The world is built on quality control. Imagine if we didn’t have it. You would never feel safe driving a car, living in a house or eating food! We put a lot of faith in quality assurance without even realising it, and it’s a process that is especially important in the coatings industry.
If the industrial coatings industry didn’t have quality assurance, then there would be no guarantee that coating services worked and that products were protected from corrosion. Many products would become corroded after a few months in the rain, and important architectural structures, like metal bridges, would become unsafe.
Here is everything you need to know about quality assurance in the industrial coatings industry, and how it is used to ensure metal products are protected from the elements for years to come.
Why Do We Need Quality Assurance?
Let’s use an example. You decide that you want to decorate your house. One of the more expensive decorations you choose is a metal balcony, so you can enjoy those warm summer months with a nice cup of coffee out in the sun.
If you purchased a metal balcony that hadn’t gone through a quality assurance process, it might not last long in harsh weather conditions. After a few months of exposure to wind, rain and cold temperatures, it might start to rust and turn an unpleasant orange colour. It could also be dangerous to touch, as the metal would corrode quickly.
Quality assurance is vital to ensure situations like this do not happen. It makes sure that products are made to the right standard. This protects your wallet, as you know that you are spending money on quality products, and it protects you, as everything works the way it should.
What Tests Are Carried Out On Protective Coatings?
All parts of the industrial coating process are tested. This includes surface preparation services, like abrasive blast cleaning also known as shot blasting.
Shot Blasting is carried out to SA2.5 as a minimum, but we recommend SA3 for that perfect finish.
One of the main quality assurance checks before an industrial coating can be applied is the dew test. A dew test allows ambient temperature control by determining the dew point, which is the temperature where water vapour in the air begins to condense into liquid droplets.
The presence of moisture in the air can affect the adhesion of a coating, leading to a poor finish and reduced durability. The dew test allows coaters to ensure that the environment of a workshop is right before they begin coating a metal product.
Dew tests also check relative humidity, air temperature, surface temperature and many other factors.
There is the adhesion test also known as cross-hatch tests. These are used on finished powder-coated works where part of the product cannot be seen, like the back of base plates, for example. These tests are ideal for measuring the crosshatch adhesion of coatings up to 250µm (9.8mil) on flat surfaces and test panels.
Then, there is a thickness test. This can be used on powder-coated finishes and hot zinc spray layers before powder coating. Whether a surface is rough, smooth, thin or curved, this test produces accurate, temperature-stable measurements of thickness in microns.
Who Carries Out Quality Control?
In the protective coatings industry, quality control is typically carried out by the coating manufacturer or supplier. They use bespoke inspection equipment for these tests.
The company applying the coating will also have a quality control team or individual in place such as a quality assurance manager to ensure that the coating is applied correctly and that the appropriate surface preparation and application methods are used.
Quality You Can Trust
At NSP, we believe in providing the highest quality coating solutions. We have a dedicated quality assurance manager who checks items in and out of the factory. We follow a unique process that allows us to offer a 60-year guarantee on some products we coat.
We offer this guarantee because we are confident in every stage of our quality assurance process. To discover more about our coating services, or to request a free quote, fill out our contact form by clicking here.