Powder Coating: Basic Types

by | Jun 21, 2016 | Materials

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Powder coatings are not the oldest method for finishing a product. In fact, it is among the very youngest. Originating in Australia in the 1960s, powder coating has since spread to other countries. Today, its market share is about 15%. In states such as Michigan, it has become the norm.

Powder Coatings: Description and Techniques

Powder coatings are a method of finishing a product. In general, while the appearance is important, coatings are applied to improve the qualities of the substrate of the component. In other words, the applying of dry powder coatings is to enhance the look of the part while providing it with certain characteristics i.e. anti-corrosion capabilities.

The application of dry paint to a component is a specialized technique. Dry powder coatings require a certain skill. A finisher in Michigan can use one of the following methods to achieve the intended result:

 * Bed: The part is lowered into a fluidized bed of the selected powder. The powder may or may not have already been electrostatically charged

 * Spray: In this method, the operator sprays electrostatically charged paint onto the components

In both instances, the operator then places the coated part into an oven. The particles of the dry powder paint melt and coalesce oven the component to create a film that is continuous and even.

Preparation for Dry Powder Coating

A finisher may use the bed or spray method. He or she may employ either thermostatic or thermosetting powders. Yet, if the finisher does not make adequate and proper preparation of the substrate before finishing the product, the result will not be of the best quality. This makes it essential that a finisher address the demands, qualities and requirements of the substrate metal BEFORE undertaking the actual coating process.

It is vital to remember that each substrate metal component presented for powder coating will require the employment of different tools and/or materials to prepare it for the coating process. However, the first step in any such process, no matter what the substrate metal, is to clean the material thoroughly. A rinse then follows this procedure. Aluminum and steel, for example, require rinsing several times as they undergo various steps in preparation for the coating process. When dealing with aluminum, for example, a finisher will need to apply a conversion coating to ensure the powder coating will adhere better and with greater alacrity. Steel may require a grain refiner.

Using a Powder Coating

Powder coatings are one means through which substrate metal components can achieve a good appearance while improving their qualities. Although still one of the newest methods of metal finishing, it continues to grow in popularity in such states as Michigan. However, like its much older finishing rival – plating, a powder coating may fail to perform properly if the operator fails to make the right preparations.