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ArmorGalv® Thermal Diffusion Galvanizing by Kortick Manufacturing
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Thermal Diffusion Galvanizing

Kortick Manufacturing Company ArmorGalv Findings


ArmorGalv® Thermal diffusion galvanizing is a method of applying a uniform, sacrificial, zinc-iron or zinc aluminum alloy coating using a metallurgical vapor diffusion process. ArmorGalv® brings multiple benefits to the utility industry: Improved corrosion resistance, coating consistency, penetration of previously uncoated areas, anti-galling properties, and environmental efficiencies.

Kortick Manufacturing is a Pole Line Hardware Manufacturer in Hayward, California serving the utility industry. The current plant equipment and materials for this project are manufactured by the Distek Group, trademarked “ArmorGalv®. Distek began working on this technology in 1993, building upon the early foundation of thermal diffusion dating back to the early 1900’s.1 TDG adheres to ASTM 10592 and surpasses the performance requirements of ASTM 123 and 153.

Improved Corrosion Resistance

At 25 microns of coating, versus 55 microns of Hot Dip Galvanizing, ArmorGalv® outperforms HDG on flat, shaped, and threaded product.

Distek TDG Galvanizing

Courtesy of Distek. Testing conducted in an A2lA certified lab.

Further lab test results reflecting ArmorGalv® performance comparative to HDG are available in the appendix. The data include Salt Fog tests from accredited labs,3 UL Certification,4 and a Power Tech labs Inertia Engineering switch test.5 Additional results from a wide variety of automotive, farming equipment, mining, and oceanic industries are also available via request from Kortick Manufacturing and Distek.

Results from a 5,000 hour salt spray test in 20106 and a recent 1000 hour PowerTech Labs test present findings that ArmorGalv® is exceeding HDG, 304 stainless, and equaling 316 stainless corrosion performance. More data is needed in regards to stainless equivalence with Kortick testing planned for fall of 2013.

Chem plate TDG

5000 Hr salt spray TDG fasteners

Example of TDG in the field

                                   1000 hr salt spray on TDG switch component with 304ss collar.          Legacy HDG switch component, 1000 hr salt spray

Real world tests have also proven ArmorGalv® corrosion resistance superiority to HDG. These live deployments have proven ArmorGalv®’s flexibility.

Thermal diffusion Galvanizing

Recently released Navy report7

The real world data includes U.S. Navy testing (see above), comparative three year test in the high salinity of the Dead Sea marine environment8 and a Florida Department of Transportation rebar test.9 ArmorGalv® applications are currently active in: farming equipment, automotive applications (Daimler Benz, VW/Audi), Kansai Airport Roof pivot pins, Honk Kong New underwater tunnel, mining roof supports, North Sea Oil rigs, and German railway systems.

Of course corrosion performance in the real world is highly dependent upon the ability of the galvanizing to stay bonded to the base material. The thermal process creates a new iron-zinc alloy that is a metallurgical conversion - the Thermally Diffused layer is an integral part of the surface, not a coating.

TDG galvanizing

The bond makes the galvanizing chip proof, multi layered, and high strength, this allows for corrosion resistance even if the surface layer is compromised through tough field use. In contrast, the HDG surface layer and alloy layers are softer than ArmorGalv®10, leaving them susceptible to abrasion and chipping, which over time will degrade the corrosion resistance of HDG. The ArmorGalv® onion layering stands in stark contrast to other coatings, which are subject to flaking, chipping, and corrosion bleed. Thermal galvanizing bakes the proprietary zinc solution into the base material at a temperature between 650-814 degrees Fahrenheit. (Dependent on base material) The process ensures a chemical bond for corrosion resistance while the ArmorGalv® alloy layer has microscopic porosity which allows any hydrogen to escape, preventing hydrogen embrittlement. This is in stark contrast to HDG, which traps hydrogen inside allowing for the possibility of creep and eventual stress cracking. The Audi automotive spec, available upon request, supports these findings. The new Bay Bridge is a good local example of hydrogen embrittlement issues in Northern California. Furthermore, The ArmorGalv® coating structure is malleable which makes it amenable to bending, crimping, and forming, creating excellent field uses and real world corrosion performance. Painting over ArmorGalv® is also allowable.

Coating Consistency and penetration of previously uncoated areas.

Thermal diffusion galvanizing details

Attached is a picture of a captive washer and rivnut coated by Chem-Plate Industries in Chicago Illinois. Chem-plate was the first U.S. TDG manufacturer and has done 7 years of quality research on ArmorGalv®. The coating thickness is consistent at 25 microns throughout the threaded fastener, which maintains the original internal thread structure.

Since ArmorGalv® applies at an even 25 microns throughout the product, threading tolerances are tightened, thread “gunking” is eliminated, and clean-up is no longer needed. Every portion of a threaded fastener is crucial and must be coated. The current specification practice of deeming certain portions of a fastener “significant” and others insignificant, one example being ASTM F1941, is a concept the utility industry should leave behind. In the utility world, every aspect of a bolts’ corrosion resistance is significant:

corroded nut

Corroded tower bolt at threaded point.

Since ArmorGalv® goes directly from a solid to a vapor, the coating is also effective at coating inside pipe and other hard to reach areas that either remain uncoated or inconsistently coated with current processes, many of these areas are corrosive break down points. Examples specific to the utility industry include Alley Arm braces, tubular cross arms, and eye nut ridges.

Anti-Galling and Low Friction

ArmorGalv® also has strong anti-galling properties, replaces cadmium (along with the environmental health safety issues), and performs well in metal to metal applications. The zinc/iron alloy has a self-lubricity that can be enhanced by soaking dry lubricant into the surface. The Osaka Airport uses ArmorGalv® coating on roof hinge joints, an application where galling could lead to a catastrophic roof failure. A major construction and farming equipment manufacturer uses ArmorGalv® as a bearing surface on steel hinges and sliding parts,11 and Audi uses ArmorGalv® components in engine compartments12 in part due to its high heat resistance, with a working temp up to 1200 Fahrenheit.

Environmental Efficiencies and Local Grid Support

ArmorGalv® dramatically reduces waste streams, approaching near zero discharge numbers, while eliminating the use of Cadmium and other toxic coatings. The process is RoHS compliant,13  totally nontoxic, and heavy metal free. In 2006 the EPA presented Distek and the ArmorGalv® technology with the 2006 MVP2 award “Most Valuable Pollution Prevention award”.

Environmental friendly Galvanizing

Below is a chart showing the dramatic reduction in waste stream for a ArmorGalv® plant in comparison to a zinc electroplating plant.

Waste water graph

The primary ArmorGalv® plant for utility coatings is located at Kortick Manufacturing in Hayward California, a Certified Bay Area Green Manufacturing Business.14

Thermal Diffusion Galvanizing 

It is Kortick Manufacturing’s findings that ArmorGalv® is a cost effective solution to improving length of service for grid components encompassing any grade of steel, aluminum, forgings, and castings. The improved length of service and performance will reduce total cost of ownership for the utility.

For Further Information

Gavin Frase-Kortick Manufacturing- gfrase@Kortick.com

End Notes

1 Some of the original Properties of ArmorGalv® are based in Sherardizing. A process invented by British metallurgist Sheard Cowper Coles in 1901

2 ASTM 1059

3 Lab Certification

4 UL certification Documentation

5 Powertech Labs HDG switch and TDG switch with 304 SS collar after 1000 hr B117 Salt Spray

6 5000 hr salt spray

7 Navy Test Results


9 FDOT Letter

10 HDG and TDG microscopic hardness summary. Full report available upon request.

11 Large farming equipment manufacturer  TDG parts

12 Audi TDG spec available upon request

13 http://www.rohscompliancedefinition.com/rohs-compliance-faq.html

14 Kortick Green Certification renewed in 2013 for another 3 years


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