So What Exactly is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is an alternative coating to wet paint, offering a more durable, high-quality finish. Traditional used in coating metal to prevent corrosion, today with its many finishing effects, functional and environment benefits, it is now used on a variety of products in almost every major manufacturing industry, from engineering machinery, laboratory and hospital equipment to furniture & household items.
There are different types of powder coating, mainly, Polyester, Epoxy and Epoxy Polyester.
Polyester Powder has excellent mechanical properties. Polyester powders have been formulated to give hard, durable finishes with very good light and weather resistance properties. This powder is highly recommended for exterior use.
Epoxy powders have excellent chemical resistance but moderate mechanical properties. These are suitable for indoor use. Slight surface chalking will develop on exterior exposure. Where high gloss retention, on components for exterior exposure is required, the use of Polyester powder is recommended.
Epoxy Polyester powders provide a tough, durable coating with excellent resistance to corrosion and mechanical damage.
How does Powder coating work?
Powder coatings are based on polymer resin, combined with curatives, pigments, levelling agents, and other additives depending on requirements. These ingredients are melt mixed, cooled, and ground into a uniform powder.
Once the powder is mixed (based on required colour and functional elements) the most commonly used process at apply the powder is called electrostatic spray deposition (ESD). A spray gun is used and powder particles with an electrostatic charge are then attracted to the metal or object. After application of the powder, the metal or object enters a curing oven where the coating chemically reacts to the heat sealing the powder in the finishing process.
An alternative method of powder coating to ESD is a fluidized bed application. Preheated parts are dipped in a hopper of fluidizing powder and the coating melts and flows out on the metal or object.
What are the Benefits of Powder coating?
In summary powder coating is tough and durable, cost effective and environmentally friendly. The main benefit that powder coating offers over liquid paint is its ability to provide high quality durability both for internal & external use, whilst still providing an attractive finish.
Powder coated products are more resistant to impact, moisture, chemicals, ultraviolet light, and other extreme weather conditions. In turn, this reduces the risk of scratches, chipping, abrasions, corrosion, fading, and other wear issues.
In addition to being durable, powder coating also offers a number of environmental advantages including reduced waste and less chemicals.