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Types of Powder Coat and Its Components

July 15, 2016

As we've dutifully painted our picture of powder coat technology, we've layered our discussion with information on powder coating equipment. Now, though, it's time to turn the spotlight onto the powdery medium, the finely ground pellets that release pigments and texture. With this application medium now firmly in mind, let's look at powder types and their composition.

Dry Film Protection

The powder is basically plastic, a thermosetting or thermoplastic polymer that melts at high temperatures. Here's a list of common powder types:

Thermosetting Powders

  • Polyester - Has excellent mechanical properties and can form composites with other polymers
  • Acrylic - Adds a clear layer of protective plastic that's scratch-resistant
  • Epoxy - Offers poor weatherizing but is impact resistant
  • Fluoropolymer - An ideal source material for outdoor applications. This powder medium is UV stable and durable

Thermoplastic Based Powders

  • Nylon - This medium offers good solvent resistance and above average anti-abrasive properties
  • Vinyl - A polymer that incorporates a powerful weathering attribute. Ideal for outdoor use
  • Fluorocarbon - Another abrasion-resistant product that incorporates a waterproofing feature

Thermosets VS. Thermoplastics

The above list informs the buyer that both polymer forms are extremely adept when added to a powder coating equipment setup, but they do bring different performance characteristics to the mix. Thermoplastics melt and solidify while retaining their existing material properties, so there's no cross-linking involved. In short, the polymer's makeup won't change when it's heated, plus it won't bond to the component it's protecting. Still, it does exhibit some very handy characteristics, namely chemical resistance, plus the material can quickly be remelted and reapplied. Despite these benefits, thermosets rule supreme. Powder coating equipment tends to use polyester resins, for example, to take advantage of several key transformative attributes. Thermosets do cross-link when melted, so they bond to the component and create what looks like an inseparable skin.

The polymer types used in a powder coat only tell us half the story. The polymer resin also adds other crucial components. Remember, this primary ingredient creates the impermeable shell, but it would be a featureless shell without additives, which is why the resin is reinforced with advanced pigments and additives, a specially formulated dry chemical mix that decides the glossiness factor, the satin-like patina, and any other textural effects. The final component, a filler, influences fill rate and adds character to the solidifying film in the form of texture.

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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