Cleaning plays an extremely important part in the manufacture of metal components which are ultimately to be given a protective coating, since the presence of the smallest amount of scale, oxide, grease or dirt could cause poor adhesion, and corrosion can occur under the coat. Before the final finishing, most metal components undergo four processes—firstly, preliminary cleaning or decreasing to remove the heavy oils, greases and soils; secondly, pickling and bright dipping for the removal of oxide and scale; thirdly, polishing and mechanical finishing; fourthly, there is normally a hot alkali cleaning process, which must again be followed by an acid dip to ensure that any oxide is removed.
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