iron parts that have an odd or complex shape. Aquence has nearly unlimited throwing or wetting power, providing uniform coverage even in those hard-to-reach areas other coatings leave dry. And since it bonds with a chemical reaction, you can trust Aquence to coat every iron surface it touches.

 

Durable, Scratch-Proof and Corrosion-Resistant

Aquence uses a chemical reaction to forge a highly durable bond to clean iron surfaces. Though it goes on thin, Aquence rustproof coating is remarkably durable, corrosion-resistant, and scratch-proof. Additionally, Aquence has a Neutral Salt Spray (NSS) rating of 1000 hours. This toughness is part of what makes Aquence an ideal choice for demanding applications like vehicle frames and chassis components.

 

Thin Coating

For parts that will operate with minimal clearance, Aquence can produce an extremely thin coating of between 0.5 and 1.0mm in thickness. Though it goes on no thicker than paint, Aquence coating still provides iron with reliable protection from scratches, salt, and corrosion.

 

Environmentally-Sustainable

More and more manufacturers have ecological impact on their radar, fuelling an increasing demand for industrial metal coatings that are safe and environmentally sustainable. Aquence 866 is a water-based coating that is free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs); Aquence 930, an epoxy-acrylic urethane coating, contains no heavy metals and a low level of VOCs. Both coatings provide a durable, rustproof surface with minimal impact on the environment.

 

Bonds Only to Iron

Need to coat an iron part while leaving the rest of the workpiece dry? Aquence 866 is formulated only to bond to iron. The low curing temperature of 220-240° means you can coat iron parts in assemblies that also contain rubber, plastic or Teflon pieces without causing any damage or movement restrictions.

 

Aquence Coating in Ontario

Plastico remains one of few Aquence coating suppliers in Ontario, and the only Canadian commercial coater to offer metal coating services using both Aquence 866 and Aquence 930. Contact us for inquiries about metal coating services in Ontario.

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Choosing a Coating: Nylon Coating vs. Polyester Coating

Powder coatings protect metal parts from weather, corrosion, and whatever else you throw at it. Two of the most popular powder coating options are nylon and polyester coatings, each of which have broad applications in a variety of industries. These are a few of the main considerations when choosing between nylon coating vs. polyester plastic coating.

 

Nylon Coating Powder

 

Heat Resistance

An important difference between nylon coating and polyester coating is how each material reacts to heat. Nylon is a thermoplastic, while polyester is a thermosetting plastic. While the two sound similar, the distinction is important if the part to be coated will be exposed extreme temperatures.

 

Thermosetting plastics start out as separate polymer compounds. When subjected to sufficiently high temperatures, these polymers react to form a strong chemical bond. This bond is irreversible, and the plastic coating will remain solid even under extreme heat. In other words, poly coating is a one-way street: once it hardens, it is not possible to reform or recycle it.

 

Thermoplastics like nylon coating are different. Although thermoplastic compounds also melt under high heat, there is no chemical reaction involved, so the process is reversible. You can re-melt and re-form nylon coating as many times as you require! It is even possible to recycle nylon and thermoplastic coatings.

 

To borrow a metaphor, where thermoplastics are akin to butter, thermosetting plastics are more like bread. A baker can repeatedly melt and cool the same stick of butter, but they cannot break a loaf of bread back down into its ingredients!

 

For this reason, poly coatings are more heat-resistant than nylon coatings, but nylon coatings have advantages in other high-performance applications.

 

Durability

Depending on the application, both polyester and nylon plastic coatings can protect the surface of metal parts from abrasions. Polyester coatings tend be flexible, with impressive impact and chemical resistance. However, this is an area where nylon coating wins out overall.

 

Once applied to a part, nylon coating flows out to form a continuous, protective bond to the surface. This creates a powerful, resilient barrier against salt, UV rays, and all manner of wear-and-tear. Nylon coating remains durable even in thin applications, making it ideal for tight tolerances. Arkema’s ® Nylon 11 coating, one of our products of choice at Plastico, is specially designed to give metal parts a longer shelf life.

 

A secondary advantage of nylon coating is its low friction coefficient. This gives it an ability to cut noise and vibrations from the parts it covers, contributing to a safer work environment and helping to prolong the life of the machinery.

 

Sustainability

Manufacturers are increasingly becoming mindful of their impact on the environment. For those who are looking to incorporate more sustainable practices, nylon offers a renewable and eco-friendly powder coating solution.

 

Nylon coating is derived from castor beans, the product of a perennial plant called the Ricinus or castor oil plant. In addition to being recyclable, nylon coating carries almost no carbon footprint! Choosing nylon coating signals to customers that you care about your impact.

 

Nylon vs. Polyester Coating

Your choice of powder coating will depend on the part’s application and the performance you desire from the coating. Here at Plastico, we are confident in the superior performance of nylon coating, but we are happy to recommend powder coaters who specialize in poly coating as well.

 

Learn more about our powder coating services in Cambridge, Ontario.

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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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Plastisol Coating for Farmers

We're not farmers, and it might be a bit of a stretch perhaps, to say that we are in the ag business, but we do serve a number of agricultural manufacturers. And that number is growing in leaps, both with our coatings, and on the other side of our plant, in metal finishing at Latem Industries.

 

 

What We Do

Plastico Industries has been a preferred tier 2/3 supplier to the automotive market for many years. If there is one thing working with this large group has taught us, it is the need to be versatile, to constantly challenge ourselves, and to be ready to react, and even more importantly, to be proactive. It is this way of thinking that drove us into unchartered territory when we made a significant investment in 2016, a new plastisol coating line.

 

We'd already been working with plastisol since well before the turn of the century, however, not with a line of this magnitude. We had been in discussions with a local playground recreation company for a number of years. This new line would deliver everything this customer needed, and, with significant capacity still left over, would also open new potential for us. Some might say it was a bit of a risk, but we believe it was one well worth taking.

 

In the movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner turns his crops into a full sized baseball field due to a recurring message from above, that tells him "if you build it they will come." 'They' refers to ghosts of the 1919 Red Sox. He built it, they came, great movie!

 

We didn't hear any voices, however, we did believe that if we built it, they would come. We have yet to be disappointed, as not only have we broken new ground in the recreation business, but our appetite for more has also taken us to the farming community.

 

 

Perfect for the Pig Pen

 

What makes this line of particular interest to the farming community is that it is the perfect coating for flooring often found in swine operations. Our high durometer, food grade plastisol provides a solid, yet considerably softer coating to the bare iron grate floors. It also warmer to the touch, and provides more comfort than bare, or even powder coated steel. 

 

Plastico Industries uses a primer that bonds the plastisol securely to the substrate, providing further protection from wear, peeling and chipping. Our plastisol is also resistant to a wide variety of liquids, fluids and chemicals, which also makes for easier clean-up.

 

Chickens Love Us Too

One other pleasant surprise with the capacity of our new line is out ability to work with the poultry industry. From cage flooring to boundary screens, Plastico Industries has had the distinct benefit of working with manufacturers we might not have seen just a few years ago.

 

Welcome to Our Barn

The agriculture and automotive industries continue to be two of the most significant players in Canada's economy. While Plastico has forever been a preferred supplier in the car business, it is a welcome feather in our cap to be part, or a much bigger part, of the farming business.

 

Our barn is centrally located, just off of the 401 in Cambridge, and within our operation, you'll find several coating lines, not just in plastisol, but also a black paint line as well as a nylon dip and spray operation.

 

One major benefit in working with Plastico Industries, is our complete pre-prep services, available through Latem Industries, our parent company, conveniently located at the other end of our plant. From shot blasting for surface preparation to washing and vibratory finishing, we offer the distinct benefit of working with a single-source supplier.

 

Visit us at www.plastico.ca for more information.

 

 

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Mass Finishing with Black Paint

You won't find our 'painting' in any art gallery, or on the wall of a collector. But you will find it in many office environments throughout North America, as well as in the interior of a number of vehicles on the road today. At Plastico Industries in Cambridge, Ontario, we're painters of a different kind. Our Aquence (A-coat) process is a dipping line, with large tanks and robotic cranes, designed to move racks of parts.

 

 

What is A-coat?

A-coat is a black wetting agent that relies on a reaction rinse to complete the process and bond the paint to the surface. That surface can only be an iron substrate. Anything else simply will not hold the paint. It is a 'rare' process by comparison to other coating options in the market, however, it is an ideal solution for the right part geometry. 

 

Plastico Industries is the only commercial 'A-coater' in Ontario. We built our line nearly a decade ago to answer specific demand in the automotive marketplace. Since then, we have grown that business, not only in automotive, but also in agriculture, heavy equipment, railings and fences, fitness equipment, and as you can see from the picture above, even office furnishings. Our line can literally paint thousands of parts per hour, depending of course on the geometry of the part. Some of the distinct advantages of A-coating your parts are...

  1. Aquence can be used to coat full assemblies. In the past, where Teflon or rubber bushings may have been a concern, a-coat cures at lower temperatures so it will not attack moving components
  2. Aquence coats everything it touches (iron only of course). This offers a big advantage when coating tubular products. Because we are working with a wetting agent, and not an electrostatic charge, our paint will coat the entire inside of a tube or channel, providing significant corrosion protection properties
  3. No Faraday Effect! In the coating world, The Faraday Effect, essentially it is an interaction between light and a magnetic field. In our world it refers to a result often found when coating with an electrostatic charge. The charge can pull paint away from an area, leaving bare spots or inconsistencies in the coating thickness. With A-coat, that doesn't happen as, when working with a clean iron substrate, our paint coats everything it touches, consistently.

 

Our Process

Our multi-stage coating line includes both an alkaline and acid wash, rinse tanks, and a choice of two black coatings. One, our 866 is a matte like finish, and the other, our 930, is more semi gloss. The next stage is our reaction rinse, which bonds the paint to the surface, and then into our curing oven.

 

 

A full cycle takes the better part of an hour, but in that hour we are moving through multiple racks, each rack with the capacity to hold hundreds of parts.

 

How Does it Look/Perform?

From an appearance standpoint, the finished part is quite similar to other coating options. While the aesthetics are clean and consistent, A-coat is considered to be more of a 'Class B' finish, more suited for interior parts that aren't as highly visible.

 

It is also a popular primer coat, often used as a base layer to our nylon powder coat or our plastisol dipping. Plastico Industries has also worked with a few local powder coaters who have used our Aquence as a primer.

 

Depending on which paint we are using, Aquence has been tested to withstand up to 700hrs of salt spray, which is equal to or even above some other coating options.

 

So Why A-coat?

More often than not, the need to A-coat is born out of necessity. While it does have a few limitations, it also has some very distinct advantages, which make it the perfect coating solution for many part geometries.

 

Why Plastico Industries?

Plastico makes sense on so many different levels. First off, we've been in the coatings business since well before the turn of the century. We've been in the finishing business since 1977.

 

We have a number of coating options. Aside from out large A-coat line, we also offer a variety of solutions in plastisol dipping and nylon spray and dipping. Our fully automated processes are developed by a well experienced team of Engineers and Operators, and our equipment carries the capacity to move millions of parts each week.

 

As if this weren't enough, located in our building is our parent company, Latem Industries, the market leader in mass finishing. In some cases, parts may require preparation before coating, and Latem provides that service. From shot blasting and parts washing to vibratory finishing to remove sharp edges, working with Plastico Industries (and Latem if need be), provides the benefit of a single source supplier.

 

 

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Tim Keane
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July 17, 2018
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