Launched in February 2017, Jetskin® from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products, provides the most homogeneous steel coating available today. As well as providing long-term corrosion protection, Jetskin® reduces equipment maintenance and provides key environmental benefits. No wonder ArcelorMittal’s customers are using it to replace electro-galvanised material as quickly as they can.
For Daniel Zampese, commercial director of Vergalle, a Belgium-based independent steel service centre, the potential for Jetskin® was apparent from the beginning: “We were at the launch in February and immediately realised Jetskin® was a revolutionary way to coat steel for industrial applications. We were very impressed and placed an order on the first day.”
Daniel Stolte, managing director for the independent steel service centre HFS-Hagen was also at the launch of the JVD line in Liege: “We were very impressed by the speed of the line and the vacuum coating technology – I didn’t even know this was possible. We decided then and there that it was an awesome product.”
Vergalle’s order made them the first customer for Jetskin®, continuing a long partnership with ArcelorMittal that has stretched back to the 1970s. When the first Jetskin® coils arrived, Vergalle immediately started trials with its customers.
“At first they were a little cautious – as with any new product. But as soon as they saw Jetskin® for themselves, they became very positive,” says Daniel Zampese. “Already 85-percent of our customers have switched from electro-galvanised steel to Jetskin®. It’s a simple switch as the two products can be processed in exactly the same way.”
The key benefits of Jetskin® derive from the homogenous nature of the coating. “Unlike electro-galvanised steel, the surface of Jetskin® has a fine crystal microstructure,” notes Daniel Monseur, technical manager for Jetskin® at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products. “This comes from the unique Jet Vapor Deposition (JVD) technology which deposits the Jetskin® paint layer onto the bare steel in a vacuum. The result is an excellent flat surface aspect and aesthetic.”
The JVD technology ensures the Jetskin® coating adheres very well to the steel as Joseph Morreale, Jetskin® sales manager for ArcelorMittal, explains: “We only need a very fine layer of Jetskin® to achieve better corrosion resistance than thicker electro-galvanised coatings. There is also less powdering in drawing and other operations which keeps tools cleaner. Manufacturing costs are lowered as the time needed for equipment maintenance and cleaning is reduced. In drawing operations, the use of oil is totally eliminated.”
Thanks to its perfectly flat surface and uniform appearance, Jetskin® can be transformed into end-products without additional painting. “I’ve been very impressed with the Jetskin® surface – it looks just like electro-galvanised steel,” says Daniel Stolte (HFS).
For applications which require a different colour or thicker coating, Jetskin® is the ideal paint substrate as Daniel Zampese (Vergalle) explains: “Electro-galvanised material requires a lot of paint to achieve a perfectly flat surface. With Jetskin®, corrosion resistance is already higher and the surface is flatter. That means the thickness of the paint layer can be reduced significantly which leads to big savings.”
Spot welding is another area where Jetskin® outperforms other zinc-based coatings as Daniel Monseur (ArcelorMittal) explains: “Due to its regularity and fine microstructure, Jetskin® behaves better than conventional electro-galvanised steel when it comes to resistance spot welding. The nature of the metallic coating also extends the lifespan of electrodes by around 25-percent compared to electro-galvanised material.”
Jetskin® demonstrates significant environmental benefits including the efficient use of zinc, reduced fossil fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions, and reduced impact on rain acidification. “The fact that Jetskin® is a green product is an important consideration for almost all of our European customers,” says Daniel Zampese (Vergalle).
Although Jetskin® was only launched in February 2017, demand is quickly growing notes Joseph Morreale: “We are ramping-up production to meet the large-scale orders we are starting to see from customers. That process should be completed by the end of 2017. Approvals have already been completed with some customers, and we have many ongoing trials. By the time they are finalised we will be at the point where we can meet market demand for this revolutionary coating.”
Another area which is being addressed is tool validation. “We’re comparing Jetskin® with products such as Optigal® for pre-paint applications. This is also on schedule for completion by the end of this year,” says Daniel Monseur (ArcelorMittal).
For its part, Vergalle has almost finished customer trials of Jetskin® says Daniel Zampese: “We’re aiming to move all of our customers who use electro-galvanised steel to Jetskin® in the short-term. Most have already made the switch without any major issues.”
HFS-Hagen have also done some trials of Jetskin with industrial clients who usually use the electro-galvanised grade DC01 notes Daniel Stolte: “They have already completed bending and drawing tests and we have had very positive feedback.”
ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products has established commercial and technical teams to help them transition to Jetskin®. Vergalle has made full use of this service notes Daniel Zampese: “The ArcelorMittal team are very important. We get fast feedback, they solve issues quickly, and together we are helping customers develop new applications for Jetskin®. That partnership is crucial.”
Jetskin® trademark is registered in the EU.
Carrousel right Column: © Philippe Vandenameele and gnohz, ernstc, Gepardu, brizmaker, PhotoHouse, P.S_2, ETAJOE / shutterstock.com.
Large drum caps are courtesy of Siepe GmbH.