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Powder Coating

Residential • Commercial • Industrial

We Marry Metals That Never Part

What is Powder Coating?

Powder coating is a dry finishing process that has become extremely popular since its introduction in North America over 40 years ago. Used as functional (protective) and decorative finishes, powder coating are available in an almost limitless range of colors and textures and technological advancements have resulted in excellent performance properties. Powder coatings are based on polymer resin systems, combined with curatives, pigments, leveling agents, flow modifiers, and other additives. These ingredients are melt mixed, and ground into a uniform powder similar to baking flour. Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. A process called electrostatic spray deposition (ESD) is typically used to achieve the application of the powder coating to a metal substrate. This application method uses a spray gun, which applies an electrostatic charge to the powder particles which are then attracted to the grounded part, and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a “skin”. Powder coating is mainly used for coating of metals, such as household appliances, aluminum extrusions, drum hardware and automobile and bicycle parts.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Powder Coating

There are several advantages of powder coating over conventional liquid coatings:

1. Powder coatings emit zero or near zero volatile organic compounds (VOC).

2. Powder coatings can produce much thicker coatings than conventional liquid coatings without running or sagging.

3. Powder coating overspray can be recycled and thus it is possible to achieve nearly 100% use of the coating.

4. Powder coated items generally have fewer appearance differences between horizontally coated surfaces and vertically coated surfaces than liquid coated items.

5. A wide range of specialty effects is easily accomplished which would be impossible to achieve with other coating processes.

6. Powder coating protects the roughest, toughest machinery as well as household items you depend on daily.

7. Powder coated products are more resistant to diminished coating quality as a result of impact, moisture, chemicals, ultraviolet light, and other extreme weather conditions.

8. It reduces the risk of scratches, chipping, abrasions, corrosion, fading and other wear issues.

Powder Coating

The Powder Coating Process

The powder coating process involves three basic steps:

1. Part preparation or pre-treatment.

2. The powder application

3. Curing.

Part Preparation Process and Equipment

Removal of oil, soil, lubrication greases, metal oxides, welding scales etc. is essential prior to the powder coating process. It can be done by a variety of chemical and mechanical methods.

Chemical pre-treatments involve the use of phosphates or chromates in submersion or spray application. The pre-treatment process both cleans and improves bonding of the powder to the metal.

Another method of preparing the surface prior to coating is known as abrasive blasting or sandblasting. Blast media and blasting abrasives are used to provide surface texturing and preparation, etching, finishing, and degreasing for products. Cast steel shot or steel grit is used to clean and prepare the surface before coating. This method of preparation is highly efficient on steel parts such as I-beams, angles, pipes, tubes and large fabricated pieces.

Powder application processes

The most common way of applying the powder coating to metal objects is to spray the powder using an electrostatic gun. The gun imparts a positive electric charge to the powder, which is then sprayed towards the grounded object by mechanical or compressed air spraying and then accelerated toward the workpiece by the powerful electrostatic charge. The object is then heated, and the powder melts into a uniform film, and is then cooled to form a hard coating.

Powder Coating Curing

When a thermoset powder is exposed to elevated temperature, it begins to melt, flows out, and then chemically reacts to form a higher molecular weight polymer in a network-like structure. This cure process, called cross-linking, requires a certain temperature for a certain length of time in order to reach full cure and establish the full film properties for which the material was designed. Normally, the powder cures at 390°F for 10 minutes. The curing schedule could vary according to the manufacturer’s specifications. The application of energy to the product to be cured can be accomplished by convection cure ovens, infrared cure ovens, or by laser curing process.

Aluminum, Ornamental Wrought Iron, Stainless Steel, Cabling

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