What is Electrocoat?
- Electrocoating also known as e-coat, elpo and electrodeposition is a fully automated coating method based on the principles of plating. It is an electrochemical process by which organic paint solids are deposited on bare metal.
- E-coat requires a tank filled with paint, a DC power source, an anode (usually the electrodialysis cell) and a cathode (usually the part). The part is immersed in the paint bath for a short period of time (usually two minutes or less). Electricity moves from the anode to the cathode and deposits paint solids onto the cathode. Electrodeposition continues until the cathode is coated with an even film build.
- In e-coat, the deposited paint film becomes part of the metal object being painted. Therefore, e-coated objects are highly resistant to salt spray, corrosion, UV contamination and other effects of outdoor exposure.
Intricate Parts/Recessed Areas:
- Because electrodeposition continues until the entire part is painted, even intricate hard to reach areas are painted.
Reduces Paint Waste:
- Transfer efficiencies of better than 95% result in reduced paint waste, especially when compared with spray applied coatings.
- E-coat paint is 80% water with as little as 1-3% volatile organic solvent. It is environmentally friendly, not a fire hazard, and low viscosity.
- E-coat provides a better quality product. The uncured paint is dry enough to allow limited handling. During baking, e-coat will not sag nor will the hot vapors cause the paint to wash off from the recessed areas.
- Paint costs are predictable because the film thickness does not vary from job to job. Costs in other painting processes (powder coat, wet spray) can vary according to operator technique or attention.
- An even film build is possible over the entire surface of the part. In addition, the deposited film is reproducible from part to part and day to day.
Reduced Labor Costs:
- Even the largest e-coat system can work efficiently with just one person tending the e-coat equipment.
Low Electrical Resistance
- TECTRON Tubular Membrane Electrode (ME) Cells have as much as 35% more membrane area than electrode area, resulting in less electrical resistance than box or C Cells
- TECTRON Cells require less voltage to operate and so there is less electrical energy that is turned into excess heat that has to be cooled with chilled water.
No “Dirt” Formation
- TECTRON ME Cells smooth features, and small, circular profile promotes excellent paint flow completely around the cell even in the largest 5" size TECTRON Cell.
- TECTRON ME Cells, with appropriate membranes, can be used in place of bare electrodes (which are a large source of sludge that can create paint film defects).
ED Film-Build Control
- Desired E-coat film build can be achieved through proper selection of Cell materials and design, and electrical system integration.
- Uniform film build distribution can lower production costs.
Lightweight, Two-Part Design
- One person can usually remove the Electrode for routine inspections because it weighs less than 50 pounds.
- The Membrane Shell is light weight can can be carried by one person. Its unitary construction has no bolts or joints, which are prone to leaks.
- Sensors and other specialized tools can collect accurate data. This enables system operators to use SPC to forecast system maintenance and repair.
- TECTRON ME Cells offer a fault tolerant desgin. If one or more Cells are shut down, there is only minimal loss of anode area and minimal stress on the surrounding Cells.
- Cells can be positioned easily in the ED tank to avoid conflict with eductor piping.
- Fully submergible Cells can be placed under or over the automotive body.