The Process

Upon receipt of an order, all aluminium products are coated to the same exacting standards, namely QUALICOAT. But Sprint Coatings goes one better. We have been coating now to the prestigious ‘SEASIDE’ class as set down by the QUALICOAT standard and are in the process of certification to be completed in 2009.

The work flow follows a simple 3 stage process:-




Chemical Pretreatment

Sprint Coatings uses a 7 stage immersion system. Sprint is now using state of the art chemistry, as provided by Chemetall, to provide one of the highest coating standards available anywhere in Europe. SEASIDE class pre-treatment combined with leading edge ENVIRONMENTAL sound technology.

Environmental Leadership:
Using Chemetall’s proprietal non-chrome technology our chemicals are kinder to the environment and safer for our employees. In the rinsing stages, the demineralised water is recycled and reused. This system was designed and installed by the UK’s leading water treatment engineers Gee & Co.

Stage 1 – Acid Etch Cleaner
This is the first stage for the cleaning of the aluminium and etching the surface. We etch greater than 2g per square metre of aluminium from its surface. This qualifies Sprint coating to become the first applicator in the UK or Ireland to obtain the prestigious ‘SEASIDE’ class as set out in QUALICOAT. Formal certification is being sought and will be available in 2009.

Stage 2 & 3 – Heavy Duty Rinse and Demineralised Rinse
The second and third stage rinses effectively clean off the excess corrosion salts from the aluminium surface and neutralise the acid action before immersion in the critical passivate tank.

Stage 4 – Passivation
This simply causes the aluminium surface to become unreactive or passive. This is to ensure in the event of the any scratch through the painted surface in the future the now passive aluminium will not react to the atmosphere thus inhibiting the corrosion process. This stage is the key in all aluminium processing.

Stage 5,6 & 7
After passivation, material is rinsed thoroughly in the next 3 tanks, the last 2 being demineralised water which again uses Sprint’s unique and leading edge recycling system.

Finally, the material is dried off in an oven ready for the powder application process.

Powder Coating Electrostatically Applied

This is done by charging the powders electrostatically and directing them with powder guns onto the metal to be coated. The material to be coated is earthed, and this attracts the charged particles, wrapping around the metal, providing an even finish.

Environmental Leadership
Sprint Coatings uses state of the art powder recovery technology to enable it to capture and reuse the powder which is ‘oversprayed’ in the application process. This powder would ordinarily go to waste. Sprint Coatings reinforces its leading edge Environmental qualifications by investing in equipment supplied by the global leader in this technology, Nordson Powder Recovery System.

Curing the Powder Coating

After powder application the material goes into an oven, where the powder coating at first melts, then flows, gels and cures, to present the classic even one coat finish only a powder coating can provide.

Environmental Leadership
Ovens suitable to each of the 3 production lines are employed. The Gas burner technology, by Lanemark, is also leading edge to ensure the most efficient use of the gas supplied in new and well insulated ovens, maximising heat transfer and minimising heat loss.