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The Importance of Powder Coating Temperature Limit

Posted on: December 10th, 2017 by byersbushblog

How important is accurate temperature to getting excellent powder coating finish? The quick answer would be extremely important. Overdoing it or not getting to the right temperature may be disastrous for the outcome of the powder coating process. Let’s try and see why.

Infrared (IR) Thermometer

The best way to make sure that you do not go beyond the powder coating temperature limit is to have an efficient thermometer. Can you use any type of thermometer? Unfortunately not. Most would suggest using an IR thermometer or sometimes known as an IR Temp Gun to get accurate temperature readings.

thermometer

The accurateness is due to the laser pointer that takes the reading from a distance and reflects it on the LCD screen on the device. This will allow you to follow the optimum curing schedule for the powder coating process. This device allows you to leave the material in the oven and take a reading from a distance. This will allow you to correctly start the timer once the right temperature has been reached.

Reading the Temperature

Obviously you need to read it right. With an IR thermometer, you just open the oven door to get a reading. This will allow you to adjust the oven temperature properly until the desired level is reached. Normally, it would be wise to check the temperature about 4 times if you are curing a material for 10 minutes.

Using the IR thermometer allows you to get readings quickly so you don’t need to hold the oven door open for a long time. Just be careful not to touch any part of the over or allow the thermometer to come in contact with the oven.

Initially you may be forced to check the temperature every 30 seconds. This is normal until you get the hang of it. You have to remember that the bigger the part you are coating, the longer time it takes and the higher the temperature you need. This means curing time can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes. Oven efficiency will play a role on this especially if you have an old oven.

temperature

When learning how to read the temperature, it helps to know that larger parts usually heat up inconsistently. This means that one portion may be hotter than the other. Normally, a part would be 50 degrees off from the other parts. If you have a convection oven, the temperature variance would not be that great of an issue. Usually the part nearer the heating element gets hotter faster, so use a metal shield to compensate for this.

Accurate Readings

Learning how to read the IR thermometer does not necessarily mean that you are getting accurate readings. To make sure that you do not go over the temperature limit, you need to learn to get accurate readings.

Keep in mind that reflective surfaces can throw off the thermometer readings. When coating these types of products, find something that is of similar mass and material and put it in the oven together with the one you are coating. This will allow you to get a more accurate reading from the non-reflective product.

The size of the oven would have a say in this though. Because if you have a small oven, two products may not fit simultaneously inside. In this case you can try to do a test run. Media blast the part to be coated so that it has a non-reflective surface. Put it in the oven and see how long before it reaches the right temperature. This will give you an idea how long the curing time should be once the powder has been applied.

Size and Distance

There are two other factors you need to consider to get accurate temperature readings. These would be the size of the material and its distance from the thermometer. This means that the farther you are from the material, the less accurate the reading becomes. This is because the area it is reading grows bigger as you move away from the object.

Look at the optical resolution of the IR thermometer you are buying. A resolution of 12:1 means that it read the temperature of an inch in diameter from a distance of 12 feet away. The size of the reading increases exponentially for every 12 feet of distance from the object. This is something to think about when considering temperature reading accuracy.

By observing the powder coating temperature limit and the proper curing time, there is no doubt that you will get a great finish on your material. If you don’t want to leave anything to chance, bring your material over to Byers Bush Powder Coating to get the best finish possible.

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