The PPA 571 coating protect metal fencing from corrosion for 15 years

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!

Comments are closed.