Gary Glass

First introduced well over 40 years ago, the dry finishing process known as powder coating has become an extremely popular finishing technique within the industrial finishing market. Powder coating even represents approximately 15% of the entire finishing market, and is used on a wide variety of products where a large number of companies even specify the use of powder coatings because it gives such a high quality finish. A durable finish allows for a higher production rate, a vast improvement in efficiency, and a simpler manufacturing environment. Powder coatings are used to serve as protective and decorative finishes, and come widely available in a endless number of colors and textures.

How Powder Coatings Work

Powder coatings are made up of polymer resin systems, composed with a combination of pigments, curatives, flow modifiers, leveling agents, and numerous other additives. The ingredients stated above are mixed, melted, cooled, and ground into a powder that resembles baking flour. Through the process known as electrostatic spray deposition (ESD), the powder can be applied as a coating onto various metal substrates. This process is done with a spray gun. When applied the gun will give an electrostatic charge to the powder particles, where the powder particles are then attracted to the grounded material.

Once the powder coating is applied, the material is placed inside a curing oven, where the coating enters chemical reactions and forms long molecular chains, which results in a high cross-link density. These long molecular chains are what prevent the coating from breaking down. The spray gun application is the most common method for applying the powder coating. Keep in mind that powder coatings can also be applied to other substrates such as plastic and medium density fiberboard.

The True Durability of Powder Coatings

Powder coatings can be found on everyday products, and can be used to protect large pieces of machinery to powder coating automotive rims and even on miscellaneous household items. Powder coatings have a much more durable finish than liquid paints, and still manages to give off a clean, appealing finish. Products with a powdered coating are more resistant to damage from moisture, impact, chemicals, ultraviolet light, and other potentially harmful weather conditions. Because of its protective nature, powder coatings reduce the risk of scratches, abrasions, fading, corrosion, and other external issues.

It’s looks great, it’s tough, and last’s a really long time, especially when applied by powder coating automotive services.

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