The automotive industry uses powder coating extensively, so, logically, it requires coatings that combine durability with good-looking finishing.
A key aspect of this strength is chemical resistance, including resistance to petrol.
There are two main categories of powder coating:
The main difference is in their permeability. With thermoplastic coatings, you can melt them to remove them, whereas thermoset powder coatings fuse together chemically to form a permanent bond.
Various types of powder coating are suitable for automotive applications, including:
These different coatings each have some properties that are superior to others.
For example, epoxy powder coatings have a high durability for outdoor use, chemical resistance and anti-corrosion. But they can become brittle with prolonged exposure to UV light.
Epoxy-polyester hybrids are less likely to crack under UV light because the polyester element softens the epoxy, enhancing its weathering properties.
Generally, the most widespread use of powder coatings is to provide protective and decorative finishes to metal surfaces.
Powder coatings are applied to a range of car parts, including door handles, bumpers and wheel trims.
Powder coating provides a dependable protective outer layer for metal parts, especially car wheels.
Using a spraying process of electrostatic attraction, followed by curing at high temperatures, powder coatings adhere evenly and firmly to metal substrates.
This gives finishes a enduring and decorative quality.
For protecting vehicles, powder coating coats bare metal chassis and roll cages. Wheels, engine parts, the undercarriage and suspension parts can also benefit from powder coating’s protective properties.
As well as offering protection to exposed and heavily used automotive parts, powder coating reduces the overall impact of wear and tear on the finish itself.
Compared with wet paint applications, powder coatings are more resistant to scratches, abrasions, chipping and fading.
They prolong the lifespan of the surfaces you apply them to.
Finally, powder coatings increase the resistance of vehicles to contaminants and chemicals.
They are resistant to:
To apply powder coating successfully, you must first prep the surface properly. There are various steps to this.
First you need to remove any contaminants on the metal surface you want to coat.
Abrasive blasting of tiny silica or sand particles onto the surface will remove any mill debris, rust or other surface contaminants.
Next, it is important to fine grind any sharp edges manually. Even though powder coating is highly effective in reaching otherwise inaccessible areas, it can build up on sharp or pronounced edges.
Finally, to remove any grime left over from the blasting and grinding processes, soak the metal in a chemical bath, such as acetone.
After this, apply a steam wash to it to remove any chemical traces.
You apply powder coating electrostatically, using a spray gun.
The compressed air in the spray gun atomises the powder as it forces it out through the nozzle, creating a fine spray.
The powder receives a positive charge as it leaves the nozzle, which helps it attract and adhere to the negatively-charged surface you are applying it to.
Once the surface is covered, the part is baked in a special oven. This curing process cross-links the resin structures in the applied powder.
They then fuse together, forming an even coating.
After cooling, the part has a durable, protective outer shell covering it.
Naturally, car and vehicle parts, including wheels, are going to come into plenty of contact with petrol and other chemicals.
The petrol-resistant properties of powder coatings extends the lifespan of wheels, providing stability and resistance.
As a finish, powder coating is environmentally friendly, containing no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Its cost effectiveness as a coating for vehicles comes from its long-lasting qualities, meaning you won’t need to upgrade wheels or other car parts as often.
For more details about petrol-resistant powder coatings and the benefits of this process, please contact us.