Getting Started with Powder Coatings

Getting Started with Powder Coatings

In the business of metal manufacturing and construction, protecting finished products is of paramount importance. After all, metal can be one of the world’s most durable building tools – if it is cared for properly. Some manufacturers choose paint and sealants for this job, but those that want a smoother, tougher finish than traditional paint often choose dry powder coatings for the job.

Look, Mom – No Liquid!

Most colorings or coatings contain a liquid solvent that helps the pigment adhere to and stay attached to the surface to which it is applied. With dry powder coatings, this is not the case. They are applied with the use of a single drop of liquid! This allows for thick, smooth coatings that do not run, drip, or sag once applied.

These powders are applied using a powder coating machine that sprays the dry particles evenly onto the entire surface or is adhered to the surface using electromagnetism. Either way, it will then head off to the curing cabinet or chamber where special ovens will heat the coatings until they harden and cure.

Before and After

The basic steps of the powder coating process – application and curing – are always present, but the overall technique and approach can vary widely from operation to operation. The major differences are typically seen before and after the application of the powder itself.

In some operations, products are primed or prepared for their powder coating. This isn’t always necessary, though, and depends on what the finished products will be used for. In general, if there is dirt, oil, grease, dust, or any other debris present on the surfaces to be coated with powders, preparation will be necessary to ensure the powder will adhere.

Likewise, some operations have entire rooms devoted to ovens for curing powder-coated items, while others have only small cabinets or chambers. What kind of powder coating machine and oven your operation has will depend on your size and budget. Talk to your equipment retailer about your options to be sure you can outfit your facility properly without sacrificing floor space or blowing your budget.

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