We define powder coating as the process of applying a powder material to the surface using an electrostatic or compressed air method. It’s also one of the most advanced techniques for applying a protective and decorative finish to nearly any type of metal.
More companies are turning to powder coating as it produces a dry, clean and highly durable finish, without using volatile organic compounds. Overall, it is more economical as it saves customers time, effort and money in the long run.
How Does Powder Coating Work?
The powder coating process involves spraying an electrostatically charged powder onto the surface that needs to be coated. Here, the charged powder particles attach to the surface to form a smooth, durable and uniform coating. The end result is a high quality finish on the final product.
Many businesses, industries and consumers around the world speak highly of the process as it provides one of the longest-lasting, colour durable, economical and high quality finishes. Regardless of the colour or texture you are looking for, powder coating can provide the right solution.
Types Of Powder Coating
There are various options available, each with their own unique set of characteristics, benefits and applications. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types:
Epoxy powder coatings offer excellent corrosion resistance, hardness, durability and adhesion. It can also be formulated to comply with FDA regulations for use in food contact applications but they tend to weather poorly. Epoxy coating can provide both functional and decorative powder coatings.
This type of powder coating makes the coated surface less prone to yellowing when cured. The epoxy-polyester hybrid has properties similar to standard epoxy coating but it’s not suitable for outdoor usage.
This type of coating forms a smooth and thin film with exceptional chip and mar resistance and weathers better. These are also usually resistant to hydrocarbons, diluted acids, oil and grease.
Thermoplastic Powder Coatings
PVC and vinyl coatings offer excellent resistance to detergents while providing a smooth and soft feel. Since these coatings weather well, they are also suitable for outdoor use.
This type of coating has the best weathering capabilities of all powder coating types mentioned above. It offers excellent corrosion, mar and chip resistance with great edge coverage as well.
What Are The Benefits Of Powder Coating?
Looking at the available coating options and all the listed benefits, it’s no surprise that it’s gaining popularity. Here are some of the major benefits:
- The process emits zero or near zero volatile organic compounds
- It can produce much thicker coatings than conventional liquid coatings without running or sagging
- Powder coating overspray can be recycled making it possible to achieve nearly 100% use of the coating
- It produces less hazardous waste than conventional liquid coatings
- Capital equipment and operating costs are generally less than for conventional liquid lines
- Items that have been powder coated generally have fewer appearance differences between horizontally coated surfaces and vertically coated surfaces
How Does Powder Coating Compare To Other Methods?
Powder coating offers higher efficiency and better quality products compared to lamination and liquid coating. Here are just a few ways that powder coating outperforms other methods.
- It costs about 30 to 40% less than lamination
- Production lines are less labour intensive as the process is highly automated
- It is suitable for both exterior and interior applications
- Powder coated surfaces can withstand exposure to harsh chemicals and are scratch resistant
- Lamination peels and chips easily
- It is more eco-friendly than liquid coating
- It offers much better covering for fabricated sharp edges compared to liquid coats
- Exceptional versatility as it can coat any shape
- It achieves almost 100% usage as the overspray can easily be recycled
- Cost of operation is usually lower than conventional liquid coating
Powder Coating And Surface Preparation At PRV Engineering
PRV’s ongoing investment and development programme means that our finishing department is state-of-the-art and all-comprehensive. It consists of a 6 metre Shot Blast room, various Shot Blast cabinets, Powder Coating booth, Wet Paint spray room and a 2.2 metre cubic High Bake Oven. It has allowed us to provide a high quality painted finish to very exacting standards.
As stated by Simon Jones, managing director of PRV Engineering; “As one of the leading engineering services, PRV Engineering can provide you with high quality powder coating services that meet all your requirements. In addition to the application techniques, we have also employed the means to test the finishes for depth and strength.”
If you are looking for a reliable and efficient powder coating service, why not contact PRV Engineering? To learn more about engineering, manufacturing and technology, please follow our blog or find us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.