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New Precoated Stainless Steels Boost Productivity

New Precoated Stainless Steels Boost Productivity

Sandvik has developed two new precoated metal strip steels that are intended to boost productivity and reduce environmental constraints associated with plating and coating.

"Our diverse stainless steels can be coated with several layers of metals like nickel, tin, silver or similar, which increases product performance through high surface conductivity, corrosion protection and wear resistance," says Jeremy Gaspard, marketing specialist - Americas for Sandvik, referring to a new grade for electronic applications called Santronic.

By combining an advanced vacuum process with nanotechnology, Sandvik says it can produce strip steel with consistent coating layers as thin as 20 nanometers.

Another product line, called Sandvik Decorex, features a range of colored stainless steels that were developed for decorative parts for appliances, consumer electronics, packaging and automotive.

Sandvik says that Decorex strip can be cold formed and bent to close radii without affecting the color quality due to excellent adhesion between the base material and the coating.

The precoated strips are more expensive than noncoated stainless steels, but Sandvik would not provide any examples of pricing.

"Generally, our clients have a total savings of 15 to 30 percent over traditional processes," says Gaspard. "This is based on their current supply chain and manufacturing process."

Decorex is generally supplied on 304 stainless steel substrate for formability purposes. First the customer selects a thickness, texture and width. Then Sandvik produces the customer color choice using its technology coating process, which is similar to but more advanced then commonly used PVD (physical vapor deposition) processes.

Santronic is generally supplied on 301 SS substrate for tensile strength and fatigue resistance purposes. The buying process also starts with a customer selecting a thickness and width. Then Sandvik produces the coatings on one or two sides of the base material using its technology coating process.

Prices depend on the color, the texture, the thickness, the width and the quantity.

The energy consumed to produce one square meter of Santronic or Decorex is 1.264 kWh, says Sandvik. Other processes consume far more energy, according to Sandvik.

Precoated stainless steels reduce processing steps and require less energy.
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