Connecticut Precision Castings is equipped to handle all your casting needs, from motor housings to general hardware and everything in between. Today‘s zinc casting alloys are strong, durable and cost effective engineering materials. Their mechanical properties compete with and often exceed those of cast aluminum, magnesium, bronze, plastics and most cast irons. These characteristics, together with their superior finishing capabilities, make zinc alloys a preferred material choice for today‘s industries for a wide variety of parts. Although tooling cost is typically the biggest hurdle for a customer looking into die casting, the die is made from specialty tool steels to withstand the temperatures and pressures of tens or even hundreds of thousands of cycles. With machine cycles up to 20 per minute and multi-slide die capabilities, die casting is a cost effective manufacturing process that can produce net shaped, tight tolerance, consistent metal components.
A variety of high quality surface finishes is another major advantage that zinc has over other materials. Powder coating, electrocoating, chromating , phosphate coating and chrome plating can be used for decorative finishes while some of these coatings alone or in combination with anodizing or an iridate coating can be used as corrosion barriers. Select a finish type below for more details.
Powder coating is an advanced method of applying a decorative and protective finish to a wide range of materials and products that are used by both industries and consumers. The powder used for the process is a mixture of finely ground particles of pigment and resin, which is sprayed onto a surface to be coated.
The general concept of powder coating is to cover the metal part with this pulverized plastic and then heat it briefly in an oven so that the powder melts and flows around it, forming a solid protective layer over the part. Electrostatic spray is the most common and versatile application method for powder coating. Powder is conveyed through a delivery hose and spray gun by clean, dry, oil-free air. The powder is electrically charged by the spray gun‘s electrode and, when directed at a conductive, grounded surface, is deposited and held to that surface by a static charge. The coating is fused into a smooth coating in a convectional curing oven. The result is a uniform, durable, high-quality, and attractive finish.
Powder is somewhat like a finely ground plastic and is offered in two broad divisions: thermoplastic & thermosetting. Thermoplastic powder coats do not chemically react during the baking process. Therefore thermoplastics can remelt after cooling when heat is applied. Thermoplastics are typically used for heavier coating applications for increased protection properties or electrical insulation. Thermosetting powder coatings do chemically react during the baking process (aka cross-linking), forming a polymer network, more resistant to coating breakdown than its thermoplastic counterpart. Thermosetting powder coatings will not remelt after cooling when heat is applied, providing better temperature stability. Higher flow rates in these materials also produce a smoother thin film which is required for more decorative applications.
More durable then liquid paint systems, powder coating gives consumers, businesses, and industry one of the most economical, longest-lasting, and most color-durable quality finishes available. Colors stay bright and vibrant longer. Powder coated surfaces are more resistant to chipping, scratching, fading, and wearing than other finishes. Color selection is virtually unlimited with high and low gloss, metallic, and clear finishes available.
Electrocoat (e-coat) is a wet paint finishing system that uses electrical current for paint deposition. E-coat is an immersion (dipping) process very similar to plating except we are depositing organic finishes, not metal. Working on the principle that opposites attract, an e-coat system applies an electrical charge to a metal part immersed in a bath of oppositely charged paint particles. Paint particles are composed of a thermoset resin bound with pigment suspended in water & other solvents. Electrocoating systems use electrically charged particles to coat a conductive part. As these particles are drawn to the metal part, they form an even, continuous, low-profile film over the surface until the desired film thickness is reached. Regulated by the amount of voltage applied, the deposition is self-limiting and slows down as the applied coating electrically insulates the part. The e-coat paint covers and protects the entire part or product so that even corners, edges and recessed areas are completely protected.
E-coat systems deposit thermoset epoxy resin bound with a lower-range, semi-gloss black pigment. Epoxy e-coat functions as an excellent primer to serve as a base-coat foundation for subsequent coatings. Manufacturers choose electrocoating to provide their products with a durable, lasting finish that will stand up to outdoor environments such as water and sunlight as well as indoor environments such as chemicals used in your laundry room.
Zinc die castings offer excellent plating characteristics. Electro-plating is generally a multi-layered coating consisting of one or two copper layers, one or two layers of nickel, and a final layer of chromium, brass, gold, or any other palatable metal. Chromium plating is the most popular decorative finish when corrosion and high abrasion resistance are required.
Chromating is a low-cost chemical treatment that provides additional corrosion protection against "white rust". This form of zinc corrosion is caused by prolonged exposure to damp conditions. Chromate finishes are produced by simple dip methods which deposit a thin chromate coating. Chromate coatings are often applied to instrument, military and automotive components where low cost resistance to moisture is required. These coatings normally have a bronze tone or metallic luster depending on the process used.
Each material has its own finished look and protective parameters that would be defined by the environment the part must withstand. Most of these processes will use some form of an acidic or alkaline bath and the plating solution bath to thoroughly coat the part with a minimal amount of plating thickness. Because of the many options of electroplating available please consult with us with your application for the best plating for the application.