You may not realize it, but powder coat is all around you. Nearly everywhere you go, you can find items that have been finished using powder coating like furniture, appliances, automotive parts, bus stop shelters, glass bottles and an infinite number of other things. The possibilities are truly endless. What is powder coating though, and why is it so widely used?
What Is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is a finish coating that starts off as a dry powder that is applied to a substrate (a product or part) and then goes through a heat cycle to be cured. The most common way to apply powder coating is to have the item being coated electrically grounded while the powder is sprayed, or fogged, through a specially designed application gun that adds a negative electrostatic charge to the powder.
The powder, having a negative charge, is drawn to the grounded object. After the item is coated, it then goes through a heat cycle in an oven. Cure temperatures are often around 400 degrees but can vary up or down depending on the specific properties and requirements of the powder being used.
Through the curing process, the dry powder gels and bonds together, changing on a molecular level to form a strong shell around the base item. There are many options in the powders available, well beyond decorative color, gloss level and texture. Some powders are specifically designed for protection against chemicals, graffiti, intense UV rays and other specialty uses.
The end result, regardless of the options, is a finish that is stronger and more durable than liquid paint.
Why Is Powder Coating Used?
The robust finish of powder coating lends itself very well to extreme environments. High temperature areas, high traffic and use, as well as impact resistance allows the product beneath to stay corrosion free and looking great.
Ultimately, the superior corrosion resistance is the key to any good finish. Powder coating can coat complex shapes with a layer of protection against the elements. The powder bonds to a properly pre-treated surface through the pores and locks tightly to it, keeping contaminants well away from the substrate.
The efficiency benefits of powder coating over liquid coating are substantial. The time savings from the moment the product begins the process, going through cleaning, pre-treatment, powder application and curing in an oven is significantly lower than alternatives. The coating process can easily be set up on a conveyor system, just as it is done at PowderCoat Services. The never-ending loop allows for more production and less start/stop in batches on large orders.
It’s safer for the environment, too!
Compared to liquid coatings, powder coating has hardly any hazardous side effects. Overspray is easily contained and filtered, and powder coated parts have no fumes or odor at any point in the process. There are no solvents involved and the powders release little or no amount of VOC (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere. Powder coating is an easy and economical way for manufacturers to stay well within regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Benefits of Powder Coating
The benefits of powder coating are immense. Durability, protection, corrosion resistance, stylish décor, whatever your goal is, powder coating is the solution. For information on how PowderCoat Services can help you with your high-volume production finishing needs, contact us here.