in Vol. 4 - March Issue - Year 2003
New Blacking Process saves Energy, Time & Space
Vaporblack’ - a joint development by Vapormatt and Blackfast Chemicals - can be carried out safely at room temperature
Traditional methods of “blacking” iron and steel components involve the use of aggressive caustic-based solutions, often in open tanks, operating at temperatures up to 140ºC. But a unique, new blacking treatment - the ‘Vaporblack’ process - developed jointly by Vapormatt and Blackfast Chemicals, enables parts to be processed at room temperature (18ºC to 24ºC), employing a special chemical that is far more environmentally friendly than conventional solutions and non-hazardous to operators.
Added to this, the Vaporblack process takes only two to three minutes to complete, compared with the typical 45 minutes for traditional blacking - thereby substantially reducing energy costs and minimising production time.
Based on Vapormatt’s well proven ‘Vaporblast’ wet blast cleaning technology, the Vaporblack process is carried out in a specially designed self-contained twin-chamber machine, which is available in two sizes: the ‘VB1’, with two processing chambers each measuring 700mm x 700mm x 600mm and the ‘VB3’, with two 950mm x 700mm x 600mm chambers.
The relatively small machine footprint also saves floor space. Both the machine design and the chemical solutions used comply with latest EU environmental and health and safety requirements.
The automatically controlled process involves pre-cleaning to remove surface contamination, such as heat treatment oxides and scale, followed by blacking with ‘Blackfast 181’ solution (an inert copper selonoid phosphate), a water wash and then the application of a surface sealant (‘Blackfast 833’).
Immersion in Blackfast 181 removes minute particles of iron and steel from the component surface and replaces these with an iron copper complex, which is then oxidised (black). The surface complex produced by the process is similar to a phosphate finish but, importantly, there are no dimensional changes. The ‘Blackfasted’ substrate will absorb oil/wax sealants into the component surface to give the treated parts corrosion protection.
The Vaporblack process (not to be confused with ‘Parkerising’ or phosphating) can be used for any carbon steel component with a chrome content of up to 12%, and is primarily a decorative finish. The process is expected to be of particular interest to the automotive component manufacture and refinishing industries and can be applied to any suitable precision-engineered part requiring blacking.
Mr. Robin Ashworth or Ms. Karel Hort
Rue Chiens, St Sampsons, Guernsey
Channel Isles, GY2 4AG. England
Tel: +44.1481.253195. Fax: 252369
Mr. Barry Clements,
(a division of Lawrence plc)
78 Coombe Road, New Malden
Surrey, KT3 4QS. England
Tel: +44.208.336 2900. Fax 336 0909