Phosphating

Zinc phosphating and manganese phosphating

Phosphating is a chemical/electro-chemical process in which thin, fine-crystalline and water insoluble phosphates are generated on metal surfaces from phosphoric acid solutions in a dipping or spraying procedure.

As they are the result of a chemical reaction with the base metal, the pale or dark grey coloured metal phosphate layers are securely anchored in the metal surface and include many cavities and capillaries. This characteristic gives the phosphate layers an optimum absorption capacity for oils, waxes, colour pigments and lacquers, so they have proven their value as corrosion protection and as an adhesive substrate for paint and varnishes. A further characteristic of the phosphate layer is its ability to dissipate friction forces (as generated in deformation, drawing or sliding processes). So, in addition to an improvement of the surface quality of the pieces treated, the processing speed can be considerably increased with prolonged service life of the tools.

Characteristics

  • Pale to dark grey manganese, zinc or zinc/calcium phosphate layer consisting of secondary and tertiary manganese, zinc or zinc/calcium phosphates.
  • Securely anchored on the base metal
  • Fine-crystalline to coarse-crystalline appearance (according to process)
  • The additional layer (3–20 micrometres) – must be taken into account for fitting parts.
  • Thanks to the existence of many capillaries in the layer, corrosion protection oils and lacquers are very well absorbed, providing very good corrosion protection.
  • Phosphate layers are electrically non-conductive, i.e. their insulating resistance is relatively high.
  • Damaged layers are hardly penetrated by rust.

Areas of application

  • Automobile industry
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Toolmaking

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