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Different Types and Methods of Powder Coating Metal – What You Should Know

Posted on: February 8th, 2018 by byersbushblog

How does Powder Coating Metal Works

The remarkable plant we live on is called Earth.  This planet is primarily made up of minerals and heavy metals.  We build and design structures, electronics, appliances and vehicles with these processed metals.  But what about powder coating?  How can we utilize this technology to protect and beautify the things we create with these metals?  Different metals need to be prepared using different methods before powder coating materials can adhere successfully.  We offer powder coating methods for all substrates including various metals.  Let’s consider some of the differences and methods for powder coating metal.

Plain Carbon Steel Powder Coats

Steel is one of the most common elements of our planet that we utilize for design and innovation.  Superman was referred to as “the man of steel” because of his strength and indestructibility.  Plain carbon steel however, has a vulnerable side.  Rust!  Industrial equipment that spend its time exposed to the environment must be properly coated.  95% pure carbon and steel, if you want the powder coating to stay, this metal needs to be cleaned and sandblasted until there is absolutely no sign of rust.  Since corrosion is the primary concern, an epoxy polyester formula is your best choice.  We can deliver the powder coating formulation that meets your specific needs.  Contact us.

plain carbon powder coats

Stainless Steel Powder Coats

Who doesn’t love stainless steel?  A superb manifestation of the possibilities steel affords.  This metal responds well to powder coating.  Since corrosion by the elements is not a serious concern, a basic polyester powder coat formulation does the job.  In the preparation phase of the coating process, the unit can be clean blasted with Corundum beads.  After the initial blasting though, we recommend using glass beads as well.  This creates an anti-glare effect that cuts down some of the shine instinctive to stainless steel.  Products made from this metal are almost literally indestructible and provide years of unrestrained service.

Aluminum Powder Coats

Americans know this word is pronounced “aluminum”, but for those of British orientation we are discussing the metal “aluminum”.

Powder coating this lightweight and malleable metal is a bit more challenging than coating steel.  Metals like copper and aluminum oxidize quickly when exposed to air.  The thin, sometimes almost invisible patina, interferes with the adhesion of a powder coating.  Prior to coating, aluminum oxide must be completely removed for the powder coating process to work.  Only pure metal will provide the substrate needed for a successful coating.

Aluminum can be coated in polyester powders, epoxy powders, or epoxy-poly blends.  All these options will suffice, providing a lasting colorfast shell for the aluminum.

Galvanized Steel Powder Coats

What is galvanized steel?  When exposed to moisture and oxygen, steel is prone to rust.  To protect this metal a process was designed to modify these properties.  The steel is dipped in a hot chemical solution that coats the metal making it less likely to rust.  This process is called galvanization.

Galvanized Steel Powder Coats

Since galvanized steel is already rust resistant some believe powder coating it is unnecessary.  However, once galvanized steel has been given a powder coating, it’s practically invincible.  Many industries operate their gear in highly corrosive environments.  Adding an extra layer of protection to your galvanized steel is well worth it.

Galvanized steel is one of the most common metals utilized industrially due to its properties and price point.  All of the various powder coating resins agree with this metal.  Contact us for an estimate.

Chrome Powder Coats

Chromed surfaces can also be powder coated.  You can apply a clear layer to protect the chrome.  Chrome-Like finishes can be achieved with powder coating as well.  Imagine the shine of chrome tinted is the color of your choice.  As chromed surfaces are generally decorative, powder coating can be especially challenging.  Leave it up to the professionals.  Call us and we’ll give you a reasonable and competitive quote.

Stainless Steel Powder Coating for Food Service 

Utilizing powder coating for the food service industry is becoming increasingly common.  Stainless steel in itself creates a food safe surface for prepping and cooking, but when you augment its profile with a powder coating its usefulness and durability skyrocket.  The primary advantage is that corrosion becomes practically nonexistent.

Since stainless still typically posses a shiny and smooth surface, getting a powder coat to adhere properly takes some preparation.  You can blast the surface to establish a pitting effect that helps the powder coating stick.  Some have had success using acid to etch the surface.

This creates a durable finish.  Scratch and chip resistance will be at a premium.  Your metal products and equipment will stand out.

Why Is Powder Coating Superior to Traditional Paint

Powder coating wins over wet paint.  There are four main reasons this is true.  First, powder coating is more economical.  Traditional wet paint is resource intensive.  The over spray and fumes generated can’t be recovered.  Powder coating on the other hand, is very efficient.  The  transfer rate averages at 65%.  The over-sprayed powder can be collected and reused as it is a solid not a liquid.  With traditional wet paints, the transfer rate is about 35% and over spray cannot be reused.  In addition, the product itself costs more that the powder coating material.

The second concern is safety.   Powder coating is safer than wet paint.  Traditional wet paints contain hazardous elements like volatile organic compounds (VOC) and solvents to aid in the curing process.  When inhaled these incite serious health problems.  While it is not recommended that you breath powder coating materials, this is much easier to manage.  The powders are a solid, and simple respiratory protecting equipment will suffice.  This is the case if the paint is inhaled or makes contact with skin.

Another aspect has to do with our environment.  The solvents in traditional wet paints, damage the ozone layer.  The left over product must be stored and reprocessed due to the volatile organic compounds.  Powder coating materials can easily be reused or sent to landfills without harming the environment like wet solvent based paints do.

Finally, The mechanical advantage delivered by powder coatings is substantial.  Spraying a unit with powder produces a thicker initial coat.  The coating is also flexible.  As your materials flex and torch, the coating moves with them.  In the vehicular transportation industry this has been a real game changer.  Their vehicles stand up better to vibrations and grinding wear and tear.  Polyester powder coatings also test out better against chipping and scratching.

Why would you chose a “less than the best” option?  Give us the privilege of powder coating your next project!

Powder Coating Colors & Quality

Matching the colors you need for your project is important to the visibility of your brand and the way your product or service in perceived. We can help match any color you need. If the color is not already in our data base, we can match it by eye. Send us a sample of the color you are hoping to match and our experts will go to work formulating the matching powder coat.

When it comes to powder coating metals we are the company for you.  Base coatings, duplex coating, chrome and textured finishes are all aspects we have experience with.

Contact us today and see what powder coating can do for you!

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