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Cataphoresis (or cationic electrodeposition) is a high performance surface treatment commonly used in the automotive industry, mechanization and street furniture manufacturing. It involves immersing a metallic object (connected to a cathode) in a bath containing an active water-soluble compound (such as paint or anti-corrosion enamel) dissolved in water and applying an electric current from the anode to the cathode. The suspended (charged) particles are deposited on the surface of the object to create a uniform, ultra-resistant adherent film. Cataphoresis is both economical (high throughput, minimal loss of active compounds) and environmentally friendly, as water is typically used as the solvent.
Cataphoresis technology involves many steps that use a large volume of water, including pretreatment phases (sanding-degreasing, rinsing, high pressure washing, phosphatation-refining, rinsing) and post-treatment phases (rinsing, high pressure washing). Cataphoresis also requires the use of a significant amount of deionized (or reverse osmosis-purified) water and a system for recapturing and treating used water before discharge into the environment or recycling within the factory.
Cataphoresis fluids and other similar solutions contain high levels of water and water-soluble organic compounds, which provide optimal conditions for the growth of micro-organisms.
An elevated biological burden (of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, algae, etc.) can lead to technical, economic and health-related problems, such as:
• Effects on the procedure: a decrease in the pH level can interfere with certain sensitive steps (rinsing, refining, cataphoresis), alteration or over-consumption of active compounds (phosphate, paint, enamel), changes in the conductivity of the cataphoresis bath;
• Effects on the equipment: blockage and loss of filtering materials (resins, bag filters), clogging of baths, tanks and exchangers, formation of anaerobic niches prone to bio-corrosion;
• Effects on quality: increased thickness of finishes, surface irregularities;
• Effects on health and well-being: unpleasant smells, irritation and allergies, respiratory or skin infections.
To avoid generating pollutants and to prolong the lifespan of the baths, industries closely monitor changes in pH, temperature and conductivity. They use physical (filtering media) and chemical (biocidal agents) treatment methods, as well as biological analyses to detect contaminating flora. However, biological analyses do not detect the full range of microbes that can proliferate in these highly specialized nutritional environments. Learn more
Rapid microbiological analysis using ATP 2G is an efficient, low-cost diagnostic tool that is easy to implement in an industrial environment and allows the user to:
• use a reliable biological indicator to monitor the biological contamination of baths and water-based systems in real-time;
• quickly identify biological shifts, thereby increasing responsiveness in decision-making and the efficiency of corrective measures;
• prevent potential problems with procedures and equipment; ;
• prevent quality- and health-related problems; ;
• determine the optimal dose of a biocidal agent to use for preventative or remedial reasons;
• optimize processes economically and ecologically.
aqua-tools I&E recommends the QG21I™ rapid microbiological analysis kit, which is specially designed for water containing dissolved material, for:
• Measuring the total biomass of cataphoresis baths, both pre- and post-treatment, and for all the components of a water-based system;
• Continuous monitoring of the microbiological quality of water throughout the facility (deionized water, sanding solutions, rinse water, cataphoresis solutions, recovered water, water to be recycled, etc.), generating a microbiological map if necessary;
• Optimizing cleaning and disinfection of pipes or baths to confirm the effectiveness of maintenance procedures or to fine-tune biocidal treatments to the actual biological load;
• QGA™ for analyzing clean water or water with very little suspended matter.
• Other surface treatment technologies: zinc plating, galvanization, hot-dip galvanization, etc.
• Automotive and machinery industries (agriculture, public works (bâtiments et travaux publics - BTP), fishing, etc.)
• Manufacturers of street furniture, accessories for boats and exterior applications, etc.
• Manufacturers of electrical goods, equipment for the food and farming industry, hoisting/towing, road signs, bicycles, motorcycles, etc.
• Subcontractors who specialize in surface treatments.