Before someone goes under the knife for an operation, doctors clean the area prior to the first incision. Without a thorough wipe, an infection could occur caused by harmful and contaminated remnants on the skin.
For similar reasons, prep work for powder coating requires diligent cleaning before working on a project. Following these tips for preparing your project for powder coating can put you on the right path to a job well done.
Wipe It Down
The first step in the preparation process is cleaning the part. There’s no need to worry about permanent stains or corrosion on a product, as you will deal with those problems a little later. Any normal degreaser works well, assuming that it won’t do any undue harm to the item. Using electric pressure washers or scrub brushes alongside the degreaser can give a part the spa treatment it deserves.
We assume the part you’re coating is separate and ready to go. However, other parts may necessitate full disassembly. A one-size-fits-all approach to coating won’t work. Instead, every little nut and bolt should receive its own powder coat.
Stripping Old Paint
After a comprehensive washing, you’ll strip off any finishes from your components, such as previous powder coatings or paints. However, stripping is unnecessary if the part has no previous coating or paint jobs.
On the other hand, antique components sometimes have many layers of paint or coating, which may be difficult to remove mechanically without making a mess. A high-quality chemical paint remover can be a lifesaver at this point. Since chemical stripping removes previous coatings without manual labor, you can focus on other aspects of the project.
Outgassing involves pre-baking the component at elevated temperatures for longer than is necessary for the powder coat to cure. This preliminary baking procedure releases oils trapped inside the component.
During this procedure, you may notice that a component emits smoke due to oil combustion. If the component has oils inside and you don’t outgas it beforehand, the oils will escape when the powder coat cures, leaving small bubbles or bumps in the finish.
Abrasive media blasting might be the most aggressive method for removing old powder and paint, but it’s also the most effective. Powder coating clings best to a surface with some roughness; rough media can blast the surface of a component, leaving behind a smooth surface with just enough texture for the powder to react positively.
Larger components like suspension and frames of vehicles will benefit the most from the speed of the pressure blasters despite the need for a powerful compressor. Before buying a blaster, it’s important to check its specifications to ensure your air compressor can handle them.
One Last Cleansing
Abrasive blasting does a wonderful job of removing virtually all imperfections; however, a small layer of dust will remain. An air compressor will rid the part of most of the leftover dust, but an in-depth wipe-down with clean gloves is also in order. The tools you used in the pre-cleaning process are also beneficial for this stage, although they must be clean and unused.
Remembering these tips for preparing your project for powder coating should yield the best results, as the experts at Professional Finishing know. Our industrial finishing services professionals will do the job right, ensuring the final product meets your expectations.