Powder Coating - The Better Way To Paint?

What is powder coating and how does it work?

Powder coating is a dry finishing process first used in North America during the 1960s. Used for both functional and decorative finishes, powder coatings are available in a full spectrum of colours and textures and are now used across many industries. 

Powder coating is the electrostatic application of pigmented powder to metal surfaces. The most common way to apply a powder coating is with a spray gun. The spray gun applies an electrostatic charge to the powder particles which are then attracted to the grounded metal part. The powder is then cured using heat application resulting in a bonded, durable and even coating.

What is powder coating used for?

Because of powder coatings high performance and durability when used on metal components, it is often used for industrial purposes such as in the automotive, aerospace and defence industries as a way of decorating and finishing metal parts. 

What are the advantages of powder coating over wet painting?

The advantages of powder coating are numerous with the process eliminating many of the common concerns with using wet paint such as the paint dripping and the environmental impact of VOC’s . Here are the three key benefits of using the powder coating finishing technique.
  1. It is cheaper than wet painting
    Powder coating is generally a cheaper finishing process than wet painting and can cover more surface area per unit of product. The powder coating procedure also lends itself well to the process of automation which can also help to reduce labour and training costs in a factory line up. Users of the powder coating process also see less product wastage and reduction in disposal costs due to a lower rejection rates due to the high finishes that powder coating can achieve.
  2. It can offer higher performance than wet painting
    Due to the thermal curing process which bonds the powder coating particles to the metal surface of the product, powder coating is a more durable and less likely to chip or scratch than wet paint finishes which are not bonded in the same way. Powder coatings can also be applied much more thickly than wet paints without sagging or dripping, which makes for a more even application, smoother finish and fewer product variances. Due to the process of powder coating, the finish can also be used to obtain far more complex designs.
  3. Powder coatings contain no solvents
Powder coatings are considered safer and less environmentally destructive because they contain no solvents and release little or no amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) into the atmosphere. This can save manufacturers money on antipollution equipment and also ensures that they stay compliant with environmental regulations. Powder coating is also seen as less harmful to employees as they are no exposed to volatile organic compounds in the air, as with wet painting, and therefore see none of the short or long term health threats associated with them such as sore throats, headaches, sickness and damage to their livers, kidneys and central nervous systems.

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