Are you confused about whether to powder coat or paint? Do you want to know what will be better for the fabrication of your metals?
You might be wondering why there are recommendations about powder coating the metals.
The answers to all your questions are simple. Painting is an age-old method that has some restrictions or limitations. However, powder coating is an advanced and modern approach.
Powder coating has some great advantages like more longevity, less impact on the environment and an attractive appearance.
What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is a popular way to add a protective finish to a variety of metal objects of nearly any size. It involves spray applying a thermoset or thermoplastic material that has been made into a powder and then heating the object until the powder cures.
After the process of powder coating gets finished, the metal finish looks sturdy and flexible. Apart from metal, the same can be applied on surfaces like concrete, plastic, steel, etc.
Powder coating can suit your purpose for all your outdoor or indoor needs. Another good thing about powder coating is that it is cost-effective.
Purpose of Powder Coating
Many people prefer powder coating to a standard paint finish because it is much more durable. It can be used as a protective coating for both simple objects you have at home and large pieces of machinery. Powder coating is a dry finishing process that is efficient and effective. You can easily achieve high-quality results that last.
Types of Powder Coating
Thermoplastic and Thermoset are two types of powder coating.
Thermoplastic– The thermoplastic coating that gets applied on top of the surface is more durable because the coating is thick. This thermoplastic coating can be applied to many things, including metals, refrigerators, etc.
Thermoset– when the heat gets applied to the thermoset coating, it becomes liquid and soft. In this way, the coating can be applied and used again. For the record, thermoset powder forms chemical bonds when cured after applying heat. That’s why thermoset coating is great to use on high heat areas like ovens. This process is less expensive than the thermoplastic process.
The first step is preparing the coating. It is a very important step because it determines whether the powder coating adheres perfectly to the surface.
To prepare the surface, it needs to be cleaned thoroughly. First, the surface gets rinsed with degreaser or phosphate. Then it gets rinsed again with water.
After this, using a spray gun, the powder gets applied.
Once the powder gets sprayed, the curing process begins.
There may be other procedures for applying powder coating, but those processes get used on different surfaces.
How Does The Powder Coated Metal Work?
The powder coating consist of the following:
- pigments combined with polymer raisins.
- flow modifiers
- leveling agents
- some additives.
All the ingredients get melted and mixed together. After cooling the mixture, the powder gets grounded. The melting process gives a uniform finish, and a hard coating is a reason for cooling the mixture.
Additionally, to paint the metal, an adhesive is required. On the other hand, for spraying the powder coating, an electric connection is required to make the sprayers work.
Companies like ReliantFinishingSystems use top-quality or electrostatic paint sprayers to complete the spraying process. This way, the powder doesn’t get overspray and there’s less wastage. Similar things do not happen with the painting.
A worth mentioning advantage of using powder coating is that once the layers get solidified, more layers can be applied to make the coating desirably thick. More importantly, powder coating saves the metal from harsh chemicals and water.
The many advantages of powder coating are some of the reasons for its enduring popularity. There is a wide range of available finishes that offer long-lasting protection from scratches, chips, and corrosion. Powder coating gives durable, consistent color that won’t fade or wear, and requires little maintenance to keep it in good shape.
Nearly any type of metal can be powder coated. A much thicker coating can be applied with powder than a liquid that may run and produce an uneven texture and coverage.
Powder coating is also less flammable than spray paints. The material used is non-toxic, making it a safe choice that is friendly to the environment.
There are a few drawbacks to the powder coating method. One of the biggest is the aesthetic of the coated materials. They can sometimes have an “orange peel” look and texture that some people may not like, depending on the use and purpose of the finished piece.
Other factors to consider are that the initial purchase of the correct equipment can add up to a moderate financial investment. Also, you can’t mix the different powders to achieve color variants, so you have to purchase each color and shade that you want.
Both gas and electric ovens are commonly used for powder coating. The type that is best for you depends on your access to the appropriate power source, as well as your specific needs. Gas ovens can be less costly to run in some areas where gas prices are low. Whatever type you choose, you need to select one that is large enough and powerful enough to hold the objects you are coating and go through the number of cycles that you need each day.
Convection is the other essential feature to look for in a good oven. The oven needs to be able to heat to 450 degrees and keep that temperature steady for the duration of the process. An oven that doesn’t evenly distribute the heat can lead to flaws in the finish.
Whether you are powder coating just a few objects for personal use or do it on a regular basis as part of your business, it’s important to know your materials and have the proper setup. If you choose the best equipment for your needs, it should last for a long time and provide consistent results for years to come.