What is powder coating?

Powder coating is an exciting method for finishing products through the application of tiny dry particles. For this reason, powder coating is sometimes referred to as “dry painting”. Rather than applying the paint in a wet state, we simply use a modern, clean, and efficient electrostatic powder coating process that relies on the attraction between charged particles that are fused together. This process is generally less prone to mistakes than traditional wet spray. Further, powder coating does not require the use of harmful chemicals.

What makes the powder "stick" to the part?

Two factors are involved in making the powder stick. First, each part is sandblasted. This removes any old finishes, dirt, and anything else that might hinder the powder coating process. It also etches the surface of the part for better adhesion of the powder. When the part has been sandblasted and is ready to be powdered, we transport it to the powder coating room. The powder is charged via an electrostatic process, while the part is attached to a ground wire. This causes the powder to cling to the metal throughout the baking process.

What does "baking the parts" mean?

After the parts are coated with powder, it is crucial to properly bake them out. The heat in the oven will cause the powder to melt and form a protective sheet around the part. At this point, the powder bonds not only to itself but also to the part. This process gives the paint its increased durability and professional look.

If the parts are not baked properly then the powder will not bond properly. This creates a weakness in the powder itself, which can make the parts more vulnerable to chipping.

We see to it that every part receives the proper attention. The temperature of the oven is carefully regulated to keep the bonding process at its maximum level of efficiency.

How durable is powder and what types are there?

One of the best things about powder coating is how incredibly durable and strong powder is. It stands up against the toughest conditions, keeping its original polished look.

There are many types of powder, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Outdoor powders are meant to withstand rain, snow, heat, cold and ultraviolet rays. They can also provide enduring rust inhibiting qualities, thus protecting the parts intended look and feel. Such powders are used on products like vehicle parts and outdoor equipment.

Indoor powders cater more to the conditions relating to indoor use. Chipping, scratching and every day wear and tear are no threat to indoor powders. They come in a variety of special mixtures, providing a custom balance between maximum durability and many unique texturized looks.

When deciding which powder is right for you, take into account what you are powdering and how it will be used. Be sure to consider all such factors in order to keep your finished part in top shape.

How many colors are there?

Virtually any variation of color on the spectrum can be found in powder form. Keep in mind, however, that not all brands of powder are alike.
If you already have a color in mind, bring it in so that we can match it as closely as we can without sacrificing quality. Chances are we'll have more than one option for you to choose from.

Are all the colors the same price?

No. Some colors are more expensive due to their availability, ingredients, or simply because of the supplier. Stock colors are naturally less expensive than powder that must be special-ordered or powders that are hard to locate. Some powders are more expensive simply because of their properties, such as textured powders, candies, metallics, or glow in the dark powders.

Amazingly, the cost of the powder represents only a small part of the total cost of the powder coating process. Most of the cost can be attributed to the labor of setup and processing of the parts, which varies depending on the circumstances required to process each individual part.

Can you implement textures?

Yes. A constantly increasing variety of textured surfaces and wrinkles are available. The powder coating process allows us to do this with no extra work, and this will leave you with a price that would be no larger than what it would have cost to use a non-textured powder.

Not only can we give parts texture, but we also have the ability to create veins and hammertones. Veins and hammertones are streaks of alternate colors that appear throughout the part, which adds a professional look and added dimension to the part.

With powder coating, there are many application possibilities.

Can you powder coat anything?

No. There are many materials that simply would not survive the extreme heat involved in the powder coating process. Each part must be baked out after it has been powdered, which exposes it to temperatures in excess of 400 degrees. Wood, plastic, rubber and many other such materials would melt or burn away. Powder coating wood and plastics is in the experimental stage and has been fairly successful thus far. It is still very new technology and uses large fluidized piping tanks, which are not readily available and somewhat expensive. Because of this, the part should be constructed with some sort of metal. Anything that can survive the high temperatures of our bake oven could potentially be powder coated.

Consequently, if your part has rubber or plastic pieces, you should avoid having them on the part you give us to powder coat, as we cannot guarantee such materials.

Another limitation is related to the size of the parts that our ovens can accommodate. Our current batch oven's interior dimensions are 8' wide x 38' deep x 8' high. Your parts must be small enough to fit within these dimensions.

Why should I choose powder coating over wet spray painting?

Powder coating is just "flat-out" superior to wet spray in so many ways. If your part is capable of being powder coated, their is really no reason why you would be compelled to choose otherwise. It's generally less expensive to powder coat a part once than have it painted several times during its life.

Powder coating is not subject to the extra time it takes to set up and break down from wet spray paint. The chemicals used in wet spray painting have to evaporate which can take up to weeks before a complete "cure" is attained. Powder coated parts are "cured" as soon as the part cools down. Further, the thermal bonding process used in powder coating makes for a much more durable finish than wet spray paint. Powder coating is also more environmentally friendly than wet spray painting because it does not involve the potentially harmful chemicals used in a wet spray painting.

As mentioned above, wet spray painting involves the use of chemicals that can be potentially hazardous to people and the environment if not dealt with properly. Powder coating uses an air gun to blow away misapplied powder rather than resort to the chemical thinners that wet spray paints require to clean up, or fix, application errors.

Powder coating offers a wider variety of colors and textures. The powder can be engineered to wrinkle or create veins of different colors throughout the coating when baked. Wet spray paint is more limited in what it can produce. Yet the possibilities with powder coatings are endless.

And finally, powder coating is more durable and weather resistant than wet spray paint could ever be. When we bake out the parts, the powder melts, forming a seamless bond around the parts. This bonding process creates a virtually unbreakable sheet of protection upon the surface of the parts.

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