April 11, 2017—SPOT Innovations LLC recently announced a new, patent-protected corrosion protection method for collision repair.
The new SPOT method is designed to be a low-cost method to locally apply zinc coating to any metal surface. The method uses a low-voltage control unit connected to a zinc plate, and a semi-solid SPOT patch applied to the surface to be protected. The SPOT method works with a small control unit box; a zinc ion rich SPOT patch is placed between the control unit and the target steel to be protected, and a low voltage drives a zinc deposition process to the steel plate which, ideally, provides a smooth surface layer of zinc.
Ordinarily, zinc coating can be damaged or removed during the vehicle repair process while sheet metal is re-contoured by methods such as hammering. Conventional methods of repair include application of filler and paint, but don’t restore the underlying metal zinc plating back to original quality. This can create a site of corrosion attack over time and often requires customers to return to auto body shops. The new SPOT method aims to restore the zinc plating back to original quality standards to prevent corrosion.
SPOT’s key is a proprietary method that allows a zinc-rich ionic solution to be bound into a gel by cross-linked polymers. The composition of the formed gel is designed with the goal of providing improved plating properties by releasing ions at an ideal rate for even distribution and uniform plating properties. The company says comparative studies have shown similar zinc plating to that of conventional bath type electroplating. The gel method, though, can enable the application of zinc to large parts without the need to dismantle, immerse, and mask components.