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Zirconium Pretreatments: Not Just for Early Adopters Anymore


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Zirconium oxide conversion coatings have proven to be excellent replacements for iron phosphate pretreatments in recent years. The substantial performance, operational, and environmental benefits have been well documented.

Many chemical suppliers, including DuBois Chemicals, have dedicated significant resources to developing modern Zirconization™ options that address the early weaknesses exhibited by this underutilized technology.

Despite the many advantages—such as reduced energy consumption, phosphate-free processes, low sludge, and high salt-spray performance—the majority of finishing operations continue to use iron phosphate. Is this because the “technology is too new?” Maybe you have heard about an installation that didn’t go smoothly? Quite possibly, you may perceive iron phosphate as more forgiving and easier to use?

This article addresses some frequently asked questions regarding zirconium pretreatments and shares some benefits of the most recent generation of the technology.

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