What You Missed at Fall Meeting


More than 160 attendees enjoyed the NCCA Fall Technical Meeting at the new Omni Nashville hotel in downtown Nashville. We have reviewed all the evaluations that attendees completed, and it was widely considered to be an excellent and beneficial conference. In case you didn’t attend, here are a few photos of what you missed.


Technical Presentations: John Smith of AkzoNobel kicked off our technical presentations, speaking on “Evaluating the Damage Resistance of a Coating.” As one attendee wrote, “Enlightening presentation. It was good to see pictures of lab instruments, how they are used, and the outcome of testing.”


The 2014 NCCA Trade Show, featuring 20 exhibitors, seemed to have the best attendance and activity in years. “Excellent way to the start the Fall Technical Meeting,” said a member. “Everybody wants to connect with others we have not seen for awhile and talk.”



Safety Award Winner: On the final day, Ed Musingo (left), the chair of our Environmental Health and Safety Committee, presented the NCCA Safety Award to the Steelscape plant in Kalama, Wash. Chris Carlson (center) and Jeff Lindeman (right) received the honor on behalf of the company.


Popular Panels: The meeting featured a two-hour panel discussion on passivates. As one attendee commented, “Exceptional presentation of a subject I was eager to learn more about.” Pictured (from left): Kate Foster of Henkel, Ed Musingo of Bulk Chemicals, Marcus Schinzel of Chemetall, and David Kelley of TecCoat.


Grand Finale: Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics closed the meeting with a luncheon keynote presentation on the latest economic outlook. “This is the first time I’ve heard him,” wrote one member. “I understand why NCCA loves him – high energy, very engaging!”

___ If you’ve been wondering if NCCA membership is worth it, you need to come to our 2015 Annual Meeting. The dates are April 20-22, 2015, and the place is the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz.

For more information about the benefits of joining NCCA, go to www.coilcoating.org.


Sustaining Safety at Steelscape


Sustaining safety at Steelscape-Kalama does not happen by accident. It’s achieved by understanding that safety is a long term investment which needs to be integrated within all aspects of the business. All Steelscape employees recognize safety is not just a part of conducting business; it is our business. Steelscape is 100% committed to continually improving safety performance with an ultimate goal of “Zero Harm, and the path to “Zero Harm” starts with three primary components: leadership, employee engagement, and a robust operating system.
___ When the Kalama plant was commissioned in 1996, the plant had state of the art equipment and the main focus was on employees’ safety behaviors to control risk exposures. As time went on, Steelscape recognized an increase in complacency, and the business was becoming more reactive rather than proactive. In 2004, Steelscape made changes in an effort to continue the path to “Zero-Harm” (figure 1). By identifying gaps within established safety systems, Steelscape seized the opportunity to enhance leadership, rejuvenate employee engagement, and improved risk reduction techniques.



___ Steelscape believes “If you cannot manage safety, you cannot manage”. Good leaders continually take the opportunity to demonstrate what is important and set acceptable and desirable levels of performance.” Steelscape’s leaders regularly take the time to communicate safety performance and expectations to all personnel and recognize safety is a continuous effort. If communication declines or ceases, this may be seen as a change or a relaxing of safety expectations.

___ Leaders at Steelscape practice Felt Leadership, a leadership concept based on a commitment to caring about employees, customers, and community. This commitment is the foundation to establishing trust, building relationships, and influencing behaviors. ___Steelscape’s leaders demonstrate Felt Leadership daily by:
• Leading by Example – Modelling Desired Behaviours
• Communicating – talking safety, discussing safety issues, and following up on safety concerns in a timely manner
• Showing the value of completing tasks the correct and safe way
• Being involved in safety systems – attending safety meetings, participating in hazard analyses, and leading incident investigations
• Supporting and providing resources for safety
• Setting measurable and achievable goals for each position
• Measuring safety and being aware of current trends
• Recognizing and celebrating safety milestones
• Providing a structured means for employees to receive follow up to safety concerns and corrective actions
• Applying fair and consistent discipline
• Demonstrating Genuine Care – Safety commitment is easily notice and felt by employees

Engaged Work Force
___ Steelscape looks at every opportunity to engage employees within the safety program. In order to sustain a safe workplace, employees must take ownership of the safety program. It is through employee ownership that each employee’s risk awareness increases and their ability to make safer choices for not just themselves, but their co-workers as well. Having employees actively engrossed within the safety program fosters an interdependent, team based safety culture where employees care for and help each other.
___ Steelscape uses several avenues for employees to become involved such as: conducting safety conversations, participating in safety meetings, reporting near miss incidents, and becoming involved in plant safety committees.

Robust Operating Systems
___ Leaders have the responsibility to deliver results, including safety results. Steelscape has established a comprehensive Safety Management System, which articulates a set of safety standards with associated policies and procedures to ensure risks are minimized. These safety systems support leadership by providing processes that give guidance for consistency and efficiency.
___ Steelscape’s safety systems provide a continuous improvement process that lends itself to auditing to validate the safety systems. Information obtained from incident investigations, program audits, procedural audits, hazard analyses and safety conversations allow the company to fully evaluate the effectiveness and relevance of each program. As deficiencies are identified, Steelscape takes proactive steps to correct those deficiencies.

Six Time Winner
___ Since 2003, Steelscape’s safety program has been recognized by the National Coil Coating Association (NCCA) six times for having the best safety practices in the industry. These accolades are appreciated and celebrated at the plant, but the desire to see all of our employees go home unharmed each day drives Steelscape’s pursuit of “Zero Harm.”


Escaping the Corporate Box



_ On November 27, 1906 escape artist Harry Houdini had himself put in manacles, elbow irons, and two sets of handcuffs before being locked in an iron-weighted wooden trunk that was sealed shut and fastened with iron bonds. At a signal from his assistant, the trunk was lowered from the Belle Isle Bridge into the freezing Detroit River. From ferry boats that bobbed along the river, an eager press corps watched, along with thousands of spectators, as the sealed trunk stayed submerged beneath the icy waters for more than fifteen minutes after which they saw Houdini emerge, now in dry clothes, once again having defied the odds for serious injury, perhaps even death.
___ Much has been written about the extraordinary feats of Harry Houdini: How he escaped from handcuffs and leg irons suspended high above city streets. How he extricated himself from bank vaults, the prison cells of notorious criminals and from entire prisons, themselves. How he had himself lashed against the open barrel of a cannon with a time fuse and vowed to free himself or be “blown to Kingdom Come.” How he consented to be shackled, then buried alive in a sealed coffin under six feet of earth and clawed his way back from the grave. Devotees of magic have long discussed how he managed to perform these feats. Biographers have probed the personal issues that drove him to do it in the first place. Yet, little attention has been paid to the cultural aspect of his career and what lessons it might teach us about escaping the corporate “box”.
___ In order to understand the corporate “box” of today, we would do well to examine the period of Houdini’s greatest success. Born the son of an itinerant Rabbi, Erik Weisz’s first escape was from poverty. In one of his early magic tricks, Houdini’s wife Bess would disappear from a wooden cabinet and later reappear, having metamorphosed into Harry himself. But his most important metamorphosis was to transform himself from Erik Weisz (later Weiss), a struggling factory worker, into Harry Houdini, “Great Self Liberator of the Age.” Escape for Houdini, then, became more than just “getting away”. It was a metaphor for transformation from weakness to strength, from anonymity to heroism, from the confinement of modern life to the gaining of freedom.
___ Consider the fact that at the time of Houdini’s birth, clerical workers were less than 1% of the workforce. By 1900 their ranks had swelled to 3% and nearly 5% by 1910. During that same period, titanic corporation arose with incredible swiftness: Standard Oil, U.S. Steel, American Telephone and Telegraph and Pennsylvania Railroad to name a few. Through intense mechanization, division of labor and ‘scientific management’, industrialists endeavored to departmentalize all aspects of production and to reduce workers’ bodies to components of a great machine. In 1911, Henry Ford articulated his vision of maximum industrial efficiency declaring, “In the past, the man has been first; in the future, the system must always be first.”
___ Houdini appealed to people’s hunger for miracles in a disenchanted world. He brilliantly dramatized the manifold challenges to individual freedom giving them tangible shape. By demonstrating the isolated man’s ability to confront and defeat the most palpable threats to his body, he became a powerful symbol of individual resistance to intimidation and domination in other spheres.
___ Turning this war for self liberation to our own times of “mandatory productivity gains”, “fully-integrated computerization”, “bottom-line orientation” and “globalization”, there is much to learn from Houdini about the art of escaping the corporate “box”. In 2002, with top-down management styles more in vogue than ever, it is all too easy to cast aside the lessons for middle managers taught by Tom Peters’ In Search Of Excellence and fall victim to a management style of simply “doing what I’m told”, rather than contributing, innovating and continuously improving. Still, even as Houdini battled and beat the confines of turn-of-the-century America, we too must force our own one-man revolutions. It will take courage and daring, but in our own way each of us must become magicians challenging our people to be better, not just more productive; living the principles that our own sense of decency tell us will perpetuate the organization successfully into the future, and becoming crusaders for the preservation of stakeholder value in addition to the creation of short term shareholder wealth.
The corporate “box” may be imposed upon us, but most often it is self constructed and our shackles are imagined owing to lack of confidence, or imagination, or assumed positional authority. As often as not, our perceived constraints exist because we allow them to be put on us without questioning, or even understanding what has happened.
___ What follows, then, are Houdini’s secrets. Read them carefully and you, too, may become the Great Self-Liberator of Our Age!

Houdini Secret #1, COURAGE
___ In the case of young Erik Weiss, there occurred by calculated decision a genuine metamorphosis. Starting out as the permanent witness to Rabbi Weiss’ limitations, and being the entrapped son of a destitute widow, he shrewdly re-invented himself to become the “Eternal Evader…master magician, fearless defier of death!” The superlatives pour forth like a river whose source must emanate from courage based upon mastery of fear. Instead of being constrained by self-doubt, one must find liberation through fearlessness. This is not to say that fear ceases to exist, but rather that it is converted to professional advantage. When asked by a reporter, ‘What was the best piece of advice your father gave you?’ Houdini’s response was significant, “You’re old a lot longer than you’re young,” he answered. Herein lies a truth about Houdini and, perhaps, about ourselves.
___ As a young man he understood what many fail to recognize in a long lifetime: Life does not go on forever. The window of opportunity for success and self-fulfillment is smaller than we realize. In a study done by a team of Georgetown University psychologist among terminally ill patients the most common answer to the question, “What would you have done differently, if you could live life over again?” was “Take more risks.”
___ The Great Houdini took risks of two kinds. The first was risk to body and limb. The second, though subtle, was certainly more pervasive as he, came eye to eye with failure and humiliation, almost on a daily basis. Interestingly, Houdini was never viewed as impertinent. He respected himself, his audience, and even the societal institutions he frequently turned the tables upon. “It has been my good fortune,” he once wrote, “to meet personally and converse with the chiefs of police and detectives in all of the great cities of the world…I admire their work as many of them admire mine.”
___ It was Houdini’s unique ability to be brash, and yet ultimately respectful that allowed him to achieve what was his greatest escape – to gravitate from societal outlaw to member of society’s elite. At the height of his fame, ministers preached on ‘Life’s Straightjackets,’ on ‘Houdini and the Art of Escaping the Devil’s Grip,’ or against drink: ‘When whiskey ties you up you STAY tied.’ After seeing him do the Chinese Water Torture Cell, Woodrow Wilson said to him, “I envy your ability of escaping out of tight places. Sometimes I wish I were able to do the same.”
___ Houdini had mastered fear of darkness, water, airless enclosures, dizzying heights and even death, but more than any other figure of his day, he agonizingly and publicly put himself on the brink of failure; an act of courage and defiance that was at the center of his success.
CEO Gordon Bethune took a number of courageous stands in the turn-around of Continental Airlines. Despite the fact that revenues were plummeting, he chose to eliminate dozens of point-to-point routes and did it with the help of Bonnie Reite, an employee who ran their sales and distribution department. “The suggestions came as a result of Continental’s ‘open-door’ policy,” Bethune observed. “With fewer seats out there we were able to see where our prices were ridiculously low, and we raised our prices. Suddenly, we were flying fewer planes, but making more money.” Not only did Ms. Reite have the courage to take her plans directly to the CEO, but also Bethune respected his employees enough to listen, then made courageous decisions based on that good advice.
___ In business, as in magic, the first secret to escaping the corporate “box” is courage mixed, paradoxically, with mutual respect.


___ “I practice card tricks seven or eight hours a day,” Houdini once told a reporter from the Denver Times, “as consistently as a Paderewski at the piano.” What he left out was the fact that additionally he challenged himself through self discipline and study to become one of the strongest men in the world, a master locksmith, first class inventor, author, showman and swimmer capable of holding his breath underwater for nearly five full minutes.
___ Houdini’s most compelling stage escape, the “Chinese Water Torture Cell” depended on conscientious study of both risk and possibility. He began by displaying on stage an imposing metal-lined mahogany cabinet, less than six feet high and less than three feet square, with an inch-thick plate-glass window in front. He solemnly explained its features and how he would attempt to escape under seemingly impossible conditions: Locked upside down inside, his ankles shackled, and completely immersed in water. Slowly and dramatically, he was hoisted aloft and lowered headfirst into the cell, his entire body visible underwater through the glass. Assistants locked the frame in place, fastened the trunk with padlocked steel bands, and then curtained off the entire cabinet from view. A minute passed, then two and three. Spectators invited to try to hold their breath had long since given up; some fainted. Then, suddenly, Houdini thrust the curtain aside and strode forward, dripping wet and smiling triumphantly. Yet, when Houdini entered his contraption and after he escaped, the audience would see no signs of panic, rage or terror in his face. His composure, his glacial self-control, was part of the rigor of his act.
___ The only way for someone to be genuinely well grounded is to arrive at what Quality guru Edwards Demming calls “deep understanding”. One may attempt to master one’s innermost fears, but the confidence necessary to be successful in that undertaking can only be derived from a deep knowledge of oneself and the work that one chooses.
Every facet of Honda of America’s BP program for global competitiveness is an example of this. Originally begun in Japan in 1979, it is an offspring of Demming’s post-World War II “Quality Circles”. Honda’s Best Position, Productivity, Product, Price and Partners concept is based on four major tenets, all derived from study and discipline: Study the Customer, Study the Competition, Study the Process, Develop your Plan and have the Organizational Discipline to act.
___ Honda’s founder, Soichiro Honda, once said, “Analysis with action is a lethal weapon; action without analysis or analysis without action is worthless.”

Editors note: This article is Part 1 of a two part series. The second part of this article will be presented in our Jan/Feb 2015 issue.

ASTM DO 1.53




In the last article, the need for involvement in other committees that affected coil coating was discussed as a result of the downgrading of the Hunter L,A,B method in Committee E12. Fortunately the “do not use” recommendation was rescinded as a result of paying attention outside coil coating’s immediate sphere of influence. On the flip side, in recent months several topics have arisen in ASTM committees other than D01.53, where specifications have been revised or discussed that required the expertise of the coil coating world. These discourses often led to significant changes to long standing specifications that were requested by both our international and domestic members. With ASTM truly an international organization, many perspectives and interpretive questions arise weekly that allow ASTM specifications to improve and become even more relevant for the future. It is particularly important for experts in the world of coil coating to lend their knowledge and experience to committees that tangentially touch D01.53. The specification worlds of steel, aluminum, post-painting, mechanical testing, accelerated corrosion testing and disciplined laboratory methodology all benefit from the unique perspective provided by coil coating. And these are not just intellectual exercises. Winning business can sometimes depend upon being able to perform and pass requirements defined within ASTM specifications. In the past, some of these ambiguities were explained contextually by long standing members within the various disciplines. Unfortunately, many of these experts are now retired or about to retire. The world of coil coating is losing hundreds of years of collective knowledge that may not be written clearly enough for adjacent industries and for those that are new to the coil coating industry.

___ For example, a coil coater was unable to win business due to the mandatory testing defined in Annex 1 of A755/A755M because it was specified by the potential customer. A755/A755M is the “Standard Specification for Steel Sheet, Metallic Coated by the Hot-Dip Process and Prepainted by the Coil-Coating Process for Exterior Exposed Building Products” housed in Committee A05. As you can see from the title, the painting portion of this specification is very critical to providing prepainted building products that can be warranted. Unfortunately, some of the mandatory testing was not possible on a coil coated product. One of the mandatory tests was to measure the mechanical properties of the paint film itself as a quality control test – a misinterpretation of D2370, a test specification that actually governed thick polymer films. Once the comparatively thin paint film adhered to the substrate it was impossible to perform the “required” testing. Unfortunately, the coater’s customer was unconvinced because it was listed in the mandatory testing annex. Another part of that annex required measurement of the durometer hardness of the paint film according to D2240. Again, this was an inappropriate test for coil coated sheet. Both of these misappropriated requirements were causing the coater to lose significant business potential. As a result of this inquiry, this annex was revised to incorporate appropriate testing for coil coating along with updating the specification with modern film thickness measurement techniques. In this case, the steel committee benefited from the expertise of the coil coating industry. The specification was rewritten and appropriate testing will facilitate a conversion from alternate materials to coil coated building product. The resulting ballot that closed last month provided the votes needed to officially revise the specification.

___ Another example of a seemingly unrelated specification that benefited from coil coating knowledge of passivation chemistry and corrosion resistant zinc coated products is the current endeavor to clarify and revise A1003 “Standard Specification for Steel Sheet, Carbon, Metallic and Conversion Coated for Cold-Formed Framing Members”. This specification, also housed in Committee A05, was originally written to provide a standard for metallic coated framing products. Written by segments of the steel industry, many of the terms and information related to the conversion coatings themselves were confusing. Through the collaboration of a combination of steel, metallic coating, coil coating and framing experts, the specification is undergoing a significant revision that will allow the industry to have a clear definition of the requirements of this product that incorporates both old and new technology. This cooperative effort will allow a ballot item to come forward in the third quarter after several years of confusion and controversy.

ASTM D01.53 Coil Coating Subcommittee Review
___ With all the tangential activity, D01.53 has not been quiet. There are now 45 members of this subcommittee, four of which are new coil coater company members. Two test methods have successfully passed main committee balloting and are located in the ASTM/NCCA Collaborative Portal: D7639 “Test Method for Determination of Zirconium Treatment Weight or Thickness on Metal Substrates by X-Ray Fluorescence” and D6665 “Practice for Evaluation of Aging Resistance of Pre-stressed Prepainted Metal in a Boiling Water Test”. Nine other standards are in various stages of review and or revision and will be balloted during the fourth quarter of this year. Once these standards are approved, the latest versions will be available on the ASTM/NCCA Collaborative Portal.
Through the D01.53 Accelerated Weathering Task Group, new work item has been initiated in order to provide a document listing a collection of outdoor accelerated test sites as a service for ASTM members. NCCA members will also benefit from this document. This work was begun in response to a myriad of questions around the industry as to the identification, location, certification and reputation of exposure testing facilities. The objective is to have a relatively complete listing for members to access on the D01 home page and through the ASTM/NCCA Collaborative Portal.

___ Finally, as always, new ASTM D01.53 members are always welcome. The $75 yearly membership is well worth the cost. Not only can you become involved directly with coil coating by joining D01.53, you can lend your expertise to tangential disciplines and keep coil coating knowledge alive for the next generation.

Online Wet Film Measurement


__ The coil coating industry is increasingly facing tougher competition and a more demanding client base. Short production runs are more common and customer quality expectations have not relaxed, so there is a drive towards improved efficiency and cost savings. Increasing product yield by avoiding downgrades represents a real opportunity for increased profitability. When there is sufficient market demand, having additional capacity from within existing production shifts also provides an opportunity for additional profit.
___ Delivering the tools needed to meet these opportunities and challenges is what motivates Wolf Innovation. At Wolf Innovation we have recently launched a fourth new product for the coil coating quality control sector called WFM2™. This is a patented, automated, wet film thickness instrument that replaces WFM1™. In combination with PVS1™ (paint volume solids instrument) this provides a significant new opportunity for savings by eliminating out of specification product from the start of a production run. It can take several hundred metres of strip before a thickness related defect is detected and a correction is made. The reason is simple – it is not possible to defect a defect until painting has commenced.

WFM2™ Data and Modes of Operation
WFM2 Provides 3 thickness output values:
• Wet film thickness on the coater roll
• Wet film thickness on the strip, and
• Dry film thickness on the strip (in combination with PVS1™)
Primary measurements are made on the coater roll. Modes of operation include:
• Forward and reverse coating mode, and
• Measurement before and during painting.
The measurement range extends to thin films so measuring primer thickness is very reliable.


Coater Head Set-Up Procedures and Potential Losses
___ When it comes to coater set-up prior to painting there is a heavy reliance on experience, and only a few approaches are available. Replicating coater set-up conditions from run to run is a common approach, but this also has limitations. The variables that affect coater set-up, apart from the obvious ones, include coater roll diameter, roll hardness, paint volume solids, coater roll swelling (due to solvent absorption), and mechanical inconsistencies such as coater roll eccentricity. If any one of these is not in line with expectations, the initial film build target may not be achieved. Instances do occur where fully instrumented servo controlled coaters deliver film builds that vary to a significant level from one side of the strip to the other – this is both surprising and unexpected for this type of technology. The only sure way to hit target film build from the onset of coating is by direct film thickness measurement during coater set-up.
In common use, the wet film thickness wheel applied to the strip after painting commences provides a basic approach to measuring wet film-build on the strip. This is a destructive test that relies on operator skill. The method has a significant error band. Since the measurement is made after painting has commenced many metres of strip will have been painted before any correction can be made, that is, a correction to dry film build. Separate readings are needed on each side of the strip adding to the time required for the measurement whilst increasing the amount of lost product.
___ For a 100,000 tpa paintline operating at full capacity 5 metres of wet film wheel track lines every 20 tonnes equates to over 80 tonnes of lost product per year, excluding any out of spec product at the start of a painting run. This is a conservative estimate. Instances of ‘out-of-specification’ product are not avoided.
___ Another approach is ‘the test strip’ in which a section of coil is painted once the coater has been set up. The coil for the test strip is loaded onto the line between threader strips. A sample is cut from the test strip for measurement of film thickness, colour, and other paint physical properties. The cost of test strips is high and production cannot proceed while the line is stopped waiting for the test strip results. The advantage of test strips over the wet film wheel is that dry film thickness on the strip and colour can be assessed accurately in the laboratory.
___ For a 100,000 tpa paintline operating at full capacity 20 metres of test strip every 50 tonnes equates to about 130 tonnes of lost product per year. It also equates to about 500 hours of lost production time. That equates to a potential 10,000 tonnes of additional capacity within existing shifts.

WFM2™ – Paint Coater Set-Up Before Painting
___ WFM2™ uses an intrinsically safe confocal sensor to measure the surface of paint on the coater roll and the surface of the elastomeric roll at the same location. This data provides a measured value for wet film thickness on the coater roll. Coater and line speed set-up values are imported into WFM2™, which allows determination of wet film thickness on the strip. PVS1™ values of paint volume solids are then used to determine dry film thickness on the strip.
The three coating thickness values given by WFM2™ are shown in Figure 2.


To be of value the measured wet film thickness on the coater roll has to be correct and there are some hurdles to overcome to achieve the integrity of this measurement:
1. The paint wet film thickness on the roll before painting is not equal to the wet film thickness during painting – shown in figure 3. To overcome this WFM2™ uses a very soft pneumatically operated doctor blade to wipe a narrow band of paint from the roll upstream of the sensor – this mimics painting.


2. The wet film thickness on the coater roll has to take account of roll and bearing eccentricity and roll shape problems. The instrument measures and stores thousands of reference readings to characterise the roll shape and bearing wear in order to take these out of the equation.
3. Conversion of the wet film thickness on the coater roll to the equivalent wet film thickness on the strip requires a one-off calibration for each coater. During reverse coating not all of the paint is wiped off the coater roll onto the strip – shown in figure 3b, above. The residual paint on the coater roll after the kiss point is known as leakage. As part of the calibration process WFM2 characterises leakage for a coater and accounts for its effect. Figure 4, below shows the distribution curve for leakage values from a coater across 100 paint runs covering most topcoat types applied on this coil paint line.


4. Conversion of the wet film thickness to dry film thickness on the strip requires an accurate value for paint volume solids (PVS). PVS1™ reliably measures paint volume solids in a production environment. PVS1™ is the only PVS instrument and method to fully cure the paint to an equivalent degree as occurs in a paint line oven. This is particularly useful with plastisols that are cure-sensitive.
Accurate prediction of dry film build before painting commences has the added benefit of significantly reducing off color defect caused by out of specification paint thickness. The value of this benefit should not be underestimated.

WFM2™ – In Use
___ WFM2™ does not interfere with coater room operations including coater roll cleaning and change over. To achieve this:
• The sensor components are designed to slide into and out of position on a linear bearing usually mounted off to the side of the coater. The brackets are tailored for each coater design.
• The sensor has hands free operation.
• The small doctor blades can be cleaned quickly and easily.

Typical Performance – Repeatability Under Production Conditions
___ After setting up a coater ready for production WFM2™ was used to take 8 sequential film thickness readings without altering the set-up between readings. The purpose of the test was simply to check and illustrate repeatability of the reading. The results, given in table 1 below, speak for themselves. Deviation of WFT ROLL is consistently within +/- 0.012mils across all paint types.


Production Data – Comparing WFM2™ and Phaeton™ Dry Film Measurements
___ A random selection of nine results from a 16-day period of production compares dry film thickness measurements with Phaeton™ dry film thickness measurements. The results shown are typical for WFM2™ in terms of strip DFT results verses lab thickness results. The largest variance here is 0.03 Mils, and the least is 0.004 Mils. On average, results were within +/- 0.015 Mils of the lab measurement. This capability of measuring and setting strip dry film thickness before the commencement of painting provides a significant and new opportunity for improved prime product yield and for significant gains to the bottom line.
___ WFM2™ wet film measurement in combination with rapid in plant paint volume solids assessment has now been introduced on a coil line in Asia to determine dry film thickness before painting commences. The results from WFM2™ are in good agreement with independently measured values of dry film thickness determined with the off-line Phaeton™ DFT instrument. This provides validation for both WFM2™ and for Phaeton measurements.


PVS1 is the only paint volume solids instrument to cure a paint sample to the same degree of cure as occurs on a coil paint line. Consequently results from PVS1 together with WFM2 provide dry film build results with a high level of confidence.
___ Out of specification product from the early part of each new production run can now be effectively eliminated with this new and effective QC tool. When things do go wrong, start up losses in the order of hundreds of metres of strip can easily occur. Savings in substrate, paint, and a reduction of field and customer complaints, and downgrades will provide an attractive payback for WFM2™.
___ Improvement in production yield shows the real value of this ‘new-to-the-world’ leading-edge quality control innovation.

Unique Demands of Small Lots in Coil Coating


___ In the article “Minimizing Cleaning Costs in Modern Coil Coating Operations”, which appeared in Coil World’s September/October 2012 issue, we noted:
“…the coil coating marketplace has changed significantly. Extreme economic pressures have resulted in a great deal of consolidation within the industry, and some coaters have failed entirely. Those that remain live in a significantly different competitive environment. Nowhere is this more evident than with toll coaters. Gone are the days of the 72-hour run. Customers are striving for leaner operations with lower inventories. As a result, they are demanding smaller, more frequent shipments with shorter leadtimes. Faced with the same business constraints, coaters are being forced into shorter runs – often just a portion of a coil…”1
___ In fact, this has become the norm in the industry for virtually all coaters, resulting in operational issues which include:
• more frequent color changes
• more partial drums to handle and store
• increased cleaning costs
• increased setups and quality checks
• reduced available run time
___ These issues drive reduced efficiency at a time when excess production capacity in the marketplace is forcing razor-thin margins, and they require innovative strategies if a coater is to remain viable.

Improving Efficiencies
___ There are many ways that coaters can improve their efficiency. That particular article compared various cleaning methodologies, analyzing them to identify the most time efficient and cost effective option available to the coil coater. Moreover, the introduction of simple, non-intrusive, effective point-of-application temperature control in 2005 has enabled many coaters to also realize gains by:
• reducing solvent additions
• reducing paint consumption
• improving film quality and appearance
• improving batch-to-batch repeatability
___ So how has the addition of temperature control enabled forward-thinking coaters to realize all of these benefits? The answer lies in the relationship between temperature and viscosity and the relationship between viscosity and film.


Temperature, Viscosity, and Film
___ “…all coaters understand the importance of fluid viscosity to the coating process. Performance parameters such as coating film build, color match, voids, chemical resistance and the like can all be linked directly to the viscosity of the [liquid] coating material when it was applied. In addition, process parameters such as pressure, flow rate and coating speed are all dependent on coating material viscosity. For these reasons, virtually all coating processes begin with the measurement and/or adjustment of coating viscosity.”2
___ Given this understanding, it is common for a coater to adopt a policy of running similar coatings at the same viscosity in an attempt to stabilize other process parameters, like roll speeds and nip pressure, thus simplifying setups and increasing the efficiency of color changes.
___ Unfortunately, what’s often misunderstood is that this relationship varies for each color formulation – even within the same paint type. Figure 1 shows the Viscosity vs. Temperature curves for a group of related paint colors. These are all of the same resin base type, yet they display very different viscosity characteristics as a function of temperature. As demonstrated in the May/June 2012 Coil World article “Adjusting Coating Viscosity” quoted above, if all of these colors are to be run at a 26-second viscosity and the temperature is below 70°F, all will require viscosity reduction – likely through the addition of solvent – in order to reach that 26-second target. As the topic of solvent addition is covered in depth in that article, suffice it to say here that the addition of solvent runs counter to the efficiency and cost-containment objectives of coaters in today’s marketplace. As a result, many have turned to temperature control as a means of controlling viscosity. In the example shown in Figure 1, if a constant 26-second viscosity is desired, the Black must be run at 70°F, the Muslin and Warm Beige must be run at 75°F, the Charcoal must be run at 80°F, and the Putty must be run at 85°F. This produces a consistent viscosity across all colors without the time and cost of adding solvent, which is ultimately “burned-off” in the curing process anyway.
___ Another issue is the significant friction that is generated in the roll coating process. This adds energy to the paint and causes its temperature to vary widely. Figure 2 below shows a typical 2-roll reverse (indirect) coating configuration:


_ Here, the coating is picked up from the pan by the pickup roll, and then transferred to the applicator roll, which in turn, applies it to the passing strip. The pickup roll has a hard surface, usually constructed of steel and sometimes ceramic coated. The applicator roll has a compressible surface, usually constructed of steel with a thick urethane (or other polymer) coating. These two rolls are forced together at the “nip” under significant pressure, often in the 2,000 – 3,000 PSI range. When the pickup roll carries the coating from the pan to the nip, it is squeezed down so a thin film remains on the applicator roll to be applied to the strip. That film thickness is determined by the pressure between the rolls at the nip, the durometer (firmness) of the urethane applicator roll, and the viscosity of the coating. The balance of the coating on the pickup roll is sheared away by the action of the nip and falls back into the pan.
___ The texture of the pickup and applicator roll surfaces and the pressure between them results in a great deal of friction, which generates heat. Additionally, as the coating is applied, the friction between the applicator roll and the strip, which is intensified by their opposing directions of travel, also generates heat. Much of the heat generated by this process is carried back to the pan, first by the coating squeezed out of the nip, and then by the pickup roll, which is submersed in the coating in the pan.
___ The flow of coating in the pan is determined by numerous factors, including the geometry and volume of the pan itself, the rate at which the coating is being pumped into the pan, the location of the inlet, the location of the outlet, the speed of the pickup roll, and the rate of coating usage – but the flow is almost never directly from the inlet to the outlet. Because of all the rotational vectors generated by the various motions in the system, significant swirls and eddy currents are spawned in the coating. As such, the heat produced is unevenly distributed throughout the pan. Saint Clair Systems has developed specialized methods for measuring the resulting temperatures at multiple points throughout the application system, and these measurements have repeatedly shown that significant temperature variations are presented to the nip along the width of the strip.


_ Because of the relationship between temperature and viscosity, as discussed above and demonstrated in Figure 1, the warmer coating presented to the nip will be at a lower viscosity than the cooler coating. As a result, the film of coating allowed to pass through the nip will be thinner. Because of the compressible nature of the applicator roll, it is possible to have different displacements in adjacent areas across its width. This results in variation of the film across the width of the applicator roll, which is subsequently applied to the strip. Figure 3 shows how this variation in temperature across the width of the pickup roll, called the Thermal Profile, results in variation in the film build across the width of the strip.
___ To complicate matters further, coaters and suppliers are continuously creating higher-volume-solids coatings in an attempt to drive down the solvent content and, therefore, reduce the cost and environmental impact of VOC’s in the process. These higher volume solids mean steeper viscosity vs. temperature curves, which in turn, results in even greater film variations as a result of edge-to-edge and head-to-tail temperature variations. These conflicting objectives can create a “vicious circle” of increasing processing difficulties for the coater to handle.

Correcting the Thermal Profile
___ In order to break this vicious circle and reduce variations in film, it is necessary to minimize thermal variations in the system. Research performed on literally hundreds of coating heads has shown that the best thermal profiles (those with the smallest edge-to-edge temperature variation) are found on heads operating in a 3-roll reverse (indirect) nip-feed coating configuration, as shown in Figure 4. In fact, the thermal profile measured on the head in Figure 4 is shown in Figure 5.


Here we can see that the edge-to-edge variation is on the order of ±0.1°C (±0.2°F). This assures that the film variations across the width of the strip as a result of coating viscosity variations are virtually non-existent. Unfortunately, the head-to-tail performance of these systems is as bad as their 2-roll reverse counterparts. The thermal performance over time of this same system is shown in Figure 6.


From this graph we can see that, though the edge-to-edge profile is very tight, the temperature of the coating (and therefore the viscosity) is continually changing. The friction of the system, increased due to the use of two nips, drives the temperature of the coating up until cool coating is added from bulk supply to the pit (break) drum. This cools the coating temporarily, but between fills, the cycle repeats itself. This means that, without adjustments to parameters like nip pressure to compensate for the change in viscosity caused by the varying temperature, the film build on the strip will continually vary from the head (start) of the coil to the tail (end).


This can obviously be addressed through the implementation of temperature control. Figure 7 shows another 3-Roll Reverse (Indirect) Nip-Feed Coater both without and with temperature control. In the left-hand graph (without temperature control) we can see the same temperature variation over time demonstrated in Figure 6 above. In the right-hand graph (with temperature control), however, we can see that both the edge-to-edge and head-to-tail variations have been eliminated. In this situation, the coil will be coated evenly over its entire surface – with no adjustments required. Furthermore, this consistency will be independent of the length or width of the coil being coated and can be repeated from coil-to-coil. Best of all, this allows the same coater “recipe” to be used every time that product is run, through every season, which optimizes the setup efficiency.


So why doesn’t everyone just switch to a 3-roll nip-feed configuration? In spite of its advantages, there are still many issues with 3-roll systems:
• Not all coating heads are set up for 3-roll operation
• Additional rollers are expensive
• Additional energy is required to run the third roller
• Additional maintenance is required with a 3-roll system
It’s difficult to operate 3-roll configurations reliably without temperature control.


The Best of Both Worlds
___ “[To] Promote the global competitiveness of manufacturing companies by controlling fluid temperature and viscosity at the point of use.”4
This is Saint Clair Systems’ published Mission Statment, which clearly delineates our long standing commitment to making our customers more efficient and effective. In keeping with this stated objective, we have taken these lessons learned and applied them to the development of our patent-pending Profile Correction Module (PCM). Shown in Figure 8, this innovative new device creates 3-roll nip-feed coating configuration performance on a standard 2-roll coater – with none of the complexities.
___ This unique, patent-pending design achieves this objective in three fundamental ways:
1) As shown in Figure 9, coating is metered to the surface of the pickup roll through a carefully controlled gap created by the physical location of the PCM in relation to the pickup roll face. This adjustable gap supports any film build, allowing it to be used with coatings as thin as Epoxies and Lacquers used for beer & beverage stock, Urethane and Epoxy Primers, common Polyester, Modified Polyester and Fluoropon based architectural coatings, and even high-viscosity, thick-film coatings like PVC’s and Plastisols.
2) This gap is continuously flushed with fresh, temperature-controlled coating from the center to the ends to drive out any material that has been in contact with the roller long enough to absorb energy and increase its temperature. This stable temperature coating in constant contact with the pickup roller helps to bring roll swell to equilibrium more quickly than in either standard 2-roll or 3-roll configurations.
3) The pan is lowered into a “catch-basin” configuration so that the coating in the pan is no longer in contact with the pickup roll and, therefore, temperature variations in the pan created by swirls and eddy currents cannot be transferred to the applicator roll by the pickup roll. Furthermore, the volume of coating in the pan no longer has any impact on the coating result, so it can be driven down to an absolute minimum. In fact, reductions in system fill-volume of up to 80% are possible.


The detailed configuration of the system is shown here in Figure 10:


The proof that this new system emulates 3-roll performance is best shown in the thermal profile graph in Figure 11, which shows less than ±0.15°F variation across the width of the “nip”.
The advanced features of this new system include:
• Low initial cost
• Smaller fill volumes
• Quick-release mountings
• Positive repositioning stops
• Fast initial install (<2 hours)
• Negligible edge-to-edge temperature variation
• No third motor, so no added energy to operate
• Removal & reinstall < 1 minute (total) at color change
• Faster, more efficient cleanup

rlw1-12_ By combining the best of the 2-roll and 3-roll coating systems, the PCM system improves on the benefits of each with features that directly address the issues associated with the short-run requirements of today’s coating marketplace. A quick recap is in order:




A Better Way of Coating
___ By combining the best of the 2-roll and 3-roll coating systems, the PCM system improves on the benefits of each with features that directly address the issues associated with the short-run requirements of today’s coating marketplace. A quick recap is in order:

1 – Bonner, Michael R. Minimizing Cleaning Costs in Modern Coil Coating Operations. Coil World, September/October 2012.
2 – Bonner, Michael R. Adjusting Coating Viscosity. Coil World, May/June 2012.
3 – Paint Viscosity vs. Temperature data provided courtesy of Sherwin-Williams Corporation.
4 – Saint Clair Systems, Inc., M







Metal Roofing Corrison



_ Corrosion is the bane of all metal building products and yet the standard measure of corrosion resistance is still most commonly the neutral salt spray test (ASTM B-117) that virtually everyone concedes is a very poor indicator of field performance. However, the industry has years of data gathering experience with salt spray, and so there is strong tendency to stay with what you know, even when you know it isn’t ideal. It is worth remembering that the original purpose of the salt spray test was to monitor product performance consistency, not to predict years of field performance. The best measure of field performance is, of course, actually monitoring buildings over many years under many different field conditions, but this has the practical disadvantage of requiring decades of monitoring.
___ Realizing this situation, a group of companies involved throughout the value chain of metal building and roofing manufacture worked together over the past decade to construct and inspect a series of building roofs with the goal of determining which roofing features lead to the highest degree of corrosion. Armed with this information, could these features be combined to construct a panel test rack that would accelerate natural field corrosion to a more manageable time frame, say less than five years?
In 2000 and 2005 U. S. Steel, Henkel, AkzoNobel, Precoat, and Morton Buildings cooperated to build a series of metal buildings in different locations around the US using well characterized GALVALUME™ coated steel sheet, chrome-containing and chrome-free pretreatments, chrome-containing and chrome-free paints, and coil coating processes. A series of different pretreatments, primers, and topcoats were coil-applied and buildings erected in the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest of the US. This allowed real life corrosion characterization of different painted metal systems to be evaluated. The pretreatment-paint systems included both commercial and experimental products at the time. The systems also included both hexavalent chromium-containing systems as well as chromium-free systems. Additionally, these materials were put in outdoor exposure testing at the Battelle site in Daytona Beach, Florida at 120 feet from the ocean as well as in neutral salt spray and cyclic accelerated corrosion testing. This would allow future comparison of all the test methods.rlw3-2
___ It was also important to have buildings in different geographical locations, as corrosion mechanisms are different depending on the local environment of temperature, humidity, acid rain, etc. The focus of the building inspection was the roof, and specifically the lap and drip edges of metal roof. Typical corrosion levels can be seen in Fig. 1, where the drip edge (top) shows slight corrosion starting and the lap edge (bottom) shows some white rust stain on the side of the major rib and red rust and water under the lap edge.
___ One of the difficulties in defining the best conditions to test painted metal performance is that optimal test conditions depend on what is to be learned. To measure paint chalk and fade, it is best to have vertical edges and scribes using a high slope. However in the present corrosion study, the more informative system turned out to be lap edges and drip edges with a low slope. When all the buildings were inspected the generalizations listed below could be drawn.
1. The north side of the roof shows more corrosion than the south side.
2. Lower slope shows more corrosion than higher slope.
3. Sheltered edges that spend more time in the shade show more corrosion than sunny edges.
4. Lap edges show more corrosion than drip edges.
___ The common feature of all these observations is that the locations which remain wet longer show more corrosion. This can be due to slower water runoff when there is low slope or slower water drying due to shade or less wind, or capillary action holding water under a lap edge. It was noteworthy that the corrosion tendencies after 6-11 years exposure were more dependent on the location and four conditions listed above than on the actual pretreatment and paint system. Thus, the degree of corrosion was more dependent on the conditions the roof experienced than on the different chemistries being employed. These observations led to the following design features in constructing a test panel rack to mimic these conditions.
1. Panel design. Assemble a pair of panels so that both a drip edge and a lap edge are available for rating the extent of corrosion.
2. Low slope. The rack is designed with a low 10° slope.
3. Sun/wind shelter. Panels are sheltered from all direct sun and most wind by placing the rack against a north facing wall with additional wind protection from the prevailing westerly wind.
4. Rain shelter. Panels are placed on lower levels of the rack so that a covering roof layer reduces any direct rinsing action of rainfall. This will increase the exposure to naturally occurring atmospheric corrosives and minimize rinse-off by rain.
This test and rack have been referred to as the Sheltered Exposure Roof Corrosion (SERC) test. A test panel rack incorporating all these features was built and installed on the roof of the Henkel facility in southeastern Michigan (Figure 2). The first rack was built with four levels of polypropylene pegboard for attachment of the panels, leaving room for a roof over the top shelf so that the fourth level could also hold test panels. The rack was installed adjacent to a north facing wall and sheltered to the west by another wall extending above the roof section on which it was placed. The rooftop location also meant that uncontrolled road salt would not be scattered on the rack, which could otherwise happen with ground level installation during Michigan winters.
The test panel design was also optimized to use a single standard 4″ x 12″ panel which was cut into a 2 ½” x 12″ and a 1 ½” x 12″ piece. These two pieces then present a freshly cut lap edge as well as a drip edge when fastened together in an overlapping fashion. The two panel pieces are taped together on three sides to ensure they remain tightly layered, as overlapping roofing panels would, and they are then attached to the pegboard shelves of the test rack with all plastic fittings to avoid initiating any galvanic corrosion. The panel pair is held slightly off the test rack surface to avoid any random capillary effects under the bottom of the panel pair and the drip edge. Figure 3 (top) shows a schematic of the panel attachment to the rack and (bottom) a photograph of a typical assembled test panel attached to the test rack.

A variety of test panels have been on the Henkel test rack since June 2012. On the rack we are currently comparing a matrix of substrates (CRS, HDG, GALVAUME™ coated steel sheet and Aluminum) and pretreatments (Cr(VI), Cr(III), and non-Cr) with a standard coating of primer and paint. Precoat has built a similar SERC test rack for comparing products from their coil coating lines. Figure 4 shows a series of test panels of hot dipped galvanized (HDG) coated with a variety of pretreatments under a chrome-containing primer and a siliconized polyester topcoat. The panels photographed in Figure 4 had only been on the test rack for 18 months, and after this short time did not show any measurable difference between the Cr(VI), Cr(III), and non-Cr pretreatments.
___ The next steps in this cooperative effort between all five companies are to perform a follow-up building inspection and correlate the results with Florida exposure panels, standard lab salt spray and cyclic corrosion tests, and the new SERC test rack panels. Now that the buildings are 9 and 14 years old, this second building inspection three years after the first inspection will let us determine if the corrosion trends seen earlier continue or whether new corrosion tendencies are noticed. After the 6 and 11 year inspection, the specific location on the roof was more important in determining the extent of corrosion than was the actual selection of pretreatment or paint system. This meant that the combination of factors that defined the SERC test (remaining wet longer) were more important than the actual pretreatment-paint system employed on the metal. However, it is possible that after three years longer in the field, the pretreatment-paint systems will start to differentiate themselves more. Secondly, a data comparison of building exposure and the various accelerated tests versus the SERC test will let us see how effectively they correlate with observed building exposure or other tests. The SERC test panels will only have two years of outdoor exposure, so it may be too early to see demonstrable differences. However, any indication at this early date would be very promising as it would show the value of an outdoor test rack to better predict real life corrosion in a more reasonable 2-3 year time frame.



EQ Coatings


Why an Interest in EQ Coatings?
___The Steel Industry is a highly competitive world market. The industry is always in search of innovative and fresh manufacturing methods to improve quality and lower costs. One wouldn’t automatically think the metal stud industry utilizes cutting edge technology to create their products, since studs are well hidden and only visible during construction, but this is a common misconception. Progression in the engineering of stud design and stud manufacturing processes has followed a challenging path similar to that of the more well-known automotive industry. Throughout the years, the automotive industry has seen the approval of countless regulatory guidelines, pressuring automotive manufacturers to become innovative in their processing, leading to the creation of better operational processes, new metallurgical steels, new technology development in roll forming and stamping methods, plus the creation of new coatings to provide better corrosion resistance and impart specific characteristics, such as weldability and improved formability. Just as these regulatory guidelines pushed automotive manufacturers to innovate, the metal stud manufacturers were driven by the need to remain competitive against alternative building materials (eg. wood and concrete). Metal studs are sold and priced by the pound, so the need to be market competitive added pressure for stud manufacturers to engineer innovative designs and processes that drive out costs while creating products that are equal to or superior to the products already available. These innovations can be seen through many advancements; one such example being the creation of special tooling that imparts specifically designed shapes and ridges which work to improve strength (yields) while reducing both gauge and weight.
___When the discussion turns to materials, metal stud manufacturers primarily utilize galvanized substrates. These materials have worked well for manufacturers as zinc premiums have been stable over the past several years. However, in 2014 and 2015, experts project that zinc premiums will drastically increase. As the gauges of the metal studs are reduced, a correlation can be observed where the percentage of reduction in the thickness of the metal studs increases the percentage of zinc to the overall metal stud thickness and therefore increases the zinc premiums. These higher zinc premiums have also contributed to pressuring stud manufacturers to innovate, leading to some metal stud manufacturers taking advantage of purchasing excess automotive, high quality Galvanneal substrates and subjecting those substrates through the process of cold-reduction in order to drive yields up while obtaining equal strength from light gauges. The creation of new processing techniques such as this one led to the design and creation of coatings that were specifically formulated for the metal stud industry and are best known as EQ Coatings. EQ Coatings have been shown to significantly outperform standard metallic coatings such as:
• G40/G60/G90 Hot-Dip Galvanizing and A40/A60 Galvanneal
• 60G/60G, 90G/90G Electro-Galvanized
• GF20/GF30/GF45 Galfan
___EQ Coatings were developed to provide equivalent or superior corrosion protection, compared to approved metallic coatings that are listed in the ASTM A1003 standard for metal studs. While the “EQ” stands for Equivalent, EQ Coating manufacturers and test data insist that EQ Coatings are nothing short of being superior coatings.

Interior Drywall Steel Stud Framing – Codes and Standards
___Over the past several years, there have been countless discussions between metal stud manufacturers and metal stud industry associations over the acceptance of EQ studs and whether or not EQ Coatings conform to industry standards. Some regulating bodies have dealt with these discussions for several years, mostly due to the confusion caused by the distribution of misinformation in the marketplace. The SFIA (Steel Framing Industry Association) Technical Director Pat Ford explained in a recent Webinar, co-sponsored by the SFIA and AWCI associations, that EQ Coatings conform to the many codes within IBC, ASTM, AISI and ICC. Though there are many ASTM standards associated with manufacturing and specifying Cold Formed Members (metal studs), the key standards that are applicable to EQ Coatings are:
• ASTM C645; Per Section 4.2:
Members shall have a protective coating conforming to Specification A653 – G 40 minimum or have a protective coating with an equivalent corrosion resistance.
(Note that this “equivalent” provision has been in the standard for over 20 years.)
• ASTM A1003; per sections 9.1.3 for Metallic Coated Sheet Steels;; No more than 10% loss of coating… at the end of the prescribed test duration.; Minimum exposure for type NS steels is 75 h.
• ASTM A1004; per section 6.2 Procedures for Metallic Coated Products;
6.2.1: Use Practice ASTM B-117 (Accelerated Salt Spray Test) to evaluate corrosion conformance…
These standards and requirements have been adopted into the SFIA QC program and serve as the basis for performance requirements for this program. In short, this program states, the requirements for a metallic G40 EQ (Equivalent) coating are:
• The manufacturer must show that the EQ coating is more than 50% metallic.
• It must submit to ASTM A1004 and ASTM B-117 Salt Spray tests per the listed protocols and sample quantities.
• It must pass the ASTM required 75 hour minimum test duration with less than 10% coating loss (i.e. – relative area of red rust)
In summary, for drywall framing, the IBC Code refers to ASTM standard C645 for guidelines. Relative to EQ Coatings, the other standards that reference guidelines for the performance are ASTM A1003, ASTM A1004 and ASTM B117.


How do EQ Coatings Work?
___EQ Coatings are primarily (or entirely) composed of metallic compounds and are highly conductive. Due to their unique chemical nature, EQ Coatings require zinc, zinc alloy or zinc-iron alloy metallic coated base substrate to effectively work. EQ Coatings are Not Barrier Coatings, unlike more common coatings such as pretreatments, sealers, TFA’s (Thin-Film-Acrylics), primers and/or prepaints. EQ Coatings permanently (chemically and covalently) bond and integrate into the zinc, zinc alloy or zinc-iron alloy metallic coated substrate and become a singular composite coating system. It is this characteristic that provides the tremendous corrosion resistance properties. In some EQ Coating systems, cut edge and scratch resistance are so enhanced, compared to traditional standard metallic coated systems, that some EQ Coatings can provide self-healing characteristics.
___Typical G40 HDG or A40 Galvanneal metallic coated substrates are manufactured according to the ASTM A653 Standard for Galvanized Sheet Steel and are expected to have .40 oz./ft² (total for both sides) of coating weight (mass). The standard (A653) allows for a range in the galvanized coating weights but must have a minimum coating weight of .30 oz./ft² (total both sides). In closer review of the standard, the actual coating weight can be as low as .12 oz./ft² on a single side. The photo below shows the full coating weight range of a typical G40 HDG metallic coating that can be purchased from a steel mill and still be within the approved specification range. In review, the coating weights at the lower end of the G40 specification do not perform very well in an ASTM B177 salt spray test. Even coating weights at the high end of the G40 standard show 100% white rust at 48 – 75 hours.
___The galvanizing process can create vast valleys, fractures, pits and porosity in the zinc metallic surface. EQ Coatings are applied via a reverse roll coating application on a coil coating line and then cured with an IR or conventional oven. The combination of the coating and the process allows the EQ Coating to penetrate deep into the fractures and valleys within the zinc metallic coating, where it proceeds to chemically react with the zinc, sealing it off from the environment. It is this unique process and reaction that provides the tremendous corrosion protection associated with EQ Coatings. EQ Coating and a zinc metallic coating are more than just a basic coating. When combined, they become a singular permanent integrated composite coating. The unique level of corrosion protection provided by an EQ Coating allows metal stud manufacturers to utilize substrates that do not meet minimum metallic coating weight (mass) requirements of ASTM A1003 but when enhanced with a singular composite integrated EQ Coating system, they can provide extensive corrosion protection that meets or exceeds the corrosion expectations associated with the metallic coating weight ranges referenced above.

rlw2-3Superior Performance of EQ Coatings
___As mentioned earlier, EQ Coatings were specifically designed and created for the metal stud industry. They were designed to be applied to excess automotive Galvanneal, HDG or Electro-Galvanized, be cold-reduced by 20% to 50% after coating, slit down and then roll-formed into finished metal studs. EQ Coatings have been shown to outperform other mill applied or other post applied coatings. Some EQ Coatings are formulated to provide superior cut-edge and scratch protection. In the photo, the flat test panels on the top show cut edge and scribe performance, as compared to the G40 control pictured at the bottom.
EQ Coating formulations can be modified to meet the needs of many specialized requirements or applications, such as:
• Hexavalent Chromium Product
• Trivalent Chromium Product (RoHS Compliant)
• Chrome-Free Product (RoHS Compliant)
• Lubricity (to aid in the roll forming and stamping applications by improving productivity, increasing tool life and reducing the level of wet lubricants used – translating to cost savings for the customer)
• Tints that can be added for desired appearance or product recognition




Other Advantages of EQ Coatings
___In accordance with the ASTM A1003 Standard; 9.1.1 Not all coatings will react the same under a given set of environmental conditions. These minimum coating designations assume normal exposure conditions and construction practices. When more severe exposure conditions are probable (for example: in coastal areas), consideration should be given to specify heavier coating weights (mass).” In this section of the ASTM A1003, the standard recommends specifying substrates with better corrosion performance when in severe environments, such as G60 or G90 HDG. EQ Coatings can easily accommodate this requirement at a fraction of the cost, compared to zinc premiums on substrates above G40.Since September of 2011, when Eco-Green Coatings, a division of Chemcoaters, developed their EQ Coating known by the trade name as InterCoat®ChemGuard, there have been over 500 million linear feet of EQ coated studs sold in the marketplace without a single claim for corrosion in the field.
Other steel product industry segments have found an interest and have accepted the EQ coatings due to their field performance, as depicted in the data above, and the tremendous corrosion resistance. Some of these applications include:
• Transportation; one large vehicle manufacturer has specified InterCoat®ChemGuard into the floor of their vehicles. They now offer a 10-year warranty over the traditional 5-year warranty for corrosion protection.
• Service Centers are specifying InterCoat®ChemGuard to eliminate transient rust when coils are shipped from the Midwest to Mexico.
• Major U.S. Appliance manufacturers are testing InterCoat®ChemGuard to improve corrosion issues in dishwashers and laundry applications.
• Major HVAC manufacturer utilizes InterCoat®ChemGuard as a hybrid primer for roof-top units to improve corrosion protection.
• Major U.S. steel door manufacturer is testing InterCoat®ChemGuard to improve corrosion and reduce field corrosion claims.
• Major U.S. steel mill is currently running InterCoat® ChemGuard trials to replace hexavalent chromium chemtreatment with a RoHS compliant trivalent non-hazardous InterCoat®ChemGuard 300 coating and still gets the same corrosion (or better) than the hexavalent chromium Chemtreat.





 Innovation and Change
___It is important for steel driven industries to continue to innovate and stay ahead of the competition provided by alternative materials. The Automotive industry is faced with aluminum and carbon composites competition. The Appliance and HVAC industries are utilizing more plastics. The Building & Construction industry has wood, concrete and composite products to compete against. Many of the EQ Coating manufacturers and applicators service all of the various steel industries. The synergies that exist between all of these steel markets produce unique opportunities for technology advancements, such as EQ Coatings, to service multiple industries rather than a single market. It is advancements like this that will ultimately lead to driving down costs and allow steel products to remain competitive among these vast and diverse marketplaces. Despite some resistance to change, the quality and performance of these innovative coatings are clearly defined in the ASTM standards that have been in place for over a decade and that is because these standards were written to accommodate innovation in coating technologies and provide defined test methods to insure adequate levels of performance for the application.


Flatness Demand Keeps Steel Firm Busy


Leveling equipment has helped a Midwestern steel service center company take its business to the next level.
The company is McNeilus Steel, a family-owned firm that dates back to the 1940s. After beginning as a scrap yard, McNeilus moved into new steel, then added coil processing and grew more from there. Today, the business includes three service centers and a fabrication facility, as well as the scrap yard.
___ McNeilus operates out of three locations in the Upper Midwest. The corporate office is part of a 700,000 sq. ft. facility in Dodge, MN. The other facilities are a 500,000 sq. ft. plant in Fargo, ND, and the company’s newest addition, a 220,000 sq. ft. plant in Fond du Lac, WI.
Like other service center operators, McNeilus has been navigating through rough economic waters. The company’s success in these tough times can be attributed in part to equipment upgrades that have helped it meet the demands of sheet metal fabricators who have become more sophisticated about the steel they purchase.
___ “Our customers want better product to help them with their processes. They want steel that’s free of surface defects and coil memory,” reports Greg Head, general manager of the firm’s Wisconsin facility. “The goal is to create a consistently flat sheet product that our customers can be confident their processes will be consistent.”

Leveling Lines On the Job
___ One piece of steel-enhancing equipment now installed at all McNeilus service centers is a stretcher leveler. The firm opted for stretcher levelers because of customer demand for “the flattest product they can get without memory of being in a coil,” Head notes.
As the name suggests, a stretcher leveler eliminates coil memory by stretching coiled steel to produce extremely flat sheets. According to Head, this is important to the many customers who are now cutting steel with lasers. “When applying heat to material sitting on a laser bed, the material must be flat and remain flat,” he says. The reason, he explains, is that material flexing can cause problems with the laser heads, which often operate on unmanned production lines.
Down the production line, parts may go through other processes such as forming. Head points out that stress-free material from the stretcher leveler is key to the production of consistently formed parts that meet specifications.
___ McNeilus has purchased a total of four stretcher levelers in the last 11 years. In 2003, the company’s first stretcher leveler was installed at its Minnesota headquarters, as was the second two years later. The firm’s North Dakota plant got the third in 2010, and the fourth was recently installed at the Wisconsin facility. “Once we installed our first stretcher leveler, we recognized the value and benefits of the machine, so we continued to add them,” Head notes.
All four units were purchased from Illinois-based Red Bud Industries. “Our thinking was that if we were to continue adding these leveling lines, we wanted to purchase what we felt was the best,” Head says. “We think we’ve done that.”
___ The four RBI stretcher levelers can handle steel ranging from 20 gauge on the light side up to 5/8″-thick, 60″-wide material on the heavy side. Normally, material thicker than 5/8″ is in plate form already and so does not need to go through a stretcher leveler, Head explains, adding that McNeilus supplies but does not process larger product of this kind.


Products and Markets
___ Stretcher levelers have given McNeilus a boost in its efforts to serve a number of markets that require flat sheets. These include agriculture, energy, manufacturing, and commercial construction. Steel from McNeilus leveling lines can be found in a variety of products, including trailers, grain wagons, cement trucks, lawn mowers, skid loaders, military vehicles, and wind towers.
___ Stairs and other wind tower components are part of the company’s healthy energy industry business. “We might not produce pipe that transports oil, but we produce the material used to build many other things that are part of the energy infrastructure,” Head says.
___ An added benefit for McNeilus is that activity in the energy sector trickles down to many other markets. For example, Head says, “people need to move dirt and other material in conjunction with the energy business.” With the energy industry booming in North Dakota, he adds, there is a “tremendous amount” of this trickle-down activity in that area—activity that in some cases requires metal products from the McNeilus plant in North Dakota.
___ In addition to North Dakota, McNeilus mainly serves customers in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The company also does some business in Canada.
___ At McNeilus facilities, workers are on the job 24/7, taking orders during the day and loading trucks at night. The company owns and operates a fleet of more than 100 vehicles that deliver material on a daily basis. “We can handle just-in-time service and many other types of delivery programs customers require,” Head says.
___ As for the newly installed line he oversees, Head claims it has given a boost to both corporate efficiency and sales. “We are close to our primary coil mills which cuts freight costs by eliminating four hours’ travel between here and Minnesota. So the new line enables us to be more competitive as well as opening up some new doors for us.”

Nothing Happens Without a Volunteer



In the business world, it’s often said that “Nothing happens without a sale.”But in the association world, “Nothing happens without a volunteer.”

_ _ All of NCCA’s members are volunteers. All of our board members and all of our committees are 100 percent volunteers. Everything we do depends on someone who is willing to work for free for the good of our industry.
These are the people who, when they hear the call for a volunteer, raise their hand and put their shoulder to the wheel. After that task is complete, they raise their hand again for the next challenge. And the next one. And again, and again.

rlw2-2The Hall of Fame 

___ Because of supreme importance of volunteers, we give special recognition to those members who have excelled in their service to the association. That’s also why we established the NCCA Hall of Fame in 1992. At that time, the association was marking its 30th year, and we acutely felt indebtedness to so many who had volunteered so much time and effort for the advancement of our industry.
___ At the NCCA 2014 Annual Meeting in Napa, Calif., we formally inducted Vic Locastro of Precoat Metals into our Hall of Fame, the 43rd inductee in our history. Vic started his career with Precoat Metals 44 years ago. Within his first few years there, Vic became an active volunteer in NCCA, and he hasn’t stopped.
___ Over the decades, he initiated, participated in, and chaired a number of committees, including the Marketing Committee, Container Products Committee, Building Products Committee, Garage Door Committee, the Program Planning Committee, and many others. Vic also served on the NCCA board of directors from 1983 to 1986.

Expanding Our Market
___ The majority of Vic’s contributions focused on expanding our market and strengthening the influence of NCCA. He volunteered to help develop many of our marketing pieces and brochures. He helped establish the steps and procedures in prepaint conversion projects. He became an industry spokesperson in publications, seminars, and trade shows, and he served as NCCA’s ambassador to other associations.
___ Vic also played an integral role in converting the building products industry from polyester and vinyl technologies into siliconized polyesters and PVDF/Kynar coatings. This helped the sales of prepainted metal to grow exponentially in the 1970s and 1980s in construction products.
___ For nearly four decades, Vic Locastro has served as a great example of how associations excel. NCCA has thrived because of that volunteer spirit of people who are devoted to our industry, believe in our mission, and willingly thrust themselves into our work.

Volunteers Among Us
___ There are more such volunteers among us. They may be only in their first year or their 31st year, but they are the fuel that powers us forward.
___ So, we thank Vic and all those who join us in our ongoing quest “to promote the growth of coil coated products.” Their selfless duty has made our industry stronger, expanded our markets, and helped our members gain more sales.
___ After all, in the business world, “Nothing happens without a sale.”

Learn more about our work at www.coilcoating.org.