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

Preparation Steps before Doing Powder Coating

Posted on: July 11th, 2017 by byersbushblog

Specific steps have to be taken when attempting to powder coat a material. This is necessary to ensure that the finished product is flaw-free and can withstand the elements. By following a proven method of preparation, you can be assured majority of the problems can be avoided. How do prepare a material for powder coating?

Disassembly

Although this is the first step, you must recognize that not all materials for powder coating have to be disassembled. This means that this will be done on a case-to-case basis only.  Normally, disassembly will be required if there are plastic, rubber, wiring, or gasket components. These must be removed because they will not standup to the heating process of powder coating.

Special mention should be made with magnets because these can be demagnetize while baking the material. Take note of how the material is assembled so you can put it back properly. If necessary take pictures of where the disassembled parts go as well as how the object looks like before you take it apart.

Keep in mind that because everything is metal does not mean that you do not have to take it apart. Sometimes powder coating the parts separately delivers a better and longer lasting result.

Cleaning

This is obviously one of the most important preparatory steps in powder coating. A thorough cleaning will remove all types of dirt and grime sticking to the material. This will ensure that the powder will stick properly to the material and melt off nicely to give you that flawless look. There are numerous types of cleaning products in the market depending on the type of material that you need to clean or even degrease.

Stripping

Why do you need to strip the material if it has already been cleaned? For powder coating to work properly, you have to remove all previous coatings. So if the material has not been subjected to any coating process before, you can skip this part of the preparation. This step actually helps a lot as it saves you time sandblasting.

Outgassing

This is another optional preparation stage since not all materials have to be outgassed. The best candidates for outgassing are the parts that have been exposed to greasy environments. What is outgassing by the way? This is a pre-baking process where the part is heated at a higher temperature and at a longer time before the actual coating.

Why is this done? To heat up the accumulated oil inside the part and release it so that it will not hamper the coating. This process would normally emit some smoke due to the burning of the oil. Failing to do this on oily materials can result in a bumpy coating. There is no set procedure on how outgassing is done but many prefer to do it at a temperature of 440 degrees for 30 minutes.

Sandblasting or Phosphate Coating

Which is which, do you sandblast or phosphate coat? Sandblasting cleans the part to reveal the bare metal and gives it a texture that makes the powder coat to stick better. Every area of the metal should be sandblasted completely and thoroughly. Be aware that not all parts are applicable for sandblasting so these should be masked off beforehand. You cannot handled the sandblasted part after this, you need to use clean gloves.

Phosphate coating is a sandblasting alternative but does not provide the same level of adhesion. This is commonly used when there is a need to powder coat thousands of parts per day because it is significantly faster to do. The durability of the coating will suffer though. If you really want to get the best durability and adhesion results, you can actually sandblast and phosphate coat the material after.

Post-Sandblast Cleaning

After sandblasting you have to clean the part again because it will be covered with sandblasting dust. You need to wear clean gloves to remove the part from the cabinet and spray off the sandblasting dust using an air compressor. You have to ensure that clean air is going through so if necessary, fit your air line with a moisture removal filter. This avoids contamination of the part.

After cleaning with compressed air, aggressively scrub it with a stiff bristled brush and blow it with air once more. Denatured alcohol can be used to clean it without residue afterwards. You can make sure that there are no other residues on the part by using a propane hand torch. This also helps in the evaporation of the denatured alcohol.

 

Masking

This is applicable only to some parts. The important thing to remember is that this should be done with a pair of clean gloves on your hand. This is the last step before of the preparation before doing powder coating so you do not want any dirt or grease to get on the part at this point. Make sure that your workbench is clean as well.

 

Hanging

Use clean hooks of different sizes to hang the bare parts. Obviously, you will need stronger hooks to hang the bigger parts. You do not want your clean and ready to powder coat parts to suddenly drop on the floor and repeat the cleaning process over. When powder coating on grounded racks, the hooks should be of bare metal so that it becomes a conductive element.

 

Contact Byers Bush Powder Coating to get the best powder coating results, and become at peace while knowing your precious tools is professionally protected with powder coating.

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