Powder coating has grown both in popularity and value. This year, the global powder coatings market is expected to reach $12.48 billion. From metal manufacturers to carmakers, professional powder coating is the preferred finishing method because it is durable and corrosion-resistant. But what makes professional powder coating so effective and the go-to finishing method for most manufacturers?
Powder Coating Results in a Durable Professional Finish
The intensive prep work required before applying a powder coating is largely responsible for the longevity and durability of a powder-coated finish. Before your metal products are ready for the final powder finish, a lot of surface preparation work is done. Here’s the step by step process of the prep work done on the surface before the powder coating application.
Step 1 – Disassembly of Parts
Disassembly is necessary when your products have multiple parts joined together. Especially when some of the parts are made from other materials like rubber or plastic, they must be detached before the next powder coating step. The professional finishers will also remove any bearings or magnets on the coating surface. Disassembly is necessary for an effective and more professional powder coating process. This is because it allows even the hard-to-reach parts of a product to be well-prepped.
Step 2 – Surface Cleaning
Thorough cleaning removes any dust, oils, and previous paint on the surface of the metal products. Cleaning can be done using chemicals, degreasers, sandblasting, grinding and sanding. Sandblasting is the most utilized cleaning process because of its effectiveness and perfect results. To ease operations and enhance the safety of the workers, sandblasting takes place in a well-ventilated booth. The method of surface cleaning will depend on the size of the product and how bad the imperfections are.
The professional finishers will tell you that cleaning is perhaps the most important step of surface preparation. To get the best powder coat, the metal surface must be well cleaned so that the powder can adhere to the surface perfectly. Finishers ensure that the surface is wax-free, fingerprint-free, and grease-free before applying the powder coat. This is what helps them deliver a professional powder coating that gives your products an appealing, professional finish.
Step 3 – Powder Coat Application
The top professional finishers utilize fully automated spray systems with electrostatic spray guns and computerized automated spray booths for the powder coating process. This boosts the powder spraying accuracy, ensuring that all parts of a product are proportionally sprayed. Powder coating calls for precision and high expertise because correcting imperfections after the powder spraying process is complete a lengthy and time-consuming process. As such, the reputable professional finishers utilize high-tech robotics and conveyor systems to make their powder finishing a success.
Final Process – The Curing Stage
The freshly-coated parts are then cured in a curing oven at high temperatures ranging from 325 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically the coated parts are heated for more than ten minutes to reinforce the powder coat. As a result, your products have an enhanced powder coating that is attractive, long-lasting, and can withstand chipping and adverse weather conditions.
Powder Coating is Cost-Effective and Good for the Environment
Other than the powder coating process being highly effective, manufacturers love it because it’s also cost-effective and doesn’t harm the environment. Unlike liquid powder coating that utilizes solvents with dangerous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), powder coatings have zero VOCs. Additionally, some of the sandblasting materials, such as steel grit and glass beads, are recyclable, making the surface cleaning process cost-effective. This makes the overall cost of professional powder coating more affordable compared to liquid coatings.
Professional finishers follow the above steps to make powder coating a success. More manufacturers worldwide prefer powder coating because it results in a durable professional finish for all their metal products. It is also cost-effective and doesn’t emit harmful compounds to the environment. This makes professional powder coating the perfect dry finishing method.