The Minerbio facility of the Argos Surface Technologies Group, specialised in polymer coatings, has recently handled an order for anti-corrosion surface treatment of springs for use in marine environments.
For use under extreme conditions such as those of marine environments, the springs have undergone a PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) treatment. This polymer coating is recognised for its exceptional resistance to corrosion, chemical agents and extreme temperatures (it can withstand temperatures from -200°C to +260°C).
PFTE is a fluoropolymer that offers low friction and excellent resistance to weathering, aggressive chemicals and saltwater. It is applied with a spraying technique after mechanical and/or chemical pretreatment and subsequently undergoes a heat treatment. This procedure heightens the properties of PTFE and makes it the ideal choice for protecting springs used in marine settings, where corrosion is a common problem.
The springs that undergo this treatment are created in spring steel, a type of high-resistance steel offering excellent yield strength. Spring steel is widely used in applications in which components are exposed to dynamic and cyclic stress, such as springs. Its high resistance to fatigue and deformation makes it an ideal material for applications requiring long-lasting components with reliable mechanical resistance.
To evaluate the efficacy of the treatment, half of a batch of springs were immersed in the sea for one month, while the other half was exposed to rigorous salt spray testing in the laboratory. The salt spray test is standardised and universally recognised for evaluation of the corrosion resistance of materials and coatings in aggressive environments. The test is performed inside a chamber filled with saline test spray (5%NaCl) at a temperature of 35°C, simulating marine conditions.
This approach enabled direct comparison of the effect of the coating on springs exposed to marine corrosion conditions simulated in the laboratory and in the real environment. In both cases, the treatment remained intact and was not even slightly deteriorated.
The purpose of the test was to assess the capacity of the coating to protect springs from the corrosion caused by exposure to humidity and salts present in the marine environment. The positive results obtained by Argos ST demonstrate the efficacy of PTFE in preserving the integrity and functionality of the springs even in highly corrosive conditions such as those at sea.
After the initial test, performed successfully on 300 components, today the Minerbio production facility handles over 10,000 springs every month.
This order is an important success for Argos ST, confirming its ability to provide high-quality surface coatings for maritime applications. The capacity to protect steel springs from deterioration caused by corrosion contributes to the safety and reliability of components used in sailing, offshore industry and other marine sectors. Argos ST continues to invest in research and development to offer advanced solutions that meet the specific requirements of customers and guarantee the durability and performance of components even in extreme environments.