For years, aluminum has been the construction material of choice for a wide diversity of products such as outdoor lighting, electronic components, machined tools, even dental equipment and motorcycle parts. For these products to survive, they must be protected against the elements. Atmospheric corrosion from acid rain, marine environments, high alkaline soils, high heat, and humidity can cause these items to fail. That is why all aluminum products processed by Star Finishes are protected against corrosion with StarGuard®, our exclusive process. StarGuard® seals components, both inside and out, before they are finished with a polyester TGIC powder coat. Proper cleaning and preparation of the aluminum surface is, in fact, more important to the durability of the product than the powder coat itself.
WHAT IS STARGUARD®
StarGuard® cleans and conversion coats the aluminum part prior to powder coating. Our exclusive 15-stage process includes cleaning, curing, and physical inspection, resulting in the most effective corrosion inhibitance possible. Conversion coating actually changes the surface of the metal to increase corrosion resistance and “grip” the powder coat. However, unlike toxic chromate-based processes, whose hazardous substances pollute the environment, StarGuard® is completely safe and environmentally responsible.
SEAL AND PROTECT
To achieve superior corrosion inhibitance, StarGuard® completely seals and protects the interior and exterior surfaces. Unlike chrome- based processes that dry and crack at temperatures as low as 160°F, StarGuard® maintains its integrity, keeping the conversion coating hydrated at tempuratures of 500°F+, well in excess of the 400°F typically used to cure powder coating.
StarGuard® does more than just clean and protect aluminum. It chemically
resurfaces the components, creating an ideal platform for adhesion between the
metal and the powder coat crystals. Working like microscopic Velcro®,
StarGuard® creates “fingers” on the surface of the metal. The electrostatically
applied powder melts and then flows into and around these “fingers”, cross-links,
and permanently bonds onto the StarGuard®-treated substrate for a beautiful
"Class A" finish.
Because the powder bonds to the surface of the fixture as well as across it, any potential corrosion is isolated and arrested. With inferior systems, corrosion from a scratch or pit can rapidly spread underneath the coating and cause large sheets of finish to peel off, dramatically reducing the life of the product.
StarGuard® conversion coated samples show 0% degradation after 1000 hours of UL Accelerated Salt Spray Testing - without any powder coat application! Additionally, all products undergo a rigorous 200% inspection cycle to identify and reject any visual imperfections. These testing and inspection standards ensure that products will stand the test of time, ensuring years of reliable service in today's harsh outdoor conditions.
GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Our system is chrome-free, making it the logical choice. Hexavalent chromium, the toxic compound used in typical conversion coat systems, presents grave problems with handling and hazardous waste disposal (à la Erin Brockovich). In contrast, the StarGuard® system is close-looped and filtered, eliminating all emissions. And StarGuard's® residual byproducts are rendered completely inert. They are simply dried and disposed of through normal trash pickup.
All powder coat finishes produced by Star Finishes come with a two year warranty that covers the finish against color fade, rub- or peel-off, corrosion creep, and wear.
Note: STARGUARD® is patent pending.