Chemcoaters Offers Cost-Saving Twist on Galvanized

Written by Tim Triplett

Chemcoaters and its Eco-Green Coatings subsidiary say they are winning over skeptics who doubt the company’s claims it can dramatically lower the cost of galvanized steel with its InterCoat ChemGuard coating. Mike Tieri, vice president of sales and marketing for the Gary, Ind., toll coater, says the product continues to gain converts. “There’s a Who’s Who of manufacturers and major mills doing testing now. We are really working hard to get the mills to apply the coating because it will simplify the logistics and be so much more cost effective.”

InterCoat ChemGuard’s proprietary chemistry, developed by Chemcoaters, is designed to generate a permanent covalent reaction with any zinc or zinc-alloy coated substrate, bonding to the surface. “It is not a barrier coating. It won’t rub off,” Tieri says. The coating can improve the corrosion resistance of galvanized steel by a factor of 8-10 times, he adds, and in some cases users can achieve the corrosion protection they need with a less expensive grade of galvanized.

Tieri claims that G30 galvanized with InterCoat ChemGuard outperforms G235, offering better corrosion resistance despite an 87 percent reduction in zinc. The potential cost saving, especially with the current high zinc cost, is dramatic, he says. G30 galvanized with a zinc adder of $2.40/cwt, plus about $3.00/cwt for InterCoat ChemGuard, costs around $5.40/cwt. That compares to $11.50/cwt for conventional G235 today. “There is no need for G60 or G90. You can take the lightest coating, G30, and satisfy customers’ needs with even more corrosion resistance,” he asserts.

Naturally, such claims tend to raise eyebrows. But in the five years since Chemcoaters developed the patented chemistry, it has won applications in many markets including HVAC, automotive, truck-trailer, consumer goods, and building materials. Navistar is among its more high-profile clients, as well as ClarkDietrich Building Systems, which uses the coating on its metal studs.

Chemcoaters now processes 3,000-4,000 tons a month with InterCoat ChemGuard. St. Louis-based Precoat Metals also applies the coating through a license agreement with Chemcoaters.

Chemcoaters runs a “green” coil coating operation, offering conventional dry-film lubricants, pretreatments and waterborne prepaints. But over time, Tieri expects InterCoat ChemGuard to be the company’s top product.

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