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5 Steps on How to Choose the Right Powder Coating Equipment

Posted on: March 20th, 2018 by byersbushblog

In general, powder coating is characterized as a multi-step finishing system where the material must initially be cleaned and prepared before it can be coated. It will then be subjected to a fine powder that is enough to cover the entire surface. The material will be placed in a curing oven where the powder is allowed to melt and flow to create a uniform coat that adheres to the part and delivers an attractive and durable finish as it cools. The equipment and process can vary depending on the type of powder coating method you want to use.

Hot-coat Powder Coating

Powder coat systems find wide usage in various industries like marine, automotive, gardening, and home applications. The Hotcoat system is a type of refinishing system that is considered a breakthrough and can be easily used even by home hobbyists.

hotcoat powder coating

Source: Eastwood

This is because it is designed to deliver professional performance without having to invest in costly industrial type equipment commonly used for traditional powder coating procedures. The finish delivered by this system remains resistant to fuels, chemicals, thinners, acids, UV light, and others. The coat is reportedly ten times better than what liquid coatings can deliver.

Just like standard powder coat paint, it remains friendly to the environment with virtually no toxic wastes and does not rely on solvents. The Hotcoat system is applicable to metal parts that can be subjected to 400 degrees of curing temperature using either an electric oven or Infrared Light Cure system.

Powder Coating Equipment, Ovens, Powder Booths, Supplies

When talking about powder coating equipment, it goes beyond the powder coat guns used to dispense the powder material. You have to consider powder coating ovens that have been optimized and designed to deliver energy efficiency with short cycle times.

Normally, curing ovens can either be gas or electric powered. Some curing ovens come with a gun paint system. Various configurations are available depending on the combination that you need. What you must consider though is the air changes per minute that happen within the entire interior of the oven.

The more air changes that occur, the better. This can be achieved in the workspace with the help of a variable speed recirculating fan that can move the air without affecting the powder that is covering the material. Why is this important?

Aside from the machine spraying gun paint, the quality of the finish can be directly affected by the volume of recirculated air inside the curing oven. When shopping for powder coating ovens, look beyond the price and consider the following:

  • Air slots that help produce an airflow for even heat distribution;
  • Variable speed recirculating fan that can increase air circulation and prevent powder blow off;
  • Variable speed exhaust fan that can shorten purge time and save energy; and
  • Allows for side discharge of oven waste space.

powder coating system

What Sort of Equipment Do I Need For Powder Coating?

The equipment that you will need for powder coating can be categorized based on the different stages of the process. This means that you may use different equipment for the pretreatment, application, and curing stages. To identify what equipment you need, we must take a look at the different stages.

In the pretreatment stage, the objective is to ensure that the surface to be coated is cleaned and remains free of debris, dust, oil, rust, paint, and any material that can degrade the finish. This means that pretreatment equipment will be used before any powder touches the material. A blast room would often be needed to ensure that the surface of the material is completely cleaned off. Wash station is required when dealing with chemical, oils, and solvent residues. Wash stations can also use gun systems to remove stubborn materials found on the surface of the product to be powder coated. Some pretreatment operation may also require the use of a dry-off oven.

For the application stage, powder gun and powder spray booths are commonly used. A specialized powder spray gun is used to cover the entire surface of the product. The spray gun is responsible for electrostatically charging the powder. This is achieved when the compressed air moves the powder along the gun from the hopper creating a tightly formed cloud. The electrostatic charged is received once the powder leaves the gun. Invest in a professional grade spray gun powder coating equipment to get a better and more reliable result.

powder coating equipment

Source: Colmetsb

The spray booth ensures that the powder remains within the workspace and can be scooped up and reused later on. It also provides a well-lit area where you can do your powder coating. Its exhaust fan is equipped with filters to capture some of the overspray powder. This powder can be recycled to minimize wastage.

In the curing stage, a powder curing oven will be required. When doing commercial quantity powder coating, it is better to have a batch powder curing oven that can operate in temperatures anywhere from 325 to 450 degrees. The curing oven should have the ability to stabilize the temperature once it reaches the desired level and maintain it for a prescribed period.

The curing time can vary based on the shape, size, and thickness of the product that will be coated. To achieve professional curing, you will have to be critical in selecting your curing oven. Efficiency, fuel usage, and energy costs all become factors in the selection process. You can choose between batch and automated configurations.

In batch powder coating, the system requires that the parts be prepared, coated, and cured in batches consisting of multiple parts. Products are commonly hung on a metal rack that is rolled along a line to achieve uniform coating. The parts will be manually moved from one stage to another.

For the automated powder coating, the same equipment is used but the stages are interconnected using a motorized conveyor. This means that the parts move along the line at a constant rate and moves along the different stages until it has gone through the curing oven, cooled, and unloaded.

Leasing Equipment

If buying your own powder coating equipment is currently out of your budget, you can choose to lease it out for several years in order to spread the cost. It does not have to be a huge equipment like a curing oven or a powder coating booth, even a paint gun can be the subject of a lease.

You simply need to execute a lease-to-own agreement with a finance company so that you can own the powder coating equipment and pay it off in a number of months with a fixed fee. The most common process can be as easy as this:

  • Fill out an application form, which can be available online;
  • Wait for the lease documents to be sent to you, sometimes via email;
  • Review and sign the documents to finalize the agreement.

Just how much would it cost? Leasing and financing options can vary quite distinctly depending on the financing company you are dealing with. On the average, you can lease equipment anywhere from $5,000 up to $200,000 for a period of 24 to 60 months. Take note that the length of the lease will affect the interest rate you have to pay.

Installation & Service

Most of the time, powder coating equipment is custom built based on the specifications of the customer. The installation and maintenance will be handled by the manufacturing company that you have commissioned to build your equipment for you. This means that they will handle all service issues that may arise from your use of the equipment.

It is important to make sure that the manufacturer is capable of quick response times on any issues that may happen in the process of using the equipment. It does not matter if the problem is a replacement part of a scheduled repair, you must ensure that your equipment remains functional most of the time. Scheduled maintenance must also cover preventive maintenance schedules.

If you feel that doing professional grade powder coating is quite tedious and the cost of owning an efficient equipment is out of hand, you don’t have to worry because there is still an option available to you. Call Byers Bush for Powder Coating now to ensure that you get the best quality powder coating available.

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