Steel products, such as steel pipe, usually have solvent-based or water-based coatings that protect those products from corrosion and other environmental hazards during storage. Manufacturers need to know the specific coating used so that they know how to work with that steel. This article discusses why it is better for you to select steel with water-based coatings.
Cleaning Up Is Easy
It is very easy to clean the steel products if they have a water-based coating when compared to cleaning off solvent-based coatings. Ordinary soap and water are sufficient to clean steel with water-based coatings. However, people who buy steel products with solvent-based coatings have to spend money to buy expensive materials, such as xylene, to clean off those coatings before some fabrication processes (powder-coating, for example) can be done. That added cost can raise your production costs and eat into your profits.
No Work Restrictions
Steel supplies that have solvent-based coatings impose several restrictions on the environment where those supplies will be used. For instance, care has to be taken when welding those steel products. This is because the solvent-based coatings pose a fire or explosion hazard to the technicians who work with these materials. Water-based coatings don't come with any restrictions since they aren't combustible or explosive. You will, therefore, have no problem performing electrical or welding activities close to the steel supplies.
Less Environmental Damage
Solvent-based coatings have higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when compared to water-based coating systems. These VOCs can cause a wide range of health complications, such as respiratory distress and cancer. They also contribute to global warming due to their damaging effect on the ozone layer. Water-based coatings have lower levels of VOCs. Consequently, the cost of buying personal protective equipment for your employees will be lower since basic equipment, such as ordinary respirators, can suffice. This is unlike the sophisticated protection systems that workers who are exposed to high VOC levels require.
You can work with your provider of steel supplies so that he or she provides steel that has been coated with a product whose resin is water-based. Discuss the implications of your choice so that you weigh the costs against the benefits of your decision. For example, it may be more expensive to use the water-based resin since the application process often requires more energy in order to provide supplemental heating. The extra heat helps to shorten the time that is needed for the coating to dry on the substrate.
For more information, contact a steel supply today.