Heat Tolerance of Powder Coating: How Much Can It Take?January 30, 2018
Powder coating work relies on procedural mastery. One stage leads inexorably to the next, so start with the prep work. Cleaned and prepped, the electrostatic coating phase is initiated, then the workpiece enters the curing oven. On top of those systematically regulated operations, there are critical processing tolerances to address. Do you see an example of tight-gap process control? We can, right there in the curing oven.
Preheat Temperature Cycling
It's difficult to quote a magic number, a thermal level that guarantees a perfect finish. After all, there are literally thousands of powder coatings on the market. They're loaded with matte and gloss skins, with thermosetting and thermoplastic resins, and with all manner of technologically advanced flow parameters. Those oven-regulated temperatures must be applied in a consistent manner, but the actual quantity of thermal energy is not fixed. Check the manufacturer-quoted curing temperature before running a work cycle. If a guiding temperature level is required, a good rule of thumb is to raise the oven interior to 232°C during the preheat phase. From here, read the instructions attached to the powder coating resin so that the required flow-out temperature is achieved.
Tight Tolerance Curing Regulation
A 204°C curing temperature attenuates the heat envelope before the workpiece enters the baking hot interior of the oven. Again, this is rule-of-thumb thinking, for the exact curing temperature will be provided by the powder coating manufacturer. If that information has somehow gone astray, browse on over to the website for the thermal baking parameters. As a shortcut, something we almost always avoid, try emailing the company for that important baking temperature. Otherwise, your efforts are likely to cause an outgassing incident. In point of fact, too much heat will damage the workpiece, cause surface cratering, and there's that increased likelihood of surface pinholes to deal with after the part finally cools. One thing's for certain, the core weatherizing feature is drastically undermined when this heat tolerance band is subverted.
Picture this work as a tightly controlled task, one that relies on sequential stages. Roller belts and hooks carry the treated parts from one sealed booth to the next, then they deposit the coated part in a sealed curing oven. Heat distribution is essential here, as is the narrow heat tolerance zone that ensures a smooth, inviolable powder coating membrane. Apart from those two essential thermal characteristics, there's time, a minute-to-minute time-based curve that ensures absolutely pristine flow coverage, as set by that same curing oven and its digitally accurate thermostat.
GP Industries Pty Ltd
1 Regal Court,
Vermont South VIC 3133
Phone: (03) 9802 1355
Fax: (03) 9802 6027
20 Burgess Road,
Bayswater North VIC 3153
Phone: (03) 9761 7676
Fax: (03) 9761 7671
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