What Is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is a type of finish that is used as the surface coat on an object. It is applied as a dry powder on metal surfaces and forms a protective barrier around the object its being applied to.
Powder coating is the ideal option when choosing a finish because it is more environmentally friendly, costs about the same or less, and is more durable than paint or other finishes, which means it can take a heavier blow than something finished with paint.
How Does It Work?
Powder coating starts out as polymer granules and is then mixed with hardener, pigments (color) and other ingredients. It is then heated in an extruder and then rolled flat, cooled and broken up into pieces. The pieces are pressed and filtered into a fine powder, which is called powder coating. In order to stick to a surface, it uses electrostatic force, which is why it isn’t ideal for surfaces other than metals.
Powder coating is applied with a spray electrostatic gun onto a grounded metal surface. It is then cured at a high temperature. The temperature you must use depends on the specific coating being applied. After curing is complete, you can apply additional coats if needed.
What Materials Can Powder Coating Be Used on?
According to Powder Coating Plus, Inc., which does powder coating Santa Clarita, CA, powder coating can be used on metal surfaces such as mild steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. Most other steel alloys can be powder coated as well.
If you wish to use it on other surfaces such as wood and plastic, you must pre-treat the surface with a spray coating that provides a conductive surface. The cure temperatures are typically too high to be used on plastic and wood without damage. but there are ways around it.
Advantages of Powder Coating
There are many advantages to using a powder coat finish over other traditional finishes.
- One of the most important advantages of powder coating is that it is environmentally friendly, which means it doesn’t harm the environment as much as other finishes, like paint. The reason for this is that it contains no solvents. This means that it releases almost no volatile organic compounds into the environment. This also saves money because the finisher doesn’t need to buy expensive pollution control equipment. Plus, it is so much easier to comply with Environmental Protection Agency requirements.
- Powder coating cures a lot faster than paint and therefore is ready before painted surfaces, which cuts down on time and in turn can generate more money.
- Powder coating is thicker than paint. It is applied thicker, which makes it harder to mess it up and it often doesn’t require additional coats, which also makes it more cost efficient.
- Powder coating is super durable. It is less likely to chip, peel, or rust, making it last longer than paint.
- A powder coat keeps its color longer than paint, making it look newer for longer instead of fading like paint tends to do over time.
- You can choose from over two hundred colors and textures, making it perfect for someone with a specific idea in mind.
- Powder coating is more cost efficient than paint because it requires less product and it is far more durable, which lessens the amount of money that will be spent refinishing it once it chips or cracks like paint tends to do.
Disadvantages of Powder Coating
Everything has its downfalls. Powder coat application is a more tedious process than painting. You can always YouTube it and try to follow their step-by-step directions, but a lot more science goes in to powder coating than painting.
Painting is more of a no-brainer. You typically need a team that specializes in powder coating to get the job done correctly.
Paint vs. Powder Coating
Powder coating is the best option when finishing metal because it is cost efficient, environmentally friendly, and more durable than paint. More work goes in to powder coating, but the process is worth it by far.
When using powder coating, you won’t have to worry about a lot of problems that come along with painting, like chipping or other damage to your surface, plus you can customize more with it and get as close to what you imagined as possible!
I recommend using powder coating on your metal surfaces for these reasons alone, but there are so many benefits that the clear choice for your metal finishing needs should be powder coating.