Powder coating is the process of finishing metal with a protective coating. The process was introduced to North American back in the 1960s. It now makes up over 15% of the industrial finishing market and goes onto numerous products nationwide. Hawaii Powder Coating is one company that creates these finished. Some of the companies that conduct the process also handle other types of metal work. Others specialize solely in powder coating and nothing else.
Powder coating is known for creating a durable, high-quality finish that makes a product look complete. However, the process is known for improving a part’s efficiency, as well as making is environmentally compliant. Powder coating isn’t limited to one single color. Instead, it can be quite decorative. The types of powder coatings that can be applied are practically limitless, thanks to technological advancements. Of course, none of this answers the question “what is powder coating?”
Powder Coating – How It Works
Powder coating is a polymer resin. It’s a powdered type of plastic that is mixed with many other things to come up with a final, applied formulation. It could be mixed with leveling agents, pigments, curatives, and flow modifiers. All of these are what make up the final finished coating. To apply powder coating to metal, those ingredients are melted together, mixed up, and then cooled. Finally, they are ground into a very fine powder. This powder ends up being kind of like paint, only much thicker and sturdier.
The powder coating process involves something called electrostatic spray deposition, also known as ESD. The powder goes into a spray gun that uses ESD to get it to stick to the metal surface. After this is complete, the metal parts go into an oven where they are cured. The heat alters the chemical composition of the powder, turning it into a very hard substance that is very scratch resistant. We keep mentioning metal, but powder coatings can also be applied to hard plastics and even MDF (medium density fiberboard.)
In some cases, powder coating is applied in a process called fluidized bed application. This application involves preheating the parts and dipping them into the powder. The powder coating then melts and any excess sloughs off. After this, the coated part is treated to ensure that the coating sticks. No matter how the powder coating is applied, it is very durable. The process is also environmentally friendly.
Powder Coating and Durability
Powder coating appears on thousands of products. Everything from standard household items to metal shopping carts is powder coated. There are many industrial applications for powder coating as well. Why? Because it’s very durable. Powder coating is scratch-resistant and will last for years, making it very useful for parts that are used in high-pressure situations. Overall, as the people at Hawaii Powder Coating will attest, these coated parts and items are resistant to extreme weather conditions, moisture, impact, ultraviolet light, and chemicals. Powder coating is very tough indeed.