How does powder coating work?
Powder coating is one way a decorative or protective coating is added to metal objects.
A dry layer of powder is applied evenly to the product, resulting in a paint-like finish without the risk of drip lines or run that is seen with traditional liquid paint mediums. This allows a more even finish, even in cases where the object has tight corners, creating space for typical paint to pool.
Although this technique is seen mostly on metal goods, it can be used on a variety of other mediums, such as ceramic and glass. Improvements in technology have made this method more readily accessible and increased its popularity as a finishing technique due to its high quality and consistent nature when applied by a well trained professional.
The powder coating process
The surface will be cleaned and sanded down to ensure that there is a smooth and consistent base to be applied to. Depending on the object, the materials and the durability of the original surface, the technician will be able to determine the most effective way of preparing the material without causing any damage.
Any required pretreatments (chemical compounds designed to clean and prime the surface) will be applied at this stage, allowing for smooth application in the following steps.
An electrostatic gun is used to negatively charge the powder as it is propelled towards your product, causing it to bind to the surface as it is sprayed on. This is consistent across all mediums. However, there are a great many variables in the types of nozzles and flow used, which your technician will be able to adjust to obtain the desired result.
Due to the gradual and even nature of the application, the thickness of the coat is able to be built up slowly, encouraging durability.
Once applied evenly to the desired thickness, the product will be raised and kept at a high temperature for 10-30 minutes to cure. Curing encourages the powder coating to set and harden and creates a protective layer over the top that maintains the integrity of the finish.
The cure time again will vary depending on the products used, the thickness of the coating and other variables, which will be assessed by the technician once applied. Once the product has been cured, it will be cooled, and quality checked before being prepared for shipping.
Why is this technique so popular?
On top of the aesthetic advantages that this technique has over traditional paint application, it is also extremely durable and can generally be completed in a single treatment.
A reduction in cost compounds this efficiency compared to wet paint. The application and curing process also results in a much smoother finish than traditional painting methods and a wide variety of colours, finishes, and effects applied.
If you’ve been considering this process for your products as an alternative to traditional paint, KNS will be able to provide you with up to date advice on whether this will be suitable for your needs.