What is Powder Coating?October 15, 2015
The acceptance of powder coating technology has exploded, gifting the technique with universal recognition. From multi-hued skins layered on domestic appliances to weatherproof vehicle component coatings, the dry finish technique is still growing in popularity to cover every international market. Let's take a look at this dry surface finishing technology and see just why it takes more than good looks to make a coating a hit.
Dry Finishing Using Electrostatic Attraction Magic
Powder coating technology avoids messy solvents and drying time, the negative features we associate with paint. Instead, the process uses dry finishing to cover vulnerable metal parts in a shell-like layer. The process is conducted within a controlled environment. This chamber contains special equipment, electrostatic gear that grounds the part to be coated and positively charges the powder. The idea is to enable the dry powder to uniformly cover the metal before initiating the next phase of the work. Electrostatic guns are used to spray the powder, although many manufacturers opt for a special fluidized bed to ensure the metal is dipped and immediately coated in powder. Again, this is a dry finishing technique, one that's considered environmentally friendly.
Cooking the Protective Shell in Place
As the powder adheres to the frame of the metal, it's still in an unfinished state. The powder alone is not enough. It's made from weatherproof and toughened thermosetting or thermoplastic materials. Pigments and additives are added to the mix as a special resin, but the powder coating still has to undergo its curing phase. The metal part is cooked wholesale within a giant oven. At this point, the powder melts and bakes, hardening into an impervious shell around the metal. The finish is weatherproof, impact-resistant, and imbued with a number of other coveted properties, although those selfsame design characteristics will depend on the resins and additives present in the powder mix. Typically, the attracted powder melts to coat ever part of the subject part in a precisely conforming finish, and this finish is as seamless as it is professional in appearance.
Preparation work is conducted before the first grounding electrode is ever attached to a metal frame. All grease, oil, and dirt is cleaned off of the surface. The electrostatic wizardry is initiated, and the powder covers every open surface, every weld point and concealed edge. Baking creates the final shell, eliminating the possibility of corrosion. Additionally, the process takes place in a factory environment, leaving fence panels, car wheel interiors, and any of a thousand other metal parts finished and ready by the time the process has concluded. No fumes or wet paint drips onto the ground to poison the local environment, and the finish is as thin as a film or as thick and textured as a cushioning layer of plastic.
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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