Paint or powder coat? What is the finest finish for your metal fabrication? Why should you choose powder coating finishes over paint?
Painting is a time-honoured technique with several drawbacks. Powder coating, on the other hand, is a more advanced technology. It offers increased durability, lower carbon emissions, and a higher quality look.
WHAT IS POWDER COATING?
Powder coating is a non-corrosive, dry finishing technique for metal that is often used on industrial equipment. Powder coating is applied as a dry powder using an electrostatic method and subsequently hardened with heat. It’s well regarded for its high-quality looks in terms of both function and overall appearance.
Powder coating is a flexible and durable finish that can be used on a variety of surfaces, including metal, concrete, steel, and plastic. It’s appropriate for both indoor and outdoor usage, and it’s one of the most cost-effective finishing choices available.
TYPES OF POWDER COATING
Powder coating is made of two different materials: thermosets and thermoplastics.
When heated, thermoplastic powder coating coatings become liquid and extremely delicate. This prevents chemical bonding. The powder coating is both reversible and recyclable as a result of this technique.
Thermoplastic coatings are thicker and more durable than thermoset coatings. As a result, they can be used for a wide range of applications, from metal to automobile parts to refrigerators.
On the other hand, thermoset powder cannot be recycled since it creates chemical connections once hardened, making it un-recyclable. Because of the links, it is not prone to melting in high heat regions. This variant is significantly less expensive than thermoplastic.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
The first stage in the procedure is preparation, which may be the most important. This step determines how well the powder coating adheres to the metal surface, and there are numerous choices for cleaning and preparing it. A degreaser and/or phosphate rinse followed by a fast water rinse is suggested. A spray gun is used to spray the powder and begin curing.
There are various strategies that may be utilised; however, they are only appropriate for certain tasks.
HOW DOES POWDER COATING WORK ON METAL?
Powder coating is a paint technology that consists of polymer resins, pigments, curative, flow modifiers, levelling agents, and other additives. All substances are melted together before being cooled and ground into a powder. A uniform finish can be obtained by preheating and cooling the mixture.
Powder coating eliminates overspray waste, which is typical with solvent-based paints. Powder coatings function on the principle of an electric charge, as opposed to paint, which requires a glue.
The powder is sprayed with an electrophoric paint sprayer for application. It generates a positive electric charge on the dust and carries it towards the components via an electrostatic charge. Because the links when cured solidify, the coating becomes more durable as a result of chemical bonding.
Powder coatings, like paint on a wall, are easy to apply because they are fluid and can be layered on in many directions. When the powder coating is dry, it can be painted or decorated with decals to create more vivid finishes. More layers may be added to a solidified powder coating for increased thickness if desired. Powder coatings resist
WHAT IS THE DURABILITY OF POWDER COATING?
This is a very durable paint that can be used on a wide range of surfaces, not just metal. The chemical bonds give an excellent coverage that is acceptable for both machinery and daily usage. It resists scratches, abrasions, and chips thanks to its strong chemical bonds.
HOW LONG DOES A POWDER COATING FINISH LAST?
The longevity of the product will be determined by a number of elements. The quality of preparation, type of powder coating utilized, and the environment in which the product is exposed are all factors that influence its longevity. Powder-coating finishes may endure up to 20 years, but because of their regular use, exposure to UV light, and outdoor environment
Different coatings have different lifespans as well. Coatings that contain fluoropolymers and urethanes, for example, can survive longer. They’re made to endure harsh conditions and are better suited to outdoor goods. Epoxy coatings, on the other hand, may last a long time indoors but deteriorate rather quickly once exposed to the
OTHER ADVANTAGES OF CHOOSING POWDER COATINGS
Powder coatings provide a lot of benefits and are therefore ideal for metal fabrication. Apart from their legendary durability, here are some more compelling reasons to consider when choosing a finish.
Reusable and Recyclable: This is an environmentally friendly choice since it is. Thermoplastic coatings in particular are extremely simple to re-form, unlike thermosets. The powder is also used precisely, with minimal waste, unlike paint where you may get a lot of overspray.
You may anticipate about 5% waste, and the fact that they don’t require solvents is a big advantage. Powder coating does not produce hazardous volatile organic compounds that pollute the environment.
Furthermore, it’s less dangerous to utilize, and while wearing protective gear is still advised, it doesn’t pose as much of a health risk as other finishes.
For powder-coated finishes, the initial encounter may be overwhelming and intense for some people. However, after time, the coating is much less compared to other types of finishes.
Powder coating metal is simple to achieve a professional look. It’s easy to keep clean since it repels chemicals, moisture, and other particles.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES?
Despite the fact that this kind of finish has several benefits, its disadvantages should not be overlooked. The issue is that in order to achieve efficiency and usefulness, the appropriate finish must be utilised.
Less Control Over Coating:
It’s difficult to get a thick finish or regulate the thickness of one. It may also lead to uneven levels of thickness, which has an impact on the overall texture. If the powder coating goes down, it must be re-done.
Getting the Colour Right:
Cross-contamination is a con of recycling and reusing powder coatings. This simply implies that the colours may not come out as planned, lowering efficiency and opening the door for mismatched touch-ups. This may be avoided by carefully storing your powders when they’re not in use.
Take a look at Tomburn if you want to find out more about Powder Coating or would like to discover some of the projects we have worked on.