Home Up About Us Contents Contact Us


Application Note 22

Chemical-mechanical surface treatments

Trib-Tools are mildly abrasive surface treatment tools that when rubbed against a surface clean the surface as they dispense chemicals in trace amounts. The dispensed chemicals are spread and rubbed-in, which acts to activate some chemicals.

These tools are useful for applying a wide range of chemically active treatments such as primers, passivating treatments etc. onto solid surfaces of metal, plastic, timber, glass, stone, leather or fabric. The tools may be either a stick sheet or blade, the most practical and useful for engineering purposes has proved to be the stick, which can be sized to treat large or small areas.

The diagram below illustrates how a single grain in a mildly abrasive tool impregnated with a chemical disrupts the oxide during rubbing of a surface like steel, which provides high absorption of polar inorganic materials (siloxane in this example) carrying organic side groups that orientate away from the metal, leaving the oxide surface with an organic character, which is highly favourable for wetting and bonding with adhesives or epoxy paint.

Typically stick tools use a stack of pads of compressed non-woven mildly abrasive web soaked in chemical, either in the form of a liquid, a gel or slurry housed in a plastic moulding that resembles a deodorant stick. Providing the pads are not saturated the package is spill proof even when lying horizontal with the lid left off.The diagram below shows a cross section view of a typical chemical-mechanical stick tool. The chemical soaks into mildly abrasive stack of pads. After use the used pad is peeled off to reveal new clean pad ready to treat another area.











Typical uses when treating metal surfaces (surface prep) include:

         anti-lubricant friction grip enhancer

         phosphoric acid for rust removal & prevention

         oxide-removing paint cleaning abrasive slurry (T-cut)

         primers to improve wetting & adhesion

         etching agents that clean and improve electro-plating

For treating timber surfaces:

         denatured beeswax and other polishes or sealants

         fish oils, vegetable oils, preservatives

         staining, grain filling, dyes

         anti-fungal & pest control treatments

For treating glass surfaces:

         cleaning & wetting agents for double-glazing seals and securing automotive windscreens

         acetic acid to remove lime-scale

For treating skin/leather/cloth surfaces:

          lotions, oils, gels, dyes, scents, stain removers etc.


for more information email:

Home About Us Contents Contact Us

The TribTech name derives from  "tribos" - Greek for 'rubbing'. 'TribTech' is a trade name used by Ball Burnishing Machine Tools Ltd. Registered Office 12 Brookmans Av. Hatfield, Herts. AL9 7QJ. United Kingdom;  Company Reg. No. 1408807, VAT Reg. No. 421 6210 04; a knowledge based company that develops, patents and licenses technology based on aspects of  tribology, the science of surfaces. All rights reserved by Ball Burnishing Machine Tools Ltd. Last modified: 29th Sept 2016 copyright 1999/2016. The information and data provided herein should be considered generally representative for the tools and technologies described. In all cases users should carefully evaluate the tools and technologies to determine their suitability for a particular purpose. Be aware this site uses cookies, your continued use implies you accept these.