Primed for a chrome-free future

Discover why chromate-free technology for primers is poised to be the next big thing in the construction industry 

As a global leader in sustainability, we’re committed to creating a better, safer and more liveable world. That’s why we have put sustainability at the heart of everything we do.

This commitment to making our products and operations more sustainable is designed to ensure that our customers, employees – and the planet – will benefit.

Take the construction industry, for example. As a leader in the pre-painted metal industry, we have a long history of introducing innovative, sustainable solutions, including lead-free coatings.

The next big step in the evolving global construction industry will be a shift to primers that are chrome-free. That’s why we’ve taken the lead and are now offering a new, more sustainable product to our customers which is free of chrome-6 (Cr-6). We also want to lead the market transition towards a Cr-6-free future.

We’ve actually been supplying Cr-6-free topcoats and backers to our coil coating customers for many years. The next logical step was to develop similar technology for primers.

This provided an opportunity for our Metal Coatings business to further develop its partnership with the University of Manchester in the UK. Together, teams of scientists have tested alternative corrosion inhibitors to gain an understanding of how to formulate effective primers without the use of Cr-6.

The work they carried out was pivotal, because choosing Cr-6-free is an important step in making the construction industry – and our world – safer and more sustainable.

During the course of our evaluation, we performed tests on trial products which demonstrated that our Cr-6-free primers perform on a par with primers that contain chrome – confirming test data we have amassed over 15 years.

In addition, intense testing took place at our state-of-the-art, LEED-certified technology center in Strongsville, Ohio, in the US, and in the highly corrosive, coastal environment of Daytona Beach, Florida.

The new products we have developed are designed to meet the performance needs of the building products market – including roofing, siding and steel doors – and are formulated to perform on Galvalume and HDG with standard pre-treatments. They are also fully compatible with all our current backers and top coats, and can be used as a drop-in replacement for our current chromated primers.

In fact, we’re already using the new product on our own facilities, including the recently opened Performance Coatings production site in Chonburi, Thailand.

Choosing Cr-6 free product is an important step in making our industry, and our world, safer and more sustainable. By offering Cr-6-free primers to our customers, we enable them to be at the forefront of sustainable innovation and gain the advantage through early adoption.