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Best Powder Coating Equipment for Great Results

Posted on: December 27th, 2017 by byersbushblog

Locked and Loaded: Powder Coating Equipment

Our spray guns are locked and loaded!  We have the powder coating equipment needed to achieve results.  You need a powder coating system that goes beyond the competition.  To reach an “above and beyond” status, the proper tools are a fundamental requirement.  We will consider some of the equipment needed for proper powder coating.  And explain how the process works.

Cost effective and resiliently durable, powder coating is the future of surface finishing.  With the right tools and equipment proper application results in a “shell” that will outlast traditional paints and industrial coatings.  These surfaces resist chipping and scratching like an armor coating prepared for battle.  The color selection is practically unlimited.

UV protective elements can be added to the powder keeping the color and shine strong even in tough environments.

What is powder coating?

It looks like paint, but stronger and longer lasting, powder coating is a method of covering a surface with a dry polymer based powder that hardens when heated.  This powder flows freely upon the surface covering its entirety.  No solvents are needed as it is not a liquid.

In traditional liquid paints the solvent keeps the binding agent and the pigmented filler in solution.  Once the solvent evaporates, the paint will have formed a hard coating.  The difference with powder coating is that instead of using the solvent it is solidified through heat causing the thermoplastic powder to reform around the surface into a coating stronger and more robust than conventional paints.

A process of electrostatic charge is often utilized to hold the powder in place prior to the heating stage.  Traditionally used on metal objects and surfaces like car and bike parts, it can also be applied to other materials like wood and medium density fiberboard.

Powder Coating Guns

Which powder coating gun should you use?  Are all guns created equal?  Let’s consider some options. Lower-end models are not as expensive and for smaller jobs work fine.

Professional results can be achieved using these guns.  These usually only have one voltage setting.  The more high-end models offer dual voltage settings enabling you to effectively coat the assigned piece without worrying about incomplete coverage.

Some things to consider are the size of your surfaces and the number of corners and tight spaces there may be.  Chose a gun and accessory setup that will meet the requirements of your job.  We are happy to put our experience and expertise in this area to work for you.

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Powder Coating Ovens

Using the application gun to achieve an even coating of powder on the prepared surface is only part of the art of powder coating.  Heating the unit evenly and to the effective temperature is equally important if the coating is to cure properly.  That’s where the oven comes in.

Toaster ovens are for making toast and kitchen ovens bake turkeys.  Chances are you aren’t trying to powder coat a turkey or a piece bread.  So why use these appliances to cure your powder coating?  Industrial strength ovens and heat guns that can accommodate the size and volume of any project also ensures effective activation of your powder coat.

In addition, infrared curing lights and thermometers are key to achieving professional results that last.  Get the job done right.  Proper ovens and heating equipment are important parts of this process.

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Powder Coating Systems and Methods

Most powder systems can be organized into four types.  Manual spray-to-waste system, automatic spray-to-waste system, manual reclaim system, and automatic reclaim system.

These are determined by how the powder is being applied and what happens to the powder overspray.

The first and most straightforward method is the manual spray-to-waste system. Spray-to-waste means you will not be collecting the overspray powder for continued use.  These systems can be set up and configured in different ways.  When processing small batch parts a compact booth is ideal.  They are portable and economical.

Work pieces can be hung from a grounding rod in the center of the booth, then sprayed with a box-fed powder gun.

For larger applications a walk-in booth can be constructed.  These are typically used in connection with a wash booth and oven.

Automatic spray-to-waste systems utilize automatic spray guns without recovering the powder that is over-sprayed.  Usually used in conjunction with a conveyor system, the parts are mounted into a fixture that holds them in place.  They move into the booth under the spray guns for coating.  There are varying degrees of automation involved in these systems.

Manual reclaim systems use a fluidized base where the over-sprayed powder collects. Compressed air injected beneath a fluid plate or thin membrane clears the base.  A venturi-type pump moves the powder to a powder hopper for reuse.

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Automatic reclaim systems lend themselves to high-production environments. Automatic reclaim systems utilize in-line booths, a fan package and filtration system.  Methods for separating the over sprayed powder include cartridge filters or cyclone separators.

Tougher than conventional paint, choose the powder coating method with no regrets.  We will give you the help you need.

We are fully equipped with powder coating paint guns, hanging stations, spray booths and silicon plugs.  Heating ovens and infrared curing lamps complete the package.

Couple our gear and trained professionals with a dedication to achieving your vision, and that’s a winning combination.

 

Perfect Color Match for Powder Coating

Posted on: December 24th, 2017 by byersbushblog

Choosing Powder Coating Color : Any Color, Anytime

Are you trying to find a the perfect color match?  Perhaps you are restoring an old car or modifying the engine.  Maybe you want your equipment to match the brand of your company logo.  Either way we want you to find that perfect color match.  This process can be intimidating.  There are so many options out there, color matching is not a simple process.

Powder coating colors come in just about any shade, texture and gloss.  So, how do you go about selecting the perfect color match?  Let’s consider a few suggestions and gain a better understanding of hoe powder coating works.

In an industrial environment colors are used to indicate safety.

For example the color red is used to represent fire equipment, flammable liquids, and stop signs and buttons.

The color orange designate danger from energized machinery.

The color yellow means caution and warns of physical hazards like trip and slip dangers.

The color blue is used to indicate policies and directions.

These colors are no problem to formulate.

We can provide dark grays and bright whites too.

Variations in gloss levels, textures and tones are also possible. Metallic flake, vines and hammer tones.  An object can even be clear coated.

powder-coat

First of all, What is Powder?

What is the powder in a powder coat?  They are polyvinyl or PVC flakes that will repeatedly melt when heated and cool into a hard “skin”.  This creates a tough membrane that can stand up to the most challenging environments.  That is why this technique is often used for industrial equipment and engine parts.

The finish is strong and resists marks and scratches from screwdrivers and tools.  It also does a good job at protecting metal from rusting.  The powder coat is spread as a free flow dry plastic.  No solvents are necessary because the powder is applied electrostatically then cured and dried through heat.  This process reduces waste and the impact of our environment is greatly reduced.

Color Matching

For the most accuracy, send a sample or chip of the paint you want matched into the company.  We will do our best to match it.

Custom color matching is our specialty.  When it comes to matching powder coating to paint it can be a challenge.  It is possible to get the match exact but it is also expensive and time consuming.  Of course there are certain standardized hews that are readily available like some of the Ford and Cheney engine colors.

We recommend that you match the paint to the powder coating color instead.  This is a faster and cheaper method if you must mix coatings.  Choose your color and we can send you a sample of the powder coat for reference.  Contact us and let us work to meet your needs.

powder-coat-color

Images & Paint Codes

Here are a few suggestions when it comes to choosing and matching colors.  The perfect matching chart and number system hasn’t been created yet.  But here are a few things you can do to move in the right direction.

Find a photo of the desired color, the actual color not just something painted that color.  Go to a website that allows you to translate paint color codes into Red Green Blue values.  You could also convert the color into HEX or RAL values. Using these programs you can convert the photo into a HEX code then into a RAL color.

What is the RAL color matching system?

World wide this standard method is used to judge powder coating color values.  Powders and traditional paints are fundamentally different at a molecular level.  Therefore matching them using paint codes and charts doesn’t work.

It is interesting to note that even the big names in the coatings industry like DuPont and Sherrie-Williams don’t use the same system for matching their powder colors and their traditional paint colors.  The RAL color system produces the best results.  The other option of course is to mail us a sample and we will do the work for you.

Aesthetic Considerations

What is the item you are coating?  If its older and in poor condition you may want to choose a matte finish.  Some objects look better in a gloss finish.  Some colors must first have a base coat then a top coat to achieve luminescent qualities.

Samples

As they say “seeing is believing” if you want to be absolutely sure that the color you order is the right one for you,  contact us and we can send you a sample card powder sprayed with the color you are considering.

Lasting quality, durable and chip-resistant powders, including metallic, gloss, flat, textured and translucent colors, you’ll get exactly the color finish you want.  Additives that create translucent effects and pearl like finishes.  Contact us, powder coatings are the future and we want you to benefit from making the decision to coat with powder.

 

 

Process & Properties Guide of Powder Coating Thickness

Posted on: December 21st, 2017 by byersbushblog

The Properties of Powder Coating

Powder coating is a method of covering a surface with a dry polymer-based powder that gels when heated and hardens once cooled.  This powder flows freely upon the surface covering its entirety.  No solvents are needed as it is not a liquid.

In traditional liquid paints the solvent keeps the binding agent and the pigmented filler in solution.  Once the solvent evaporates, the paint will have formed a hard coating.  The difference with powder coating is that instead of using the solvent, it is solidified through heat causing the thermoplastic powder to reform around the surface into a coating stronger and more robust than conventional paints.

A process of electrostatic charge is often utilized to hold the powder in place prior to the heating stage.  Traditionally used on metal objects and surfaces like car and bike parts or aluminum excursions, it can also be applied to other materials.

The properties of powder coating give this method an advantage over traditional liquid coatings. VOC or volatile organic compounds are an environmental concern, but unlike liquid paint coatings, the powder coating process emits near zero VOC.  Paints, as a liquid coating, tend to run and sag if the application is too thick, but powder coatings can be applied liberally without this problem.  The results that would take multiple coats of paint to achieve can be accomplished in one session.

Since powder coatings are essentially little beads of plastic, the overspray can be recycled utilizing nearly all of the products.  Additionally, operating costs are less.  Just as winds can draw patterns in the desert sand, unique textures and tones can be achieved in the powder coating.  Powder coatings are corrosion resistant and impact resistant.

corrosion-resistant

Types of Powder Coatings and Powder Coating Production

We have two primary categories.  They are thermoplastic powders and thermosetting powders.  The thermoplastic type is pure.  When heat is applied to the coating, it gels and flows into shape but maintains the same elemental structure.  It’s like melting chocolate chips in a cookie.  The thermosetting type is a bit different.  The formula includes a cross-linker.

During the baking stage, the added chemicals react with the polymers on a molecular level transforming into a new coating with improved performance.

How do you decide which powder coating formula to use in any given situation?  The choice of which powder suits your needs best is determined by the look your hoping to achieve aesthetically and the performance properties needed to withstand environmental factors.  And of course price is a factor as well.

Powder Coat Application Thickness Ranges

The coating thickness is determined by a few different factors.  First is the application equipment for the coating powder.  Most often the tool of choice is the Corona gun.  This is an electrostatic gun.  It imposes an electrostatic charge onto the powder.  The item you are coating is grounded.  Then compressed air forces the powder out of the gun and the natural electro attraction draws the powder forward and onto the object. This is one reason that powder coating is so effective. Complete coverage and appropriate thickness is achieved. This method of application results in a thickness of 6 to 12 mils. Another factor is the choice of spray nozzle. Depending on the shape of the object being coated.

powder-coat-application

The other method is called fluidized dip coating.  When the desired thickness is 15 mils or more this method can be utilized.  A bed or deep container is filled with powder and the objects are then dipped into the bed.  The items are often preheated and the dipping bed is aerated to agitate the powder resulting in surface coverage.  The powder sticks to the heated object.  Items like dishwasher racks and testing equipment are coated using this method.

Film Thickness

Have you ever been to the playground with your child and seen one of those pits full of plastic balls?  Imagine that those balls represent the particles in a powder coat.  How many can you fit in the pit?  Well that depends on how large each ball is.  Similarly, the thickness of a powder coating is achieved by both the number of particles and the particle-size.

An additional factor is the limit of how many particles of like charge can be stacked atop one another.  This is affected by the temperature of the object being coated.  On the other hand, there is a minimum amount of powder particles that are required for the thinnest acceptable coating.

In this relationship, an increase in particle size also increases the maximum thickness achievable in the powder coating.  The size of each particle in the powder is measured in mesh.  Mesh describes measurement.  The fluidized dip process typically uses a 50 mesh or higher powder and the spray gun method uses around 70 mesh particles.  At times companies will load their Corona guns with 50 mesh powder, typically only used in dipping beds, and achieve 9 to 15 mils thicknesses.

Part Preparation Processes and Equipment

One preparation technique is preheating the object you wish to coat.  This method is not used in traditional liquid paint coating due to the danger of premature curing.  The reason this is done is because preheating can up the achievable thickness level when spraying.  Why? Because the object is heated electrically, charged particles will dissipate their charge faster.   As the powder shifts from a solid form into a liquid this charge is lost.  This makes it possible to stack more particles onto the unit before reaching the electrostatic limit.

At around 190F the powder will begin to melt or gloss over and additional powder can be sprayed.  Very high thicknesses are achievable if the part being coated can be preheated to 250F.  The thickness of 100 mils becomes possible.

Recoating

Here is another technique.  You can reheat an already coated part, bringing it back to the melted stage and add additional powder.  It is important when utilizing this method that the original coating has attained molten state or the second layer will not adhere properly.

Coating Techniques

When employing the electrostatic thermoplastic system, the techniques for spraying are basically the same as thermoset powder coating.  These are what you need to take note of.

One, aim the Corona gun at a perpendicular angle to the object you are coating.

Two, watch the inner corners and areas that may resist the electrostatic application, like a Faraday cage effect.

Third, remove all burrs to achieve a smooth subsurface.

Fourth, move slowly across the area and let the electrostatic force do its job.  Powder can also be applied via electrostatic discs.

heating-curing

Heating and Curing

Once the desired thickness is achieved the next step is heating, often in an oven, for the purpose of curing the coating.  The melted polymer reacts chemically forming a network encasing the object.  This process for curing is called cross linking.  Usually the powder must be kept at 200 Celsius for around ten minutes.  This can be accomplished using a convection oven type design or infrared lights.

As a growing industry there are new market opportunities emerging for powder coating technologies.  Currently the powder coatings are cured in ovens and set by infrared lamps.  But recent developments are showing that the polymers can be cured using UV/LED technology.

In the future powder coatings may be gelled and set utilizing simple LED lights.  This is an opportunity for both industries to grow and develop.  UV curable powders that are clear or black pigmented can be applied and cures much faster.

The Final Step: Cooling

The final step is the cooling process. This is an important step because the characteristics that make powder coating so desirable result during the cooling stage of the process.  While the electrostatic spray system for thermoplastic powder coating and thermoset powder coats are practically the same, the curing and cooling process is different.

The thermosetting powders harden into a coating during the curing reaction.  This is irreversible.  The thermoplastic powders on the other hand become hard after they have cooled down.

At that time they possess their complete mechanical properties.  If contact is made with the object being coated prior to a complete cooling, damage may be done to the powder coating.  Some have utilized a water cooling system.  The curing objects are soaked in cold water to bring the temperature down to an acceptable level.

When it comes to discussing the art of powder coating, an understanding of each of these steps is crucial.  The thickness of your coat depends upon the size of the powder particle and the potential of the electrostatic charge.

Thermoset polymers are used for thicker coatings and usually within a fluidized dip bed.

Thermoplastic powders work well for thinner coatings applied with a Corona spay gun.  Heated and properly cooled.  This technology is on the move and is growing, changing and improving every day.

We want you to enjoy the benefits of this technology.  The next time you need a coating, we want to help make it powder. Contact us

 

Is Powder Coating Heat Resistant?

Posted on: December 19th, 2017 by byersbushblog

The powder coating process is generally considered as a dry paint finishing solution primarily because there are no solvents used or mixed in to achieve that excellent finish. The performance however is far better than what traditional paint finish or metal coating can deliver. The question though is whether powder coating is heat resistant.

Durable Finish

Compared with conventional coating methods, powder coating scores significantly higher both in terms of corrosion resistance and environment friendliness. It is considered as a durable finish that can create long lasting results for commercial and residential products as well.

Powder coating is applied to various furniture, railings, wheels, home appliances, and doors that are made out of wood, plastic, glass, and metal of course. This means that you can get a durable finish with so much flexibility. It can be used on a wide range of products provided that it can be electrostatically charged to allow the powder to cling and coat to the material.

In order to get this type of durable and high quality finish, it is important to make sure that that powder coating provider has extensive experience in dealing with the different types of materials that can be coated. It is equally important that the service provider has the reputation for delivering the durable and excellent finish that you want.

High Temperature Coating

So, is powder coating heat resistant? First of all, aside from heat resistance, it is also equally important to find out whether excellent finish can be achieved even in high temperatures. It is a well-known fact that powder coating is excellent in covering imperfections in the materials that it coats. However, can it deliver the same high quality when subjected to extreme heat?

high-temperature

To achieve high temperature powder coat, it requires a series of functional coating that is silicone based. This process will give the powder coating process not only the heat resistance that is desired, but also corrosion resistance together with high levels of color retention.

This means that in this context, powder coating can survive even the harshest environments; something that is extremely useful for industrial and automotive products. The excellent abrasion and corrosion resistance properties have been established through a series of tests that have been done to ensure that the high quality finish remains intact.

As far as heat resistance is concerned, the powder coat is capable of withstanding temperatures of well above 1100 degrees. This is quite significant, which means that it can be deployed in a variety of degrading environments and provides flexibility in terms of color selection. It is important to note that powder coats have exposed to more than 240 hours of humidity and salt spray without any signs of degradation.

Temperature Properties

After going through vigorous testing procedures, powder coats have retained its gloss and color. The coating itself did not show any signs of peeling, cracking, and degrading. These tests were carried using polyester, epoxy, and hybrid materials. The powder coating can be applied in both textured and smooth surfaces to achieve the desired finish.

temperature-properties

Let’s take a look at the properties of powder coat finishes at various temperature ranges.

  • At 600 Degrees

Powder coating at this temperature exhibits excellent surface hardness and maintains chemical resistance. The coat is assured for long-term performance with the gloss, film integrity, and color well-maintained. Resistance to UV is also exceptional making it ideal for outdoor usage.

  • At 800 Degrees

In terms of maintaining the gloss, color, and film integrity, there is no question that the coat will hold at this temperature. Expect the coat to last for a long time and remain resistant to UV rays when applied to outdoor products.

  • At 1000 Degrees

Beyond average resistance to UV exposure can be expected from powder coats at this temperature. The integrity of the film, gloss, and color also remains exceptional. As far as over bake stability is concerned, there is no question that it will remain excellent.

  • At 1200 Degrees

At this extreme temperature, you can expect the powder coat to remain in excellent condition regardless whether it is for indoor or outdoor application. The over bake stability is equally excellent with the integrity of the color, gloss, and film remaining more than satisfactory.

How can you be assured that the powder coating remains heat resistant? Or more importantly, that the powder coat remains in excellent condition when subjected to high temperatures? The answer lies not only in the method of application, but also in the service provider.

To make sure that there are no doubts on the heat resistance and high quality of the powder coat, let Byers Bush Powder Coating do the job for you. Call them today.

Powder Coating Preparation Process

Posted on: December 16th, 2017 by byersbushblog

You may have already heard about how great the powder coating process is and how much protection it can give to your materials. However, are you aware that there is a preparation process that must be done before any material can be powder coated? What is this?

Pressure Washing

Washing down the material to be powder coated must be done to clean off any material that is sticking to it. Pressure washers are cable of removing loose dirt and grease. This is also a faster way to clean materials compared to manual scrubbing.

Before subjecting the material to pressure washing, make sure that there are no delicate areas that may be bent out of shape during the process. It is best to have washers that have various settings so that you can control the pressure of the water.

Keep in mind that pressurized water can be very strong and dangerous so you need to have safety googles on all the time. Run the stream of water over the entire part of the material a couple of times to remove any stubborn dirt that is clinging to it. Gas pressure washers have higher outputs compared to electric ones.

Use Cleaners

The type of cleaner that you will use would depend on the kind of material that will be coated. For example, you cannot use an aluminum cleaner for steel products and vice versa. Aluminum is quite delicate so you need to be extra careful when using cleaners. The cleaners can remove any corrosion that may be present.

Steel or iron would be comparatively easy to clean than aluminum. The cleaners are also cheaper to buy. There is no need to dilute the cleaner if you have greasy steel or iron products. You need to make sure that you are not using acid-base cleaners when treating hardened steel. This will result in hydrogen embitterment on the hardened steel and other cast iron parts.

This means that hydrogen atoms will be absorbed by the steel resulting in a change in internal structure causing it to break. It is not commonly talked about when considering powder coating, but it is useful to be aware of this. So be careful in choosing acid-based cleaners.

Scrubbing

Once the product has soaked in the cleaner for maybe 5 minutes or more (depending on how much cleaning it needs), take it out and spray a bit more cleaner before you start scrubbing down on it. Use a nylon brush for scrubbing.

pressure-washing

If you need to get into bolt holes or similarly small areas, gun cleaning brushes would do the trick. Parts washers can be extremely useful in this instance because you can place almost anything in it. It will also constantly spray cleaner from its small nozzle to make the cleaning easier.

After you have thoroughly scrubbed off the part, rinse it off with the pressurized washer and repeat the scrubbing. This is done to make sure that the product is free from any dirt, grime, and corrosion. Make the final rinse with hot water and blow it off with air to completely dry it out.

Baking

Baking is done to outgas the product. This process not only completely dries out the material, but it also gets rid of the remaining moisture that can cause imperfections in the coat finish. Remember that cast iron and cast aluminum are both porous materials so it allows impurities to soak into the metal.

In this baking process, the temperature will be a bit higher compared to what will be used for the powder coating curing. The time for baking will also be comparatively longer. Use an IR thermometer to check the temperature in the oven.

Cast metal parts would usually emit smoke once it is in the oven.  Do not be alarmed, these are the oils evaporating from the metal. Allow the smoking to finish to ensure that it has completely outgassed. If the outgassing happens during the curing stage, the oils will mix with the powder coat resulting in expansion. So what you will see are pinholes on the coating finish, which would not be very pretty.

Baking eliminates 90% of potential outgassing problems during powder coating so it would be a good practice to observe. Now that you have everything cleaned, degreased, and outgassed, you can start thinking of the powder coating process.

If you want a simpler approach to powder coating with excellent results, call Byers Bush Powder Coating now!