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The original manufacturer of liquid applied strippable coatings launches a range of environmentally friendly and safer maskants that offer excellent etch properties and a drying time of less than 10 minutes. 

Spraylat was founded in 1936 in the USA, as the original manufacturer of liquid applied strippable coatings. Spraylat initially developed its customer base within the military and aviation industries where the coatings were used to protect surfaces during manufacture or for longer term protection of valuable plant throughout storage.

Now Spraylat International Ltd is providing another first as the only company in the world to offer a range of water-based maskant for the chemical milling or etching market (using baths of etching chemicals to accurately shape metals.) The maskants are suitable for use in a number of etchants including; hydrofluoric/hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda. 

The development work and testing required to produce a full range of water-based maskants has taken us some time, in fact, far longer than expected, admits Spraylat Managing Director Andrew Keir. Five years ago we spotted an opportunity and gap in the market to develop an environmentally friendly product that is safe yet provides excellent etch properties.  Keir continues; at the time the liquid maskant market was dominated by solvent-based or two-pack (2K) products that were either dangerous to use, would damage the planet or pose a potential health risk to the operators - many of the two-packs are formulated with isocyanates.

We knew that we had to move away from the old technology and produce either a water-borne material or maybe an Ultra Violet (UV) product that cured instantly. Whilst the water-based material is safe, kind to the planet and provides excellent etch properties the slower drying time made our system unattractive to the chemical millers. That was until we linked up with Process Technology who had just secured a patent for their new microwave technology. 

Process Technology now produce a range of bespoke microwave dryers, suitable for metal parts that reduce drying time by 80% and use 80% less energy than gas fired or electrical ovens. The microwave dries the maskant in less than 10 minutes, and unlike ovens, which are constantly consuming energy, the microwave only uses power whilst the object is in the dryer.

Now chemical milling companies around the world can use Spraylat water-based maskants to dramatically enhance their environmental credentials, improve the safety of their plant and employees and reduce processing time.  

The only company in the world to offer a range of water-based maskants for the chemical milling or etching market