Since the 1950's, powder coating has become a popular process for both decorative and protective finishes in manufacturing. In fact, it is used in nearly every major manufacturing business today. These include furniture, architecture, automotive, and appliances. It is available in a large range of textures and colors.
In order to understand why powder coating is a better choice over wet painting, it is important that you know how it works. Organic powder is applied to the object in an electrostatic manner, which means it uses charged particles to paint a piece more efficiently. These pieces are metal parts that require the decorative and protective finish mentioned above. The process begins with a pre-treatment that involves cleaning the piece to remove any grease or other residue. Then the surface is prepared to bond with the powder during the curing process. The item must be completely dry before the coating is applied. Then the powder is cured by baking or heating that results in a pure, durable, powder coat finish.
Advantages of Powder Over Wet Paint
Powder coating provides a superior finish that eliminates many issues associated with wet paint. Below are some examples of why powder coating is the better choice:
- Performance - Due to the thermal bonding process, powder coatings are resistant to weather, chemicals, corrosion, scratching, chipping, and other wear and tear. Powders also provide a more uniform coating, because they don't drip or run, and the colors stay vibrant longer than with wet painting. The end result is a durable, high quality, attractive finish.
- Costs - Powder coatings cover more area than other organic finishes. Using powder also reduces labor costs, lower energy costs, and less waste, which all translate into savings for the consumer.
- Safety - While paint is contains carcinogenics, is flammable, and is full of VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds), powder contains no solvents and are generally VOC-free. None of the health issues or fire threats from paint are associated with powder.
- Environment - Powder meets the air and water pollution control standards of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). It is a clean, economic process, because any overspray can either be reused or returned to a hopper for recirculation. These operational savings are also passed on to the consumer.
Powder coating includes many customized finishing colors and textures, because the powders can be expertly manipulated. It can also withstand bending without flaking or cracking. However, from a production point of view, the main advantage of powder over paint is that it is cured in just 20 minutes, which means the piece is ready to put to work almost immediately.