All posts by Matt

About Matt

Matt has a B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering from Ferris State University and almost a decade of engineering experience with a focus on coating processes and part manufacturing. He has worked at DECC since 2006, starting as a spray technician, and transitioned into his engineering role while he completed his degree.

Tight Tolerances

Functional Coatings and Tight Tolerances: No Need to Worry About a Costly Redesign

Producing quality product within a specified tolerance is a battle that every manufacturer, in every industry, fights every day.

Design engineers have the task of determining how tight of a tolerance should be allowed when developing a part and usually operate in the mind set of “the tighter the better.” In some cases, unnecessarily tight tolerances just drive up the cost of a component unnecessarily, but that is a debate for a different day.

It is understood that a component designed to need a functional coating would have its tolerances accordingly compensated. However, if the component you’re dealing with Continue reading Functional Coatings and Tight Tolerances: No Need to Worry About a Costly Redesign

3D Printer Making Coating Mask

Need Coating in Some Areas and Not Others? Here are Five of the Most Common Masking Types

When needing a functional coating application, most components require complete coating coverage on the entirety of the part. When there are instances where this is not the case – such as cosmetic, fit or function implications – masking of certain areas of the part is necessary.

If an area of a part must be masked, there are a variety of options depending on component geometry, mask location and cure temp of the coating being applied.

Below are the five most typical types of masks used by coating applicators, particularly  Continue reading Need Coating in Some Areas and Not Others? Here are Five of the Most Common Masking Types

Food Die Roller

Reducing Downtime with Functional Coatings

We often receive inquiries from manufacturers that aren’t looking for us to help them with the parts they produce, but with the equipment they use to produce them. Most of the time, it is related to a cleaning issue – parts or materials used in the manufacturing process build up and prevent the machine from operating effectively, ultimately necessitating downtime for cleaning.

Downtime is a killer in any industry and many of the coatings DECC applies can be utilized to alleviate this issue. Below are some specific examples of problems faced by manufacturers and how we solved them:

Continue reading Reducing Downtime with Functional Coatings

Automotive Washer

Some Problems Caused by Automotive Lightweighting (and How to Fix Them)

In today’s automotive manufacturing age, lightweighting is a popular, albeit almost necessary, approach for automobile manufacturers in an effort to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles. With lightweighting, vehicle designers look to replace the heaviest vehicle components, such as steel panels, frames and assemblies, with lighter counterparts, such as aluminum or carbon fiber pieces.

Not only will this provide improved fuel efficiency, which all OEM’s are struggling with in light of the Obama administration’s minimum MPG requirements, lightweighting also helps improve the handling and performance of the car, something consumers have come to expect.

Continue reading Some Problems Caused by Automotive Lightweighting (and How to Fix Them)

Electrostatic Spray

HVLP Spray vs Electrostatic Spray

As an exclusively rack-spray applicator, DECC utilizes two types of spray guns to apply coating to our customer’s parts. Due to EPA regulations, we are not allowed to use conventional spray guns so we use HVLP and electrostatic spray guns. Both have their pros and cons but are extremely effective in providing complete coating coverage, with limited waste, when used on the proper part geometries.

Continue reading HVLP Spray vs Electrostatic Spray

Gas filler tubes with corrosion resistant coating

The Importance of Fixture Design

Probably one of the most overlooked, or misunderstood, aspects of applying coating via a rack-spray method is the importance of fixture design. In the shortest explanation possible: you can’t just hang a part on a hook and throw coating at it. There are many fixture related contributions that help ensure a component has an adequate, consistent, and high quality film build on the entire part.

Limiting the Faraday cage effect

Because DECC utilizes an electrostatic spray process, we constantly battle the Faraday cage effect. The Faraday cage effect is the repulsion of charged coating particles from recessed and concave areas of a component, preventing the penetration of coating into said area. There are a couple of design features with our fixture DECC considers to help limit this.

Continue reading The Importance of Fixture Design

Tumble blast machine and Pangborn

Common Surface Prep Types

A coating only performs to the level of the surface of which it is applied. In other words, if the surface of a component is not adequately prepped before the application of coating, that coating will not perform. This goes for not only the high-performance, functional coatings that DECC applies, but all coatings.

There are three main types of surface preparation that can be performed prior to applying coating.

Thermal prep

  • Placing parts into an oven at a predetermined temperature
  • Temperature is determined based on the final coating used and substrate being baked. Prebake temp must be above the final cure temperature of the coating by at least 50°F. However, the substrate must be able to withstand the prebake temperature.
  • Prebaking will remove oils and grease, but the dirt particulate embedded in the oil may still be present. That is where a mechanical removal may have to be introduced to remove contaminates completely.

Continue reading Common Surface Prep Types