Contract coating company Steel Coat B.V., Belgium

Overhead rail continuous flow blasting system at Steelcoat, Lummen

The contract coating company, Steel Coat B.V. from Lummen in Belgium, had the first contact with PantaTec  in spring 2011. Steelcoat is a service centre for coatings that has specialised in the processing of steel construction and piping sections with big dimensions. The company offers the whole process chain from surface preparation to finished corrosion protection with wet coatings and powder coatings. In the area of surface preparation, an overhead rail, continuous flow blasting system with 16 blasting wheels is used. Peening takes place with ferritic blasting shot.

The founder and Managing Director of Steelcoat, Peter Kempeneer, explains: 
“As a service centre for the production of anticorrosive coatings, we produce for plant engineers for example piping for sprinkler systems and heat exchangers in big series. Our customers always expect consistently high quality and punctuality from us. To be able to fulfil these requirements reliably, we must pay attention to high process reliability. Nevertheless, our supplies are disrupted every now and then by fluctuating quality in terms of purity of the gross surfaces. With some lots we receive the required oil and grease-free surfaces, but occasionally there are also included individual components contaminated by oil or grease. Up to now we had to identify these defective components and accordingly pre-clean them before they could be introduced into the blasting system. If we had made mistakes at this point, meaning at the beginning of surface preparation, this could have led to adhesion problems due to defective coatings.
The unintentional and uncontrolled entry of oils and greases inevitably leads to delays in the peening process and thus also disrupts the following tasks. Then also the peened surfaces that were actually grease-free are contaminated evenly with oil and grease during blasting. This again could lead to the fact that these surfaces achieve the required purity for corrosion protection coating only with increased effort.

Water repellant test - from left to right: new grease-free blasting media, contaminated operation mixture, cleaned operation mixture

As a countermeasure we had to make the effort to carry out an appropriate wet cleaning which, of course, is also subject to the carryover effect.
By using the blasting medium additive ULTIMATE , this eliminates both entrance testing and the careful pre-cleaning of oil-contaminated parts before the peening process. As a result, we have now been able to elevate our process stability to a level that we need for smooth series production.
During the introduction of the additive, we had support directly from the manufacturer of the additive, PantaTec. The employee of PantaTec had initially made the contamination of our blasting medium that already existed visible to us through a sample comparison and a very simple water repellant test.

Blasted pipes: top, blasted without additive, bottom, blasted with additive

On grounds of getting a clear result, we have decided to test the additive directly in the blasting system. At the beginning, the system was vaccinated by means of several repeated, increased additions of the additive directly in the blasting medium flow behind the air separator. After approx. 1 hour, we could now already ascertain brighter and more homogeneous surfaces in the peened sections. Blasting dust that up to now had adhered as a dark veil on the metal surfaces could be blown off easily with compressed air.

Further treatment and/or cleaning steps are thus now no longer burdened with these contaminations. This logically improves also the reliability of the subsequent processes. In the final result, we save the costs for the pre-cleaning and an increased post-treatment effort. At the same time, by the improved process we increase quality reliability. So, this also means there are fewer costs for possible remachining.
The amazingly simple use of the additive has helped us make good progress.
In the next step we will deal with automated dosage and pre-mixture for the additive."