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Is Powder Coating Better than Spray Paint?

November 17, 2017

The debates continue and the dialogues are heated. Spray paint, a relatively efficient method of applying a widely distributed finish, matches up against powder coating technology. The scene is set, the benefits and ill effects are prepared, and we're all ready for a knockdown, drag-out brawl. Only, there's no real competition here, not after those pros-and-cons are objectively considered. Powder coating wins, and here's why.

The Environmental Factors

We keep returning to this contentious element, but there's a good reason for stressing this point. Spray paints may deliver great cover and the process may even work fast, but there's still solvents contained in those liquid drops. They spill and refuse to recycle. They're also harmful to the environment we've promised to protect. Remember, powder coating mediums are dry, plus they're entirely devoid of harmful solvents. Finally, that sprayed powder is recyclable. It can even be separated and reused.

Thickness Problem

Liquid paint spray droplets hit a surface and pool together as a thin coating. Powder coated parts are guaranteed a much denser covering, one that assures material strength. Frankly, because of that thin layering effect, spray painting methods have been forced to rely on multiple layers. As for that dry finish method, one electrostatically induced coating is more than enough to ensure a properly formed shell covers the entire workpiece. Interestingly, there are now charged paint spraying methods in certain industries. Do they trump our powder finish booths?

Exploring Two-Ended Coating Technology

We all know electrostatic charges contribute controllability to the part's finishing process. When the spray guns issue their powder-loaded stream, the charge on the metal workpiece can be varied to increase or decrease the skin depth. Overspray issues are managed in this manner, as are the unpredictable coverage issues that plague certain projects. In the past, spray paint sheds didn't have access to this charged mechanism. Modern facilities now atomise the paint and imbue it with a charge. Thus, the solvent-based process has become more regulable. However, these tools are expensive and not nearly as finitely controllable as a comparable powder coating facility.

In this powder coating versus spray painting contest, the former method wins out quite convincingly. Granted, paint does spray evenly, and it does provide a good solution when the equipment is employed in a massive production line. However, that paint is loaded with environmentally unfriendly chemicals, plus it doesn't offer nearly as much mechanical protection as a powder coated component. Additionally, the charging gear used in the dry finishing method offers more control, a feature that's not typically available in paint spray booths.

GP Industries Pty Ltd

Head Office

1 Regal Court,
Vermont South VIC 3133

Phone: (03) 9802 1355

Fax: (03) 9802 6027

Email: gp_ind@bigpond.com

Factory

Factory G,
20 Burgess Road,
Bayswater North VIC 3153

Phone: (03) 9761 7676

Fax: (03) 9761 7671

Email: gpfactory@bigpond.com

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