Researchers often develop solutions which influence effectiveness of the product development process or the quality of various developed products. Dr Andrzej Swinarew and Jadwiga Gabor MSc together with a patent agent Mariusz Grzesiczak MSc developed the method and the system that provides degreasing and anti-corrosion protection for sheets and strips made from metal or metal alloys. This solution has been patented.
During production of steel strips their surface is covered with oiling substances, among others, due to the need of repeated bending of the material. Then, the strips are cut into smaller sheets according to customers’ orders. Yet, before they reach the buyer, they undergo the cleaning process.
‘Everyone who has touched metal sheets knows that usually they are quite slippery. It is, among others, due to imperfect cleaning methods that have been used so far for these products. The remaining greasy layer is not only unaesthetic, but also may influence the future use of the material. To put it simply, it is impossible to stick labels on such sheets’ – Dr Andrzej Swinarew form the Institute of Computer and Material Science explains.
He adds that there are many methods of cleaning metal sheets or strips’ surfaces. Various substances are used, for example, alkaline or acid cleaning solutions. In this method, felt underlay is often additionally used to reduce greasiness of the surface. However, the contamination is not removed in full, and the felt absorbs grease and thus cannot be reused. This generates additional costs and waste, which is not biodegradable and requires costly utilization.
The researchers from the University of Silesia decided to develop a new cleaning method that provides degreasing and anticorrosion protection for sheets and strips made from metal or metal alloys. The developed system consists of four modules.
First, by means of several nozzles, dry technical steam is blown onto the surface of the product at an accurate angle to remove the contamination. At the next stage of the process, high-pressure compressed air is blown onto the surface to remove potential remaining moisture and solid particles. Part of the system is also a flange, made for example from resin, which removes contamination from the surface. During the last stage the substances protecting the product against corrosion, such as polypropylene wax,, are applied to the surface.
‘In this way we obtain coatings of good adhesion to which labels can be easily stuck’ – Dr Andrzej Swinarew explains.
This systems makes use of clean steam and compressed air, which means that it is a cheap, ecological and, most importantly, effective solution. We do not need acids, petroleum-based paints or solvents containing toxic substances, harmful for humans and the environment. What is more, anti-corrosion protection may be easily removed from the surface, depending on what is the designation of metal strips or sheets.
Przedsiębiorstwo Wielobranżowe „OMEGA” Sp. j. Łukasz Sosnowski, Bogusław Stempień is the holder of the patent.