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How Do You Apply Clear Powder Coat?

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by byersbushblog

Clear powder coating can be quite tricky to use. However, in terms of powder coating, this material has proven to have many uses. Learning how to use it requires knowing how to properly apply it. So if you want to add more functionality to powder coating, it is necessary to know how to apply clear powder coat.

Understanding Clear Coats

understanding clear coats

Before we take a look how to apply clear powder coat, let us first try to understand what clear coats are all about. Yes, despite the popularity of acrylic thermosetting powder, there are other types of powders for clear coats. Why is acrylic such widely preferred?

Did you know that acrylic powder is mainly used for clear powder coating applications? Acrylic presents strong clarity and possesses high resistance to chipping. Aside from this, it is also known to deliver a clearer and smoother clear coat compared to other types of powders. This is the reason why acrylic is such a popular choice for clear coating.

An important thing to understand with clear powder coating is that the coat is not invisible. All types of clear coat present a unique finished look.

This means that the final appearance of the clear powder coat that you will get will depend on the clarity as well as the type of shine that you prefer. The gloss levels of clear coats also vary and can be anywhere from flat, semi-gloss, to full gloss. So there are a lot of choices open to you.

Uses of Clear Coat

uses of clear coat

Why should you choose clear powder coat? What are its uses? Primarily, clear powder coat is commonly used to provide an additional layer of protection for colored powder coats. It can also be used to further enhance the overall look of the colored powder coating.

This is normally done by applying high gloss clear coat over the gloss black coat. This helps the underlying colored coat to become more emphasized with an added shine. The presence of the clear coat will increase the durability of the finishing.

This is especially true if the clear powder coat is cautiously applied midway through the curing process of the initial coat. This creates a cross-linking and bonding of the two coats that will enhance the visual appeal of the final product.

Are there other reasons why you should use clear coats? One such instance is when you are working with chrome powders. This type of powders need a clear top coat as finishing because this prevents the aluminum flakes contained in the powder from oxidizing quickly.

If this is not done, the chrome powder coated product will begin to look like bare, unfinished aluminum, which is quite unattractive and a waste of the powder coating process.

There are also some powder coats that are considered porous from a microscopic scale. This means that it does not present the best corrosion protections possible for the material. These powder coats are normally used as decorative finishes, so to preserve its appeal, it is vital that a clear top coat is used.  To achieve the best finish a primer top coat or primer top coat clear coat finish is used.

The resulting product will have increased durability and functionality. It is not surprising that acrylic resins may be added to polyester-based powders in an attempt to improve leveling, enhance stain, and flow.

Applying Clear Coat

applying clear coat

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Powder-Coat-Gun.jpg

Now that we have a clearer understanding of this type of powder coat and its use, let us take a look at the steps on how to apply it. These steps assume that a base coat has been prepared so we take it from there.

  1. Do a partial cure of the base coat by allowing it stay in the curing oven for considerable time. This is to allow the dry powder to flow or melt throughout so that no graininess will be observed on the finish. Doing a partial cure is critical when dealing with inter-coat adhesion of the base and the top coat. How long this should be done depends on the type of substrate material used and the thickness of the coat you want to achieve.
  2. After the partial curing has been completed, take the material out of the oven and give it time to completely cool down. Never handle the material directly between coats as much as possible.
  3. After the material has cooled down the clear top coat can now be applied on the base coat. The optimal thickness of the coat should be anywhere from 1.8 to 2.8 mils only.
  4. Bring back the material into the oven for the full and final curing process. Curing time begins as soon as the substrate material reaches the proper temperature.

These are the steps on how to apply clear powder coat. If you want an easier way to do it, send your material to Byers Bush Powder Coating today.

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