Powder coating is a type of metal finishing applied in powder form. The coating is typically applied electrostatically to allow the powder particles to become charged, before being cured under heat to create a stronger bond with the metal. The end result is an incredibly durable and high-quality finish that's much tougher than conventional paint.
It's important to achieve the correct temperature in order to benefit from the durable finish. But what temperature is required for an optimal powder coating finish?
The curing process, also called crosslinking, is necessary to strengthen the coating. Most powder coatings, like thermoset powders, normally cure at temperatures of 200°C (390°F) for 10 to 15 minutes, before being set aside to cool. The exact temperature and the length of time required to cure can vary depending on the manufacturer's specifications. Other factors also include the size and mass of the object, as well as the efficiency of the oven and thickness of the coating.
It's important to cure the metal at the appropriate temperature. That will ensure a uniform and durable finish that will last for years to come.
The powder coating process starts by removing any dirt or lubrication greases from a metal's surface. The exact method used depends on the size and material of the part that will be powder coated. Powder coating is typically done with thermoplastic or thermoset polymer powder. Thermosets are frequently used to coat appliances because of its higher heat resistance, while thermoplastics offer increased durability. Another difference is in how they bond with different base materials.
The most common way that powder coating is applied is with the use of an electrostatic gun. The electrostatic gun charges the powder material so it sticks to the base metal object. It's common to heat the metal first and spray the powder onto the surface to achieve a more uniform finish. The last step is curing the metal at a high temperature to further strengthen the bond with the material.
Applications for powder coating include a range of consumer and commercial hardware that are frequently subject to increased wear and tear. Powder coating does not have a liquid carrier, so it's able to produce thicker coatings. The result is a durable finish that is more scratch resistant and less prone to fading than other kinds of finishes. Powder coating can be applied in a wide selection of colours. Different textures range from smooth to matte or wrinkled finishes.
Powder coating not only delivers a durable finish, but is also more environmentally friendly compared to liquid paint. Powder coating does not contain any solvents and there is no carrier fluid to evaporate. The entire process from start to finish emits few volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are known to have harmful effects on the environment.
Increased durability combined with reduced waste means that powder coating could actually save you money in the long run. Powder coating can also maintain its finish up to 15 to 20 years. Once applied, you won't need to worry about repainting a metal surface for a long time.
To find out more about the benefits of powder coating or to request a quote for your project, contact Tomburn today.