Powder coating is a dry finishing procedure in which a coating system sprays an electrically charged fine powder on a metal surface. After the application, the part passes through a curing oven, producing a glossy coating.
Powder coating produces a tough, more durable finish than conventional coatings. It contains no liquid, so it may apply thicker coats than conventional liquid coatings without running or dripping. Horizontal and vertical surfaces coated with powder appear almost identical.
Who Powder Coats?
Nearly all segments of manufacturing use this form of coating. Some examples include:
- Architectural Metal
- Metal Fabricators
- Metal Furniture
- Computer Cases
Powder Coating Process
I wrote an article for our sister site, Schuette Metals, which illustrated how the powder coating process works:
Companies providing a powder coat finish using polymer resin, combining pigments, curatives, flow modifiers, leveling agents, and other additives. All ingredients are initially melted-mixed, cooled, and ground into a fine powder-like flour.
A free-floating dry powder receives a positive electric charge sprayed under pressure on an unfinished or fabricated metal object grounded with a negative charge. Water is a deadly enemy for powder coatings, mainly when applied in electrostatic spraying.
This results in an electrochemical change that coats the metal with long molecular chains from the powder. Once the powders have reached temperature, they merge and form long chemical chains that give the coating its stiffness and durability.
Once the finish’s surface has reached room temperature, it takes on a gel-like consistency – until fully cured, most powder coatings melt before curing.
Advanced metal coatings extend the service life of components and can also prevent corrosion. Stainless steel parts treated with powder coating withstand wear and tear from weather and other influences. It is ideal for a working environment, such as a factory or factory floor, as an advanced metal coating that prolongs and prevents corrosion and prolongs the components’ life. This ensures that a superior powder coating protects the surface of the stainless-steel piece.
Here’s a list of the most common advantages over other protective finishes:
Powder Coating Cost Savings
Using powder is more cost-effective than wet paint, saving time and money by eliminating the need to store unused paint. Uncontaminated powder overspray can be recycled and reused by reclaiming it for future applications. Purchasing exactly the right amount of powder for a job saves time and money since leftover paint is not required.
This coating is an economical, durable, and long-lasting finish that protects surfaces from chipping, fading, scratching, and wear, resulting in long-lasting colors. It has a higher resistance to moisture, chemicals, impacts, harsh weather, and electrical insulation. Salt spray tests show coatings’ durability.
Powder Coating is an Efficient Process
Electromagnetic charges help decrease waste by spraying only the correct quantity for a specific part. Powder is economical because it uses less electricity, processing, and drying time than wet coatings, and liquid paint must dry before curing, adding time to the procedure.
Faster Drying & Curing
Powder requires less curing, processing, and drying times than wet coatings. Before wet-painted parts enter the assembly, the parts must dry at room temperature and then oven cured.
Wider Variety of Finishes
Powder on nonmetallic and metallic materials provides a variety of colors, finish, thickness, and texture. In contrast to wet paint applications, applying powder coatings on nonmetallic and metallic materials provides more color choices.
The powder makes long-term maintenance simpler. Soapy water rinsed with water avoids using special solvents or cleaners. Its corrosion resistance makes dealing with damage or rust simple.
When applied correctly, powder produces an excellent, long-lasting protective coat.
The powder is environmentally friendly because it doesn’t release VOCs during the application or create dangerous waste. It’s also safe to dispose of since it doesn’t include harmful chemicals or solvents. Using powder can also result in the following:
- Reduced carbon emissions
- Reduced hazardous waste disposal
There is no primer required before coating. Chrome, which is carcinogenic and toxic, is usually present in aluminum.
We Do Powder Coat!
Your fab parts need to last; reach
out to us to learn more.
Disadvantages of Powder Coating
Like a coin, there are two sides. Here are some disadvantages to using powder coating.
Not all things react well to heat. Ordinarily, that’s not a bad thing. However, the powder coating process requires curing parts using ovens. If the part can’t conduct electricity, then electrostatic spraying doesn’t work.
The Thickness of the Coat
Parts needing a thick coat work well when powder coating. However, coatings less than 6 mils are difficult to control and, more importantly, don’t hide imperfections on the metal’s surface.
Time proceeds slowly when changing colors. Operators need to thoroughly clean the booth of leftover powder before the next parts enter the booth.
Drying & Curing Time
Usually, powder-coated parts don’t need much time to dry and cure. However, bigger parts need more time for drying and curing. The more time the parts stay in the oven, the more expensive it becomes.
Expensive to Start a Powder Coat Line
Although powder coating is a relatively inexpensive process, getting to that point is expensive. Think about it, a powder coating facility requires the following:
- Overhead Line
- Spray Booth
- Spray Guns
- Personnel Training
- Space to Operate