We know, based on our long history of working closely with our customers, that one of the biggest enemies to productivity is rust. That’s why we developed ToughShield 1000 (TS1000) plating, which keeps steel fittings free of red rust for up to 1,000 hours according to ASTM B117 neutral salt spray testing – providing more than 13 times the SAE requirement. The harsh conditions that are commonplace with outdoor or industrial equipment are perfect for the formation of corrosion. Red rust can pit, erode or otherwise weaken important components. If those components are fittings in a hydraulic system, rust can damage what’s essentially the muscle of the machine, leaving it vulnerable to breakdown.
Protective measures are key in preventing rust and TS1000 provides unmatched long-term protection. That means good-looking, top-performing, corrosion resistant Parker fittings for your equipment, or your customer’s equipment, to keep the work rolling.
How rust happens:
The recipe for rust is incredibly simple. In fact, the ingredients required to create rust are found in most environments: oxygen and moisture. In the right combination these ingredients result in iron oxide. In most cases, steel needs to be protected by a surface coating. In the case of hydraulic fittings, Zinc is the most common plating for corrosion protection. When bonded with metal, the element acts as a sacrificial layer to protect the metal. It can delay corrosion, but it can’t prevent it.
But this information isn't news to you. Anyone who has worked with industrial or heavy mobile equipment that spends much of its time outdoors has seen rust form. What's less apparent is how dynamic rust can be. It doesn't stay in one place.
How rust spreads:
When in a wet environment zinc starts to sacrifice itself to protect the steel substrate, generating a white oxidation byproduct, commonly called white corrosion. As this sacrificial process continues, the protective zinc layer is consumed and the base metal is exposed. That’s when the red rust will soon start to appear.
The ASTM B117 neutral salt spray test results of the competitor fittings pictured above show how quickly corrosion can spread to surrounding components. Note: Fittings shown above were tested and photographed by Miami Valley Materials Testing Center, an accredited independent test center.
Once the zinc at one area is consumed, zinc at neighboring areas will start to be consumed. But that's not all. The white corrosion byproduct from zinc oxidation creates volume, damaging the integrity of surrounding surface protection, leaving neighboring areas more vulnerable. So, even when components are zinc-plated, corrosion can spread by migrating from component to component. This can often lead to the need for earlier and more frequent repairs to adjacent fittings and mating components, like a cylinder boss or vulnerable portions of hydraulic hose. It also makes repairs more difficult as components with corrosion are more difficult to disassemble and replace.
The true cost of rust:
When corrosion infects a system, things can get ugly. Literally. We know that when rust is visually present in equipment it can lead to a lack of confidence in an operation, and a hit to reputation.
Corrosion isn’t just unsightly though. It's also costly. But the true cost doesn't just come from the expense of replacing fittings or components -- it also comes from downtime, when valuable machines and the personnel who operate them aren't working. That downtime can lead to loss of revenue, reputation, customers and even future business.
All platings aren't equal:
Based on our experience, we understand that the best plating is bonded with additional protection to make fittings more impervious to oxygen and moisture. For years Parker has had a team dedicated to screening and testing various materials and processes that allow us to augment standard zinc plating. That team includes a metallurgist dedicated to fundamentally understanding the cause of corrosion and how it progresses. Parker also invests in metallurgical and surface analysis capabilities, including a state-of-the-art metallurgical lab. The result is plating that lasts longer, looks better, and minimizes downtime and expense.
Parker's new TS1000 standard plating preserves torque values, coefficients of friction, pressure ratings, color and other specifications important to our customers. But what matters most is how long fittings stand up to harsh conditions. Parker's differentiator is our robust plating chemicals and processes that truly outperform other fitting manufacturers.
Superior plating for crucial moments:
The jobs our customer's equipment tackle are filled with crucial moments. We know the work our fittings support relies on perfect timing, constant movement and stressful decisions. We know that a fitting that fails due to rust, or causes corrosion to spread in a system, can put an operation on the ropes. Ensuring that our customers’ fittings are working how they need to, in their most crucial moments, is important to us. That’s why we are dedicated to the continuous improvement of our plating.
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Article contributed by Dawn Zhu, PhD, Technology Development Leader at Parker Tube Fittings Division
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