Powder Coating – What Is It and Why Should I Do It?
Powder coating is a process where charged paint particles are applied to a bare metal part, and are baked on at temperatures between 350-450F. The powder is commonly a polyurethane resin (as in plastic), which “melts” on to the surface of the metal. As the powder cures, it chemically changes to form a highly durable, corrosion resistant, and smooth finish. Powder coat can be scratched or chipped with enough force, but because of the way powder adheres to the metal, the overall part is still protected from rust
Alternatively, with liquid spray paint the material is applied at 1 mil (.001 inch) and evaporates to coat the surface. This makes it more prone to scratching unless multiple coats are applied. With powder coating, most parts can be painted in one shot at 3-5 mil thickness. In many cases, primer or clear coat is not required. This makes the process more economical than HPLV painting as less labor and material is required. Also, powder coat does not emit any VOC or solvent waste, making it an environmentally friendly option.
If you have a project that requires a finish that will stand up to UV light, salt, oil grease, bumps, abrasion, or regular wear and tear, then powder coating is a good investment. Call us today or fill out a request form to get started.
- Parts are washed and degreased until they pass the “white glove test.”
- Parts that have paint or rust/corrosion are blasted using appropriate media. Large parts outside our capabilities will need to be sent out.
- If the part is cast, galvanized, or has been exposed to oil for a long time will be out-gassed in the oven to remove any trapped contaminants.
- The parts are racked and cleaned with dry steam. An etching chemical rinse is applied, and the parts are dried. If needed, a solvent wipe down is done in case any surface oil is noticed.
- Paint is applied and the parts are moved into the oven for curing.
- If an additional color, clear coat or a transparent top coat is required, then it is applied and cured.
Requirements for Powder Coating:
- The piece must be made of metal and be able to stand 400 F for at least 30 minutes. All gaskets, bearings, clips, etc need to be removed prior to painting
- There can be no previous finish on the metal. Polished surfaces like chrome and stainless will need to be etched chemically or mechanically. All paint, clear coat, rust, etc. must be removed prior to painting. We can handle media blasting up to 6’W x 28″L x 28″W. Larger items will need to be sent out for blasting
- The piece has to easily fit into the oven. It can’t be twisted in like a sofa. The largest dimensions are: 8′ W x 7′ 8″ H x 12′ L.