Is it better to paint or powder coat? What’s the best metal fabrication finish for you? Why should you choose powder coating over paint finishes?
Traditional methods have several limitations. Powder coating, on the other hand, is a more sophisticated technique. It provides enhanced durability, a lesser environmental effect, and superior aesthetic quality.
WHAT IS P POWDER COATING?
Powder coating is a dry metal finish that’s most frequently found on industrial equipment. Powder coating is applied as a dry powder using an electrostatic process and then cured with heat. It’s well regarded for the high-quality finishes it provides in terms of both functionality and appearance.
Powder-coated steel is very flexible and durable. It can be used on a variety of materials, including metal, concrete, steel, and plastic. It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor uses, and it’s one of the more cost-effective finish choices available.
TYPES OF POWDER COATING
Powder coating is available in two forms: thermosets and thermoplastics. When heated, thermoset powder coating finishes become liquid and soft. This eliminates the need for chemical bonding. The powder coating is both reversible and reusable as a result of this technique.
Thermoplastic coatings are thicker and more durable than thermoset coatings, which is why they may be utilized for a wider range of applications from metal to automobiles. As a result, they can be utilized for everything from metal to refrigerators.
The thermoplastic powder may be recycled, while thermoset powder does not form chemical bonds once cured, making it unrecyclable. Because the connections prevent it from melting away, this sort is ideal for high-heat applications. Thermoplastic is considerably less expensive.
The application procedure
The first step in the process, and perhaps the most essential one, is preparation. This phase has a big influence on how well the powder coating adheres to the metal surface, and there are several options for cleaning and priming the surface. A degreaser and/or phosphate rinse is recommended, followed by a fast water wash. The spray gun is then used to apply the powder, which starts to cure right after.
There are alternative techniques that may be employed, but they’re only useful for certain tasks.
What are the advantages of powder coating metal?
Powder coating is a type of powder-coating that is made using polyester resin, pigments, curative, levelling agents, and other additives. All components are melted together and then cooled and ground into a fine powder. A uniform finish can be achieved through preheating, and cooling aids in the formation of a hard coating.
Powder coating eliminates overspray waste, which is common with solvent-based paints. Powder coatings are distinct from paint in that they require an electric charge to function; paint, on the other hand, requires an adhesive.
The process involves an electrostatic paint sprayer. It charges the powder with a positive electric charge and sends it towards the components via an electrostatic charge. Because the bonds form after curing,
Powder coatings provide one of the most significant advantages: once hardened, they allow for the addition of additional layers to create a thicker coating. Powder coatings increase the longevity and protection of metals. They defend against corrosive chemicals and water because they repel them.
HOW DURABLE IS POWDER COATING?
This is without a doubt one of the most durable coatings available for a range of surfaces, not just metal. The chemical connections provide a superior covering that is appropriate for both machinery and everyday objects. It resists scratches, abrasions, and chips due to its high resistance to weather and physical damage.
WILL THE POWDER COATING LAST?
The longevity of the product will be determined by a variety of factors. These variables include the powder coating’s quality, type of paint used, and how it is exposed to the elements. Powder-coating finishes may endure for up to 20 years if properly cared for; however, exposure to UV rays, as well as outside usage, can accelerate their breakdown.
There are several factors that affect the lifespan of a paint job. Different coatings have varying lifespans. For example, fluoropolymer-based and urethane-based coatings may endure longer. They’re built to withstand harsh conditions and are more suited to outdoor goods. Epoxy paint, on the other hand, can last a long time indoors but deteriorates rapidly when exposed to the elements.
Powder coatings provide many advantages, too numerous to list.
Powder coatings are a fantastic option for metal fabrication since they have several advantages. Apart from their legendary durability, here are some additional advantages to think about when selecting a finish.
This is a green alternative since it can be reused and recycled. Thermoplastic coverings may be reshaped quite simply, unlike thermosets. The powder is also used efficiently, unlike painting where you get a lot of overspray.
Powder coating has a low rate of waste, and the fact that they don’t require solvents is very beneficial. Powder coating does not produce hazardous volatile organic compounds that pollute the environment. In addition, it is safer to use and, while wearing protective gear is still advised, it poses no greater health risk than other finishes.
It’s Cost-Effective: Powder coating finishes may seem expensive at first, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process. However, after time, the coat is far less than other types of finishes.
It is possible to get a polished look with powder coating metal. It’s simple to maintain, thanks to its resistance to chemicals, moisture, and other particles.
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THE NEGATIVE ASPECTS?
Despite the fact that this sort of finish has several benefits, it should not be overlooked. The problem is that in order to obtain efficiency and usefulness, the proper finish must be utilized.
It’s not unusual for powder coating to leave a thick, uneven layer of paint on the surface. It’s difficult to achieve thickness or regulate how thick a coating becomes. It might even cause uneven levels of thickness, which has an impact on the overall texture. If the powder coat is spilt, the process must be restarted.
Colour Variation: While recycling and reusing powder coatings is a plus, it can also lead to cross-contamination. This simply implies that the hues may not come out as expected, lowering efficiency and posing the risk of mismatched touch-ups. By carefully storing your powders when they’re not in use, you can avoid this situation.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON POWDER COATING FINISHES
Powder coating is ideal for metal fabrication. If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out on something special. Please TomBurn us if you’d want to see the beauty of powder coating metal in action.