The Institute of Materials Finishing -  the international institute for industrial and academic professionals in surface finishing and coating

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IMFormation June 2006


The Environment Agency (EA) is calling on businesses and organisations to lead by example and show their customers how environmentally aware they are by entering the Water Efficiency Awards. Businesses use 14,000 million litres of water per day and it is believed that most can save 30% or more of their water costs by implementing simple measure.

The Surface Finishing industry could benefit even more since not only is water now an expensive commodity it is further costly to put it down the drain, even if you do not contaminate it.

Now in their fifth year, the awards are open to organisations in the public, private and voluntary sections that have made the most outstanding contribution to saving water and money. Environment Agency Director of Water Management, Dr David King said the awards aimed to increase awareness about saving water, share good practice and demonstrate water efficiency initiatives as cost effective. David King said "Water efficient features in building such as dual flush toilets, smart technology in manufacturing and staff training in water efficiency can improve water management and reduce costs. Our Water Efficiency Awards provide organisations with the opportunity to show-case the excellent work that is being done across the country in saving our water resources.

The EA awards run every two years and nominations are now open for 2007. There are seven categories and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London. For companies in the Surface Finishing and related industries the section most appropriate would be the Envirowise Industry and Business - in which companies which have improved water efficiency in manufacturing or day to day water use at their premises, either through the installation of new equipment or through encouraging staff to save water are nominated.

What the judges are looking for:
  • New & creative approaches to reducing water use or increasing water efficiency.
  • Measurable savings both water and financial (no minimum amount).
  • Wider environmental impacts, such as reduced waste and energy use.
  • Continuing commitment to water efficiency.
  • Practical and transferable measures that can be adopted elsewhere.
Rules of entry
  • Projects must have been completed or been operational between September 2004 and March 2006.
  • Entrants must use an official Awards entry form (Telephone EA on 01903 832 073).
  • The closing date for entries is 31 August 2006.
  • Judges reserve the right not to accept an entry if the rules have not been complied with.
  • Judges reserve the right to move an entry from one category to another if they feel it is appropriate.
For many years our industry has been considered to be a wasteful user and polluter of water – here is the opportunity to show this is not so.

If you would like advice in identifying areas of savings of both water and waste, why not contact the Institute who have members well versed in these areas and willing to help

Health, Safety and Environment

Reprieve for PFOS
The doom & gloom on the futuristic banning of PFOS may have been lifted. Following a fresh look at the risks that is imposed by this material, the EU has concluded that under the present directive the small specific uses in chromium plating coupled with the small volume and emissions into the environment would be very small.
They are proposing that a derogation will be granted to permit the use of PFOS in mist suppressants used in chromium plating.

Toxic fears hits Highbury Auction
Arsenal have had to abandon plans to sell off 38,500 seats from Highbury to fans as souvenirs before the move to the Emirates Stadium, because small traces of cadmium toxic metal have been found in them.
A statement from the club explains that whilst the seats are completely safe and are not a risk to health when located within the stadium, it is understood that if the seats are stored inside and used regularly over a long period of time, there is a slight risk that very small amounts of cadmium could be released.
The club has also received a directive from the EU that it cannot sell any Highbury seats for individual domestic use.

In Court today
The 1st quarter of 2006 has seen a significant number of Prosecutions for Waste & Water offences some of which are featured below.

Unloading a container of Hydrochloric Acid at the wrong place cost a company a fine of £5,000 with £2,017 cost. A valve on the container was damaged such that the acid leaked and was then washed into a rainwater drain that led to a river causing 750 fish to be killed. The company had procedures that if obeyed would have prevented the discharge to river.

A chemical blending company has been fined £10,000 with £4,354 costs for polluting a tributary of the River Irwell and killing thousands of fish. The company blends chemicals to make products for the building trade including preservatives and damp proofing agents and stores insecticides and pesticides. A sample of rive water showed presence of permethrin, an insecticide, and propiconazole, a fungicide, both of which are toxic to fish and aquatic life.

The Environment Agency were informed that an investigation of soil supplied to a waste carrier as part of a development process, by a construction company, was contaminated with metals and chemicals. The Agency served the construction company with a Notice requiring them to provide documentation showing that the contaminated soil removed from the site had been correctly described to the waste carrier and that it had been disposed of in the correct way.
No such information was received by the Agency and in fact the soil had been described as inert sub soil and had been dumped at an inert landfill. The construction company was fined the sum of £10,000 with £1074 costs.

A building firm hired a company not licensed to carry waste, to dispose of roof material that contained asbestos. Under caution, the owner admitted he knew it contained asbestos because a previous company had refused to remove the material since it contained asbestos. The court showed the seriousness of this offence with a fine of £9,000 and £1,800 costs. Speaking after the hearing an Environment Officer said "This case should send a clear message to all producers of waste to make sure they know how to safely manage their wastes and check that the companies they deal with are registered".

A scrap car dealer was fined £8,000 with £1,985 costs under the End of Life Vehicle Legislation, which states that scrapyards storing vehicles with potentially polluting substances such as oils, batteries and antifreeze needed a waste management licence. The owner was charged with not having this licence and further that he had kept vehicles in a manner likely to cause pollution. The Agency had informed the owner on three occasions – by two letters and in person, but he had failed to respond. On visiting the site office there were 20 vehicles with polluting substances present stored in a wooden floored building next to the Leeds Canal. The floor of the building was not sealed to prevent fluids escaping, and there was no interceptor drain to catch pollution.

A nursery near Glasgow was prosecuted for failure to dispose of waste correctly and for illegally burning other wastes. The case was heard after the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) submitted a report to the Procurator Fiscal.
When SEPA officers visited the site in response to a public complaint they found waste items being burnt and waste being stored without the necessary waste management licence. The owner was instructed to remove the waste from the site but failed to do so. An investigating officer for SEPA said "SEPA prefers to work with individuals and organisations to prevent pollution but the accused did not work with us in this instance. When officers confirmed that the notice had not been acted upon, it became clear that further action had to be taken against the accused to ensure he understood his responsibilities to the environment.

Company News and Products

Fluid Solutions
New from Fluid Solutions a DynoFilter cutting fluid cleaning and regeneration system which can be supplied as stand-alone units for single machines, or as a fully automated centralised system serving a number of machines where high throughput and 24/7 operation are a requirement.

The equipment has been designed specifically for the grinding industry where ‘fines’ removal to maintain clean fluids and full coolant recovery from waste stream is required. The equipment is also suitable for use with machining cells involving a variety of metal cutting/removal operations. DynoFilters can be supplied for fluid capacities up to 100,00 litres/min. The effective removal of fines and other particulate matter to maintain a clean coolant flow leads to more productive use of fluids, maximum production efficiency and full compliance with HSE and ‘best working practice’ procedures. Further information contact Barrie Taylor Tel/Fax: 0161 370 6293

New Appointments at Chemetall PLC
Bletchley based surface finishing chemistry supplier; Chemetall PLC has announced a number of new appointments:

  • Per Vannerberg has been appointed Managing Director of the UK company whilst retaining his position as MD of Chemetall Scandinavia Ytteknik AB.
  • Martin Ings has been appointed Sales Director for Chemetall PLC with overall responsibility for Surface Treatment sales and marketing for the UK and Ireland.
  • Rob Rydings becomes Finance Director.
  • Nigel Wood takes responsibility in the UK and Ireland for Chemetall’s Aerospace sales with direct reporting to Chemetall GmbH.
For further information please contact Chris Miller – Tel: 01908 361805

Riley Industries
Riley Industries, in conjunction with auctioneers Henry Butcher, is holding a Live and Webcast Auction Sale at its premises in Perry Barr, Birmingham on 15 June. This represents a major disposal of used surface finishing plant & equipment prior to the companies move to new 5,000 square metre premises in Aldridge More details from Michael Riley – Tel: 0121 3562020

Versa-Matic Pump Company
Versa-matic (part of IDEX corporation of the USA) announces a new pump product that fits all dependable performance of their full-size pumps into a versatile and compact design. The E8 3/8" Minimatic weighs just three pounds, yet is capable of pumping up to 6.8 USgal/m (26l/m) and delivering pressures up 10 11psi (6.8 bar) – making this convenient, adaptable pump ideal for a range of demanding application. The pump can be mounted in virtually any position and suitable for an extensive range of uses.
Further information –

DTI promotes new class of metals
A revolutionary new class of metals that combine the strength of steel with the moulding capability of plastics are coming of age – so says DTI International Technology Promoter Cliff Young. Already appearing in mobile phones, tennis rackets and memory sticks, glassy metal alloys have huge potential yet remain relatively unknown by UK industry.
Researchers have been trying to transform metal’s orderly crystalline structure into a jumbled atomic structure – as in glass – for over 50 years. Being able to combine the traits of both metals and glasses in this way promised materials with remarkable properties. For example, where metals dent and deform as their crystalline lattice shift and rearrange, glassy or amorphous metals don’t have this mechanism for the co-ordinated movement of large numbers of atoms. The result of this disordered structure is strength, hardness, near-immunity to corrosion and behaviour that is close to plastics.
Advantages can be summarised as:
  • Two to three times the strength of crystalline metals
  • Extreme hardness, durability and scratch resistance
  • The ability to bend and bounce back when hit
  • Can be injected like a polymer or cast into ultrathin precision net-shaped parts
  • Excellent acoustic features
  • Greater corrosion and wear resistance
  • Potential as a finishing or coating material
To find out more contact Cliff Young – Tel: 01664 505555, E-mail:

IMF News

David Elliott, the Chief Executive of the SEA, and a member of the Institute’ s Council has been appointed to the Environment Agency’s Midland Regional Environment Protection Advisory Committee. It is an advisory body, which specifically concentrates on pollution control, water resources, air quality, control of complex industrial processes and disposal of controlled wastes and makes recommendations on operational performance issues of concern in the region and implications of national policy proposals.

New Sustaining Members

Seagate Technology

1, Disc Drive, Springtown Industrial Estate
Londonderry, Northern Ireland BT48 0BF
Tel: 02871274000, Fax: 02871274248
Seagate is a worldwide leader in design, manufacture and marketing of hard disc drives, providing products for a wide range of Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing and Consumer Electronic Applications. At the Springtown facility, state-of-the-art plating techniques are used in the development and manufacture of recording headsthe drive components that writes information onto and reads information from the recording disc.

Langford Lodge Eng Co Ltd
97, Largy Road, Crumlin, Co.Antrim
Northern Ireland BT29 4RT
Tel: 0289445251, Fax: 02894451414
Langford Lodge Engineering, established in 1959 is situated on a 400 hectare site in Northern Ireland and has comprehensive manufacturing, assembly and processing capabilities within a 12,000 square metre factory area employing 280 people.

Education & Training
The next ‘Induction Session’ for persons who are proposing to enrol to study any of the Distance Learning Modules – Foundation, MF1 General Principles, MF2 Plating Practice, MF3a Electrochemistry, MF3b Material Science, MF3c Surface Coatings, MF4 Process Management or the Environment Modules will take place in September. To register contact David Measham at the Institute’s Exeter House office - Tel: 0121 622 7387

Recent Examination Results
Distance Learning MF1 General Principles
Fuller T - HBC Engineering Solutions

New members and transfers
Affiliate - Armstrong G - Solihull Fellow - Wurm J - Germany

American Electroplaters and Surface Finisher
Papers are invited for presentation at SUR/FIN 2006 to be held 18-21 September in Milwaukee, USA For more information visit:

Metallurgy & Materials at Nottingham University
Celebrate 50 years of Metallurgy & Materials with an Alumni Dinner - Friday 23 June at the East Midlands Conference Centre, University Park.
Contact Sue Daley – Tel: 0115 846 6940

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