The push for companies to be more environmentally conscious is a positive step in the right direction. It’s more important now than ever that we practice processes that aren’t harmful to us or the world around us. With industries that work with vast amounts of chemicals, however, taking steps in this direction can be markedly difficult.
In the professional finishing industry, many services aren’t widely viewed as environmentally conscious. A lot of the time, the critics would be correct, too. Professional powder coating, however, is an answer to those critics and it’s now the burgeoning finishing practice that’s environmentally friendly. We’ll let you in on a few ways that enhanced powder coating is the new green.
You’ve smelled the scent of freshly applied liquid paint. You may have even felt a little dizzy from it. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are released into the air while paint dries and they aren’t great to breathe in. Powder coatings are free of dangerous solvents and have negligible VOC emissions, which has increased the demand for the environmentally friendly finishing process.
Curbing Toxic Waste
We realize that makes it sound like using anything but powder coating is akin to dumping plutonium. It’s certainly not, but when liquid paint is removed from surfaces, the resulting materials that need to be discarded are hazardous to both employees and the environment. Plus, liquid paint removal often requires dangerous chemicals to strip them. Powder coating, on the other hand, can be removed with compressed air or a wet rag (provided it hasn’t been cured yet) and the dust isn’t harmful. All disposal requires is a broom, dustpan, and rubbish bin.
Recycle, Reduce, Reclaim
Once wet paint is used, that’s it. Powder coating, on the other hand, can be recycled and reused. Through a process called powder reclamation, the powder that doesn’t stick to a surface during an application can be swept up and used again. Of course, there are changes in color to be considered, but generally, any extraneously sprayed powder can be collected and used over and over again. So, maybe throwing it out isn’t the best option when cleaning up the shop.
Powder coating is leading the environmentally friendly charge of the finishing industry. Over time, the aim is to minimize as many environmentally harmful products as possible, but powder coating remains the undisputed leader thus far.