What Is Powder Coating?
Our Powder Coating Work
Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied electrostatically as a dry powder and then cured under heat to allow the powder to form a “skin”.
Powder coating is usually used to create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint and typically used to coat metals, such as automobiles, bicycle parts, household appliances, etc. Recently however, new technology has opened up the ability to powder coat additional materials such as MDF (medium density fiberboard).
From a chemical perspective, the primary difference between a conventional liquid paint and a powder coating is that a powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form.
The powder used in the powder coating process may be a thermoplastic or a thermoset polymer with the most common polymers used being polyester, polyurethane, polyester-epoxy (known as hybrid), straight epoxy (fusion bonded epoxy) and acrylics.
Because powder coating does not have a liquid carrier, it is much easier to apply thicker coatings with minimal or no running or sagging than can be achieved with paint and other traditional liquid coatings. Additionally, powder coated items generally have fewer differences in appearance between vertically and horizontally coated surfaced.
While it is relatively easy to apply thick powder coatings that will cure to become a smooth, texture-free surface, it is not as easy to apply smooth thin films when working with powder coating. As the thickness is reduced, the film becomes more textured with an “orange peel” appearance. This is not always undesirable, however, as many products benefit from a more textured surface appearance because it helps hide metal defects that have occurred during manufacturing or sandblasting. Powder coated surfaces with an “orange peel” effect also conceal fingerprints that may be left during the coating process.Finally, several colors can be applied during the powder coating process before curing them all together, allowing color blending and bleed special effects. This is something that is virtually impossible to achieve with liquid-based paint and other conventional types of coatings.
Prior to the powder coating process, it is essential to remove all dirt, oil, grease, lubrication, metal oxides, welding scale, etc. Sandblasting (or other abrasive media blasting techniques) is highly recommended before beginning the powder coating process.