PPG Industries’ industrial coatings business has introduced ULTRAR metal conditioner 257, a near-neutral descaler solution that removes weld scale, light oxide and other impurities from steel surfaces. It preconditions galvanized steel, white metal, aluminum and other non-ferrous metals prior to pretreatment with zinc-phosphate and other thin-film pretreatments. The company claims this product is significant because it enables descaling and surface activation of welds while pre-conditioning metal surfaces of parts comprised of mixed-metal substrates through a single descaling system. Multi-metal components are increasingly in demand among automakers because their lighter weight promotes greater fuel efficiency and improved corrosion resistance. With conventional metal-conditioning technologies, there is no simple way to clean and precondition welded parts prior to pretreatment. This product eliminates the problem by facilitating uniform application of zinc phosphate, which creates a corrosion-resistant barrier on mixed-metal frames, engine cradles, control arms, linkages and other underbody parts exposed to moisture, road salt, gravel and other hazards. Randy Brent, PPG director, pretreatment and engineered products, said there are a number of operational and environmental benefits associated with this metal conditioner’s near-neutral pH composition. “In addition to enabling a single descaling operation,” he stated, “ULTRAX metal conditioner 257 emits no fumes, slows iron-build in the descale tank for longer bath life, and produces less sludge than standard acid-pickle descaling systems. The result is less waste, lower disposal costs and a safer operating environment.” Performance benefits include a dense, uniform phosphate coating on metal parts as well as improved phosphate coverage on and around welded seams and other zones affected by heat during welding and manufacturing, even after significant bath aging. www.ppgindustrialcoatings.com