Partnering for Success:

Midwest Plating Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been around since 1946 and, like many businesses in the world of surface finishing, it is proudly family owned and operated. The Wortman family purchased the business from their father in the early 90's and they work together today to maintain the commitment to deliver the same level of quality and customer service upon which their father built the business. The company specializes in zinc plating and zinc phosphating. Having started out with 12.5-foot-wide tanks, Midwest captured a niche market from the very beginning by being able to plate longer lengths. They do quite a bit of automotive work and offer both rack and barrel plating, capable of processing more than... read more
New Zinc Nickel Clear Passivate  

     Columbia Chemical recently released  COLDIP NI-Z CLEAR 250 ,a new clear trivalent passivate for zinc-nickel plating. The passivate operates under mild conditions which allows minimal alloy loss during passivation and helps maintain nickel in the deposit.

     COLDIP NI-Z CLEAR 250 produces 250 hours of neutral salt spray to white corrosion without a sealer, exceeds 500 hours when top-coated and exceeds 1000 hours to first red rust. This unique, clear trivalent coating offers an extremely cost-effective alternative to high corrosion finishes.

     After thorough internal testing and analysis in both the R&D and service labs, the passivate went through field test... read more

Currently qualifying additional TriCOL Decor BBL trial sites.
Technical Talk Generates Interest & Questions

     Decorative platers attending Sur/Fin showed great interest in Mark Schario's technical presentation on Decorative Trivalent Chromium Deposits applied by Barrel Electroplating . There is high demand for effective decorative barrel plating technology along with the reduced labor costs and exposure benefits that would be generated as a result. After providing an overview of the history and establishing the advantages of decorative trivalent barrel plating over hexavalent, Schario reviewed the approach for development and walked through the parameters and analysis for evaluating such a process. 

       The presentation had its background in the internal R&D work done by Schario and Research Chemist Christian Kissig to customize and adapt Columbia's TriCOL Décor rack electrolyte into a barrel process. Audience members were able to learn... read more
Columbia's Chloride-Based Trivalent Plating System in line with USCAR findings
The United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR) recently released the findings of their  "Decorative Trivalent Chromium Exposure in Winter Environments", a multi-year study launched to determine how various trivalent  chromium systems w ould perform in the real world and how accelerated corrosion testing correlates with real world results.

With the goal of identifying whether chloride or sulfate-based trivalent chrome processes perform better in the areas of general and high-chloride corrosion and overall color stability; the two-phase study revealed sulfate-based systems suffered greater chrome loss in the Russian mud corrosion performance tests. In the appearance performance tests, the study revealed the color of the sulfate systems diminished significantly with field exposure as compared to the chloride systems. 

When looking at the overall analytical results and summary findings, the chloride-based system performed better in color stability and ranked more consistent in Russian mud performance in the multi-year field test. Coming out of the study "all three OEMs [FCA US, Ford and GM] recognize the advantages of chloride-based bright trivalent chromium chemistries over sulfate".

 As a result of these findings, approvals for chloride-only based decorative trivalent plating systems are already being finalized which may have a direct impact in the marketplace.  Columbia Chemical's renowned trivalent chromium expert Mark Schario is preparing a special summary report on the released findings of the field test and  how the TriCOL™ Décor chloride-based system relates to the direction of OEMs and the world of automotive decorative plating. 

If you are  interested in receiving a copy of this special summary report upon release, please send your contact info to christine.gorey@columbiachemical.com
High Demand for TriCOL Decor Continues in Asian Market

     Columbia Chemical has long had a strong presence in the global market, thanks in part to the COLZINC ACF-II alkaline cyanide-free zinc process and the COLSID AP acid zinc product line.  The Asian market in particular is now also home to a heavy volume of trivalent chromium plating.  
     Managing Director of Far East Business Martin Gall is heavily focused right now on several installations of Columbia's TriCOL Decor Plating Process. Thailand and Taiwan are the latest to welcome more installations with others in the works throughout the market.
Booth 526 was lit up with visitors  and interest during Sur/Fin 2019 in Rosemont!

   Record attendee and exhibitor numbers at this year's Sur/Fin translated to heavy booth traffic and numerous discussions about product and service needs. Columbia's  Technical presentations on Effective Colorless Zinc-Nickel Passivates delivered by Christian Kissig, the OEM Test Matrix Review by Mark Schario as well as the Decorative Trivalent Chromium Deposits applied by Barrel Electroplating presented by Mark Schario generated strong audience following and participation.

   President Brett Larick commented: "It was great to see such a turnout and to talk with everyone about the overall direction of the industry and growth of business. The interest we had in our trivalent passivates and our trivalent chromium plating processes is a definite indicator of the shift happening, both from a regulatory standpoint and overall concern for employee exposure. I am pleased that we have such a depth of in-house expertise in these areas and can deliver superior products to serve the needs of our customers and exceed the standards of OEMs." 

Thank you to everyone that attended our technical conferences and visited our booth during Sur/Fin 2019. We are excited to partner with you to further grow your business!
Columbia Chemical Corporation

Delivering superior plating solutions and the highest level of expertise to our customers through our Finisher's Advantage program.
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