No matter how experienced the contractor is, there will always be a potential safety issue involved in the powder coating process. It does not matter if you are powder coating tractor or garden furniture, safety precautions need to be taken for the operator, the premises, and the object being powder coated. Do you know some of these safety regulations?
How familiar are you with the powder coating process? It is undoubtedly one of the more popular coating processes used in the metal manufacturing sector. It has been preferred for over 30 years because of the efficiency of the coating it produces that offers ample protection against corrosion while maintaining a beautiful finish. This is obviously something very important for tractors, which are used and exposed to the harsh elements of the environment constantly.
The process does not create volatile organic compounds (VOC) at the application stage so manufacturers consider powder coating as an environmentally friendly technology. However, this does not change the fact that it remains as a production process. This means that anything within the manufacturing facility should be of concern in terms of safety.
The powder may look harmless enough, but there is still a potential for combustion. This can be in the form of the mixture of powder-to-air found in the application gun. What is the ignition source? The potential source can be poor grounding and the oxygen contained in the compressed air that is supplied to the application booth.
This information should provide a general idea on how to improve the safety and functionality of the powder coating line, especially when working with huge machinery.
Danger in the Booth
There is a potential danger from within the booth in the form of a possible fire. The powder paint is non-flammable, but when it turns into an atomized state, it can start and support a fire. What adds to this danger is the relative difficulty in recognizing the conditions that can result in combustion.
When there are ungrounded parts in the booth and the equipment acts as the capacitor when subjected to an electrostatic field, there could be a saturation of the ungrounded object. This causes the discharge of energy to the ground creating a spark or an arc. When this happens in a section where the mixture is right, the release of the energy will serve as the ignition source of the fire.
The regular cleaning of the powder that builds up from the fixtures and racks will help improve the overall safety of the manufacturing area. When too much powder coating accumulates on the metal fixture, it creates resistance to grounding. When working with large pieces of metals like those of a tractor, this scenario cannot be far behind.
Having a cleaning schedule using blasting, stripping, or burn off will reduce the risk of combustion within the powder coating booth. It will also resolve the problem of poor grounding to help prevent the possibility of fire.
It is often considered normal for dust to stay on the manufacturing floor. However, this can also be a very dangerous scenario to have. Why? It does not matter if it is nonmetallic or metallic, dust has the probability of catching fire and exploding when it mixes with the air. Under normal circumstances these materials may not be considered combustible. But if the right particle size, concentration, and presence of ignition suddenly combine together, then you will have a very flammable situation in your hands. Can you imagine how much dust can accumulate when trying to powder coat the huge pieces of a tractor?
This is why the regulations covering systems and facility design requires that a portion of the facility interior where dust may reside should have sufficient depth of about 5% or more of the floor area. This will prevent dust explosion from causing fires. Every manufacturing facility should be able to apply acceptable cleaning methods in maintaining security. Normally, vacuuming is the preferred method in dealing with dusts.
Contact Byers Bush Powder Coating today to powder coating tractor, furniture, metallic and non-metallic parts, and other similar needs, and enjoy many advantages of powder coating for your investment!