SURFACE TREATMENT CHEMICALS

Manufactured metal parts and finished products may go through a whole series of surface treatment processes. These include chemical and electrochemical operations such as washing, pickling, degreasing, phosphating, galvanizing, plating, etc. as well as numerous rinsing stages. Considerable economies can result from effective filtration and clarification of the various fluids involved, and, in the case of highly automated systems, such treatment becomes essential in order that the fluids used should continue to be dependable. Further, many operations may produce sludges, often containing toxic metal
salts presenting a difficult disposal problem. Here there can be considerable advantages in employing sludge dewatering to compact a large mass of wet, sticky substance into
a much smaller and more easily handled dry cake, which may or may not have further value. The dewatering process may, at the same time, recover valuable process fluid.

Clean water is an essential requirement for anodizing, plating and similar processes, which may require softening or carbon purification of the raw water supply. Certain processes also require the use of deionized water, which can be obtained with ion exchange or reverse osmosis treatment. In all such cases, prefiltering of the water is highly desirable to eliminate solid contaminants that could reduce the efficiency of the water treatment process involved. A suitable filter rating here is 15um. The treated water can then benefit by post-filtration to capture any migration of the treatment medium, such as could occur with powdered activated carbon purification.

Where there is no stringent demand on water quality for processing, a filtered water supply is still desirable to prevent clogging of nozzles, sprays, control valves, etc. and to reduce wear on pumps. It also becomes essential on recirculating systems, especially where the water is used for washing. The choice of filter in such cases is usually dependent on the amount of solids likely to be present, the degree of protection desirable (i.e. the required filter rating), available space and cost.

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