Fifth Edition of the AITAL Short Master on Surface Treatments

The fifth Technical training course on the metallic surfaces of iron and aluminium and on finishing techniques, organized by Poliefun-Politecnico di Milano in partnership with AITAL and QUALITAL, came to an end in October

by Giampaolo Barbarossa

The fifth edition of the AITAL Shortmaster on surface treatments involved about forty students for 60 hours subdivided in 13 training modules, in turn divided in theoretical lessons held at Milan’s Polytechnic with lecturers from the university itself and experts from Associations and from the finishing industry, alternated with visits to companies of primary importance in the manufacture of coating and chemical products and in the treatment of semis and finished products. Participants came from different backgrounds, particularly students about to graduate in chemical engineering and materials engineering and technicians from companies operating in different industrial segments, particularly interested in the protection and improvement of the aesthetics of their products.
The first three modules in the course concerned the basic scientific training regarding the main properties of metallic surfaces, the reactions and changes which these undergo during pre-treatment and finishing, and the basic concepts of the metallurgy of iron and aluminium. The other modules dealt with in class concerned aspects of the products and processes of surface finishing. A positive impression was also derived from the visits to production plants and test laboratories. Particularly, at Henkel, it was possible to visit the pilot plant which allows to test products for pre-treatment and chemical conversion of surfaces and the laboratory for the characterization of samples after the treatment. At the end of the visit, a lesson was held on the different purification techniques of waste waters deriving from surface treatments.

Surface treatments for automotive applications
The visits to two of the main manufacturers of coating products, that is, AKZO Nobel Italia in Como and PPG in Quattordio (near Alessandria) were very much appreciated. Another external module was held at Novelis in Bresso (near Milan), a leading company in the production of continuously coated rolled products. Before the visit to the plant, the ECCA chapter was illustrated; this is the main technical reference for coil coating. In this edition of the Shortmaster it was possible to analyse in depth the theme of surface treatments in the automotive segment with a visit to Geico, a manufacturer of plants for coating processes, and to the Maserati plant (FCA Group) in Grugliasco (near Turin).
Finally it was possible to visit QUALITAL’s Test lab, with the presentation of the main analytical techniques and of the reference norms for the characterization of aluminium and of the same metal when anodized and coated. Students were also informed as to the activity carried out by QUALITAL as a certifying organism and the specific techniques for the QUALANOD brand (for anodized aluminium), QUALICOAT (for coated aluminium), QUALIDECO (for decorated aluminium) and QUALISTEELCOAT (for coated iron) were presented. Positive comments received by the participants to the fifth Shortmaster convinced the organizers to prepare a new edition of the course for 2019.

For information and registrations, the course’s
organization secretary may be contacted:
Smooth srl – Poliefun – E-mail: