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Efficiently Disposing Powder Coating Waste

Posted on: December 20th, 2016 by byersbushblog

Did you know that for the longest time powder coating has delivered the environment-friendly solution for finishing metals, ceramics, and other heat-resistant materials?  This substitute to the traditional liquid finishing processes is highly regarded as non-toxic and uses non-volatile organic compounds.  This does not mean though that it does not produce any waste.  How do you dispose powder coating waste?

Types of Waste

In every powder coating process, two types of wastes will be produced.  This happens during the manufacturing of the powder resulting in wasted grains and at the instance of over spraying particles that fail to stick to the material.  Because the residue powder is not toxic, you simply have to collect it properly to ensure proper disposal.

According to some researches, the average powder coating process has an efficiency of 63%.  This means that about 37% is either unused or wasted.  Around 40% of the wasted powder usually ends up in landfills.  Obviously, this considerably high percentage must be reduced to minimize waste through innovative recycling techniques.

Minimizing Waste

Just like in any other waste reduction technique, the principles of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle come into play.  But how do you apply these to powder coating methods?


  • Reduce

Reduction of wasted powder can be done by ensuring good transfer efficiency at first pass.  How do you do this?  Normally, controlling the application methods used will help achieve this like:

  • Powder velocity;
  • Gun positioning;
  • Temperature and humidity control; and
  • Correct powder output.


When you keep all of these in the proper range, you reach maximum efficiency, allowing the powder to stick better to the treated surface.  Proper and frequent cleaning is also necessary to reduce wasted powder.  In gathering over-scattered powder, booth recovery systems can help in reusing the powder.


  • Reuse

The key in reusing powder is the right equipment combined with good scheduling.  Reclaiming waste can be done by ensuring that over spraying is avoided.  Did you know that scrap powder can be used for other purposes?  For example, you can protect inner parts against rust or be used during testing.  You can do trial runs using wasted powder or mix it with black to be applied for non-cosmetic materials like steel grating.  You need to maintain a large distance between streams when reusing powder and separate the coating materials using discrete recovery systems.


  • Recycle

How do you recycle the wasted powder?  One technique is to bake it into a block and dispose of it in non-flammable containers.  The blocks can be easily disposed or reused as counterweights.  You can even mix it with cement to produce solid dry molding blocks or use as padding for soundproofing.


Other Disposal Methods

There are also other alternatives on how to dispose powder coating waste.  These can include:

  • Multi-colored products – powder coating can be used in multi-colored products like those found in the commercial office industry. The multi-color is normally produced during the cleaning of the spray guns when color change is needed.  The gathered waste can be sold to this industry.
  • Direct to garbage – generally the powders are non-toxic and pose no threats. To be on the safe side, inspect the powder before throwing it into the garbage.
  • Enlarge the particles – there are three processes to increase the size of the accumulated powder:
    • Pressure compaction – this process can enlarge the otherwise miniscule size of the powder particles. As the size of the powder gets bigger, the easier it is to dispose of.
    • Agglomeration by tumbling – with the help of a liquid binder, mixing, and vibrating, bigger sized particles are produced. This process however can negatively impact the film properties.
    • Agglomeration by heating – this relies on heat to produce a gluey powder surface. Overheating the waste though can cause a different set of problems.


Contact Byers Bush Powder Coating, an expert in the field of powder coating with over 40 years of experience, to help you with your coating project and enjoy the powder coating benefits for your investment efficiently.


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