Like mister Yeti and Nessie here, SilcoTek® coatings have their own cloud of myths hanging over their heads. No offense to the believers out there, you go right on searching for those mythical creatures, but as for our coatings, we're going to bust some of those myths wide open.*
In part 2 our our infamous coating myth blog post we highlight old myths and talk about a few new ones that have popped up recently.
Come on! Are There Really Coating Myths?
Yep, you got that right Mr. Unicorn, we hear a lot of myths that started with “yeah, but I thought I couldn’t use your coating because ______”. So don't be a chicken and read on about more top coating myths and maybe get some great CVD coating information.**
Myth 1. Sulfinert® is only for sulfur.
Back when SilcoTek® was a division of Restek®; our team developed our ultra inert coating, Sulfinert® (now known as SilcoNert® 2000). The coating was originally developed and proved to be effective in preventing sulfur adsorption, hence the name Sulfinert. But customers started to use the coating when testing other active and reactive compounds and found the coating proved to be incredibly inert for a wide range of difficult to test compounds. Today our coatings are written into standards and used in applications that have nothing to do with sulfur or sulfur compound testing. Now that's something to cluck about!
Methods and applications include:
- Environmental analysis
- Ammonia testing
- Exhaust emission
- VOC sampling
- Mercury testing
- Process control monitoring
- Air monitoring
- And many more applications
Myth 2. The coating can't take the heat. It will melt if exposed to a flame
Well see for yourself! Watch the video and see how our coatings resist oxidation and heat. Many coatings will burn, but our coatings remain stable. No oxidation, no flaking, no problems!
Myth 3. The coating flakes.
Speaking of flaking, Silcotek® coatings are not painted or baked on so they don't rely on adhesion to stay on the surface. Our coatings are applied by a chemical vapor deposition process (CVD) that diffuses the coating into metal, glass or ceramic surfaces. Our patented CVD process makes our coatings incredibly durable and securely bonded to the part surface. Take Dursan for example, the sputter depth profile graph (below) shows how our coatings diffuse into the surface. In fact there's about a 500 angstrom area where the silicon coating is mixed with the steel surface.
The benefit? In order for the coating to fail the silicon coating would have to shear. It's pretty tough to break an amorphous coating bond. Also because our coatings are micro thin and don't have a regular crystalline structure, they can flex with the surface. So the coating will stay put under extreme stress like in compression seal areas, threads, high pressure cylinders, or when a coated tube is bent. In fact our coatings stay on even when the part is bent, heated, frozen, or smashed.
Myth 4. The coatings can't be used in caustic environments.
Well that one's on us. When our company was a young pup, none of our coatings stood up to caustic exposure. But our new inert, corrosion resistant Dursan® coating stands up to both acid and base exposure. Sure, given a strong enough base or acid, the coating may be compromised, but overall, Dursan does quite nicely when exposed to bases. Get our latest corrosion solutions presentation to get great tips on solving corrosion problems.
Myth 5. No way you can coat that filter.
Ah yeah we can! We coat metal filters all the time. Even 1 micron filters! Check out our blog post on filtration and get the straight scoop on the benefits of coating filters. Our micro thin coatings improve corrosion resistance and help to prevent fouling!
Coking and fouling studies show SilcoTek® coatings and coatings combined with a surfactant reduce fouling by 50% or more. Reducing the particulate binding effect and making the filter easier to clean. The fuel study below shows the coating reduces fouling by half, and by orders of magnitude when fuel additives are used.
ASTM G31 immersion testing (below) compared a Dursan coated surface with silicon and uncoated stainless steel. The Dursan coated surface improved corrosion resistance by an order of magnitude, improving metal filter durability. Get the latest on corrosion prevention, get our corrosion presentation.
Myth 6. SilcoTek® coatings are only for the laboratory.
Sure, we started in the laboratory but we've expanded our reach to lots of diverse applications. Today you can find us in semiconductor manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, chemical process, oil, gas, and refining applications, we're even in space!. Our coatings are tougher than stainless steel and reduce surface friction. The comparison below shows that Dursan coated stainless steel (called carboxysilane coated steel) has about half the wear rate compared to oxidized stainless surfaces. Friction is reduced by about a third.
Myth 7. You can coat that???
Customers think SilcoTek can't coat really small or really big parts. OK, we can't coat a tank truck, but we can coat some pretty large parts, from 6ft long tube filters, to 8 inch valves, we can coat a significant and diverse range of parts. As for the small stuff, we're able to coat parts ranging from a few millimeters to porous sub micron filters. We're also able to coat the inside of small bore tubing and even the interior of needles. So don't assume we can't coat a part, contact our technical service team to discuss your application.
Well I'm bowled over by these debunked myths! Now a quiz. Yea!
Test your SilcoTek® knowledge. Take our quiz:
True or False:
- Our first coating was developed to make tubing inert.
- Our coatings are found nationally, internationally, and now on Saturn.(well sort of)
- You can read laser etch printing through our coating.
- Our coatings won't stick to super smooth surfaces.
- Our coatings were part of the swag bag at the 2018 Oscars.
- SilcoTek coatings are used in wine and beer quality control.
Have more questions? Go to our CVD Coating Frequently Asked Questions page.
- True! We needed a more inert surface
- True! Our coatings are found on the Cassini-Huygens mission now crashed into Saturn. Ouch!
- True! Etched printing found on liners or other products can be clearly read, even barcode!
- False! Our coatings are bonded to the surface and even diffuse into smooth electropolish surfaces. You should have known that!
- False! We were not part of the Oscars. Not even the swag bag. But our coatings sure would make Oscar look cool!
- True! Thank goodness!
*Image credit: BBC.com
**Image credit: fortune.com