Representing over 15% of the industrial finishing market, powder coatings are a popular dry finishing process that many different industries take advantage of. However, in order for powder coatings to reach their peak longevity and potential, sandblasting services must be performed prior to the dry finish being applied. To further understand this process, let’s look at why sandblasting and powder coatings go hand in hand.
What is Sandblasting?
Sandblasting is a common way to prepare metal for coating and it utilizes finely grained material — which is released at a high velocity — to clean the surface of an object. While sand can be used in this process, today industries more commonly turn to copper slag, silica sand, and powdered forms of abrasives. These particulates are then fired through a pressurized gun which shoots them against a surface rapidly. The abrasive nature of the particles ensures a smooth and clean surface once the process is complete.
For metal cleaning, sandblasting is essential for obtaining a professional finish. Without the removal of dirt, rust, oxidation, and oils, the coating will be at risk of cracking or having bubbles form under the surface shortly after treatment. This can compromise the effectiveness of the coating, putting the coated piece at risk of degradation.
If a new coating is being added on a formerly coated piece, sandblasting is also the most effective way of removing the older layer so that the new coating can be applied smoothly. Sandblasting can be performed on a variety of metal parts and is even used on ships and bridges for cleaning purposes.
Why Sandblast Before Powder Coating?
As touched on above, sandblasting is key to preparing the metal for a powder coating. Sandblasting is capable of removing heavy amounts of rust, corrosion, oxides, and oils that can be present on metal and not readily removed by other means. If a piece is coated without this preparation, cracking and bubbling can occur. This is due to the oils, oxides, and dust underneath that will prevent the coating from adhering properly during curing.
Sandblasting evenly smooths surfaces and helps to prevent cracking and moisture seepage once the coating has been applied and cured. This process is also best for pieces with curvatures and crevices that aren’t easily sanded by other means. Sandblasting is able to penetrate any region with ease, making it the most thorough process for cleaning and preparing metal surfaces.
Furthermore, sandblasting also has the benefit of making the surface more conducive to adhesion. This is due to the microscopic scrapes on the surface of the metal that allow coatings to penetrate and stick more readily. This creates a stronger bond that helps powder coatings reach their full longevity potential. This process is also one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to clean metals for both numerous and large projects.
It doesn’t matter if your coating new or old metal, so long as you utilize sandblasting beforehand, you can achieve a long-lasting and durable coating. If you need a powder coating for your project, look for a company that uses sandblasting methods to ensure that you get the highest quality finish that will last you for years. Don’t settle for less than the best when it comes to professional finishes.