What is CouplerTec and how does it prevent rust?
CouplerTec is a professional electronic protection from rust, developed in Australia for all vehicles.
Motor vehicles (cars, trucks, buses), heavy machinery/equipment (tractors, forklifts, graders, loaders, dozers, excavators, cranes, etc.), above-ground metal structures (towers, generators and sheds). CouplerTec’s patented capacitive coupling technology is an electronic corrosion control process that can be used on any mobile or fixed above-ground (non-submerged) application.
To be able to understand how CouplerTec systems prevent and stop rust, we must first understand what causes rust.
What is rust and what causes it?
Iron and Oxygen seek out each other to combine. When they combine they form rust.
Rusting or corrosion is a natural process which occurs when metal and air moisture (oxygen and water) combine. Very simply stated, iron (+) and oxygen (-) have opposite charges so they seek out each other to combine. When they combine, iron loses three electrons and oxygen gains two. This is called oxidation and when it happens, it produces a chemical reaction, forming iron oxide (Fe2O3) commonly known as rust. Rust formation is sped up when iron is subjected to natural minerals, chemicals and temperature fluctuations.
How does CouplerTec prevent rust?
By creating a negative (-) electrostatic surface charge on the metal surface of the protected structure, the (-) oxygen atom is now repelled. In other words, the technology interferes with the metal’s ability to react with oxygen.
How does CouplerTec work?
CouplerTec systems function as capacitors. The (-) electrostatic surface charge is created by building a capacitor within the protected structure.
CouplerTec consists of two major components:
- An Electronic Module draws a very small charge from the power source and transforms it into an output voltage of 400V (Peak) or 200V (RMS typical), strong enough to be easily read on a volt/multi-meter. It generates frequency signals in the 200KHz range. The voltage and frequency created by the module are then transferred to the second component, which is our capacitive coupler.
- A Capacitive Coupler is a conductive plate which is affixed directly onto the painted surface of the structure using a high-bond adhesive.
The capacitive coupler, when charged by the voltage, acts as the positive plate of the capacitor. The frequency applied to the capacitive coupler combined with capacitance induces the electrostatic charge to the metal surface of the structure. This makes the structure act as the negative plate of the capacitor. Electrons are accumulated between the positive and negative plates of the capacitor. The frequency which induced the charge also disperses these electrons across the surface of the structure. The structure’s paintwork becomes the dielectric, which in turn will hold the electrons on the metal surface and stop them from flowing away.
Should the protected structure’s paintwork become compromised (exposed bare metal, e.g. stone chip or scratch), then over time a very thin layer of surface rust may eventually form on the bare metal surface. This layer of surface rust takes the place of the paintwork and becomes the dielectric, which in turn holds the charge static. The surface rust will turn a dark brown colour; this is non-active ferric oxide and will not progress any further.
Is CouplerTec reliable?
All CouplerTec™ Electronic Rustproofing systems are fully digitally controlled using state-of-the-art microprocessor technology which ensures its optimal performance at all times. The system only operates correctly and effectively if each capacitive coupler has its own internal circuit with a required level of voltage, frequency and capacitance.
If the module is working correctly, a green light is flashing. If the system detects a fault, a red light is flashing. The system will automatically reset after the fault has been rectified.
The electronics are solid state (which means there are no moving parts) and the electronic board is encapsulated in epoxy resin which makes it airtight and watertight. Therefore, these systems will enjoy an indefinite life span.