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Thread: Tracking source of cyanide contamination

  1. #1
    Project Engineer CCR5600Design's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Tracking source of cyanide contamination

    Our facility uses a production powder coating system that consists of a 3-stage wash process prior to applying and curing the powder on the substrate. Recently, during a routine check of the storage tanks for each stage of the wash, traces of cyanide beyond acceptable levels were detected. I am trying to back-track our processes to determine the origin of the cyanide contamination.

    I have reviewed the MSDS sheets of all the chemicals and products we use for cleaning/treating the metal surfaces prior to paint and have not found anything that contains cyanide. So... I am now looking for other possible sources of cyanide finding its way into the wash tanks.

    Here's a brief overview of the substrates we paint:

    ASTM A1008 Cold rolled sheet.
    ASTM A1011 CS Hot rolled pickled & oiled sheet
    ASTM A36 angle and bar
    5052 sheet
    3003 sheet

    Do any of these substrates pose the risk of cyanide contamination?

  2. #2
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCR5600Design View Post
    ASTM A1008 Cold rolled sheet.
    ASTM A1011 CS Hot rolled pickled & oiled sheet
    ASTM A36 angle and bar
    5052 sheet
    3003 sheet

    Do any of these substrates pose the risk of cyanide contamination?
    Maybe..

    I wonder if any of these materials may have been processed with cyanide compounds prior to coming to your organization. For example there is a steel case hardening process "cyaniding" and perhaps the steel (A36) was not properly cleaned prior to your organization cleaning it.

    Other processes that could be a challenge is "Brine Quenching" as well as cyanide based zincates used in the manufacturing of aluminum.

    I think that phosphate conversion coatings (also called parkerizing) may use cyanide in the process.
    Last edited by Kelly Bramble; 09-06-2014 at 08:08 AM.

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