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Student question about painted steel chemical processes



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Q. I am a student of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. Our class is doing a study on chemical and mechanical processes of metals. I have been given painted steel and was wondering what techniques are safe for chemical processes. What chemicals will change the color of the steel and what other ideas might you have?

Thank You!

Justin L. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Student - Fayetteville, Arkansas
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August 2018

A. Hi Justin. Unfortunately your posting is a bit too brief and confusing for me. The steel you were given is already painted, but you want to change the color? That sounds like you simply need to paint it a different color :-)

Or are you speaking about bare unpainted steel and you want to know what chemical & mechanical processes are possible that will change the color other than paint?

Or do you mean you've been assigned an investigation into painting steel in different colors? Yes, there are a number of ways to put a paint-like coating onto steel including spraying, brushing, or dipping into wet paint (whether water based or solvent based), electrocoating with a cathodic or anodic electrodeposition process, and spraying with or dipping into a fluidized bed of dry thermosetting or thermoplastic powder coating, and then heating the object to melt and fuse the coating.

I don't understand what you mean by "what techniques are safe?". Do you mean: processes which will not cause corrosion or pitting or hydrogen embrittlement to the steel, or do you mean processes which use non-poisonous chemicals.

We have over 50,000 threads here and are happy to try to answer any student questions, but if you don't understand the question, we probably can't help -- you need to ask your prof exactly what the question actually is. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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