What is Powder Coating?
BY DEFINITION, Powder Coating is the process of coating a surface in which a powder coating material is applied using an electrostatic or compressed air method. The applied powder coating is then heated (cured) to its melting point, after which it flows to form a smooth film which dries to a firm, durable finish that is highly resistant to scratches, cracking, peeling, UV rays and rust.
THE POWDER COATING PROCESS involves several steps:
The first step prior to powder coating is cleaning to ensure the substrate is free of any oils, dirt, rust, mill scale etc
Secondly, rinse, rinse, and rinse again before powder coating
Then dry completely before powder coating (described above), either done with an electrostatic gun, or sometimes in a fluidized bed, depending on the specific project.
Finally, FULLY cure the powder coating in the oven, generally at 375-400 degrees F, for 15-20 minutes (varies), making sure the oven is preheated to the proper temperature.
Advantages of Powder Coating
Although a finish represents only one attribute of a powder coated part, it is the most visible and influential characteristic to the consumer. Powder coatings have a positive impact on the consumer, both directly and indirectly, and provide solutions to issues of public concern. Powder coating has become the finish of choice for consumable goods from toolboxes, bicycles, office furniture, and lawn furniture to widespread markets such as appliance and automotive for the reasons listed below.
QUALITY & DURABILITY:
The unique rheological and application characteristics of powder coatings provide superior consistency and uniformity of finish without sags, drips, runs, or bubbles. Powder coating provide extremely tough, durable films, enhancing the high quality, value-added image of consumer products. In general, the performance properties, such as impact resistance, flexibility, and corrosion resistance, of powder coatings are better than with liquid paints. Powder coated parts resist cracking, peeling, and marring during handling and normal service use. In many cases, merchandise is specifically being advertised as "POWDER COATED" because of the quality image it projects.
Powder coatings are frequently a cost saving alternative to liquid paints with respect to energy savings, labor costs, rework costs, material usage, waste disposal, and overall line efficiency. The advantage to manufacturers and the consumers is a powder coated part with a superior quality finish at a reasonable cost.
Environmental issues are of significant interest and importance to the government and general public today. Unlike many liquid paints, powder coatings are compliant with environmental regulations. Liquid paints often contain solvents, which can contribute to air pollution and, in some cases, ozone depletion. Powder coatings are free of such pollutants. Wet painting processes can generate sludge, which must be disposed of into hazardous waste landfills. Properly formulated powder coatings generate no such hazardous waste. The consumer can feel good about buying a powder-coated product, which is environmentally responsible.