What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is a dry finishing process that has become extremely popular since its introduction in North America over 40 years ago. Representing
over 15% of the total industrial finishing market, powder is used on a wide array of products. More and more companies specify powder coatings
for a high-quality, durable finish, allowing for maximized production, improved efficiencies, and simplified environmental compliance.
Used as functional (protective) and decorative finishes, powder coatings are available in an almost limitless range of colors and textures,
and technological advancements have resulted in excellent performance properties.
How Powder Coating Works
Powder coatings are based on polymer resin systems, combined with curatives, pigments, leveling agents, flow modifiers, and other additives.
These ingredients are melt mixed, cooled, and ground into a uniform powder similar to baking flour. A process called electrostatic spray
deposition (ESD) is typically used to achieve the application of the powder coating to a metal substrate. This application method uses
a spray gun, which applies an electrostatic charge to the powder particles, which are then attracted to the grounded part. After application
of the powder coating, the parts enter a curing oven where, with the addition of heat, the coating chemically reacts to produce long molecular
chains, resulting in high cross-link density. These molecular chains are very resistant to breakdown. This type of application is the most
common method of applying powders. Powder coatings can also be applied to non-metallic substrates such as plastics and medium density fiberboard
Sometimes a powder coating is applied during a fluidized bed application. Preheated parts are dipped in a hopper of fluidizing powder and the
coating melts, and flows out on the part. Post cure may be needed depending on the mass and temperature of the part and the type of powder
used. No matter which application process is utilized, powder coatings are easy to use, environmentally friendly, cost effective, and tough!
Durability of Powder Coating
Powder coating is a high-quality finish found on thousands of products you come in contact with each day. Powder coating protects the roughest,
toughest machinery as well as the household items you depend on daily. It provides a more durable finish than liquid paints can offer,
while still providing an attractive finish. Powder coated products are more resistant to diminished coating quality as a result of impact,
moisture, chemicals, utraviolet light, and other extreme weather conditions. In turn, this reduces the risk of scratches, chipping, abrasions,
corrosion, fading, and other wear issues.
It's tough. It looks great. And it lasts a long, long time. In addition to being durable, powder coating is an attractive choice due to environmental
Benefits of Powder Coating
In addition to being the more durable and attractive choice, powder coating is also highly protective of our environment.
Negligible VOCs and HAPs (hazardous air pollutants) Free
Powder coatings contain no solvents and therefore emit negligible, if any, polluting VOCs into the atmosphere.
Powder coating is a clean process, allowing exhaust air from the coating booth to be returned to the plant, and less oven air is exhausted
to the outside. Heating and cooling costs are eliminated for make-up air and the cost for maintaining oven temperatures is minimized.
Powder overspray can be retrieved and reused.
No Costly Waste Disposal Equipment
Unused powder can be reclaimed and returned to a hopper for recirculation through the system, with negligible waste.