Metal Finishing Guide Book


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Fig. 5. Corrosion performance for various finishes. as the staging area for operator activities. After plating, the load is discharged onto a vibrating surge hopper (4). At the screen or magnetic separator (5) section, water sprays wash the impact media from the parts and into a lower media sump (6). Media is later recycled to the overhead media reservoir (2) for reuse. The separated parts continue on to an optional automatic vibratory chromating/passivation section (7) and on to a belt, vibratory, or centrifugal dryer (8). Budgetary costs for typical complete mechanical plating and galvanizing systems are given in Table II. The range of floor space required for an equipment installation ranges from about 46 m2 (500 ft2) for the smaller systems to about 112 m2 (1,200 ft2). Ceiling minimum height requirement is about 5.5 m (18 ft). A floor pit for the lower media sump is usually required and ranges in depth from about 1 to 1.7 m (3.25.5 ft) and a width of about equal size. AUTOMATION FOR MECHANICAL PLATING Push-button or computer-controlled mechanical plating systems are now in use and available in a variety of configurations and options. They are, basically, carefully engineered chemical feed systems designed to calculate, monitor, and control much of the plating operation. It does not do away with the need for an operator at the installation, but it does cut down on the required attention time by about 50% and, therefore, provides increases in productivity. The operator must input certain data required to establish the process parameters. This information would include the part number or code (from the computer's personalized database), the weight of the parts load, and the coating thickness desired. The system can use bar-coded work order cards, which inputs the information automatically. The computer then calculates the total surface area in the load and then the entire process cycle. A screen display shows the cyle progress (Fig. 4). When started the system signals the pumps, valves, solenoids, 398

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