Emerging Technologies in Powder Coating for a Sustainable FutureOctober 18, 2019
Sustainable futures forecast a downturn in allowable industry emissions. Waste products must also be either minimized or somehow recycled. With most industries, that's a challenging pair of provisos to address and then fulfil. Of some relief here, the powder coating sector has already planned for just such a future. If this assertion doesn't ring true, check out a powder coating booth. We're all about the reclamation process in here.
All About Powder Reclamation Technology
Already dry and free of solvent-based chemicals, the particle stream is environmentally friendly. Still, there's always room for improvement. With a make-up that's still loaded with pigments and fluidizing agents, sustainability experts want to minimize the number of grains that become waste piles. So, instead of trashing a potentially costly commodity, powder coating booths are recycling the process leavings. Collector tech can be installed in the system to reclaim the residue. Using cyclonic reclaim systems, the mixed powder can then be centrifugally extracted and separated.
Improved Booth Designs
Impeding reclaim developments, older thermoplastic and metal booths prevent the powder from being picked up by the cyclone mechanism. And with up to 37% of the powder being wasted after a multipass operation, that's not a helpful design feature. Sure, the enclosure safely keeps the grains or capsules where they're needed, but now they're adhering to the exposed surfaces in the booth. To help support our sustainable futures strategy, newer enclosure materials, substances that exhibit an anti-stick feature, are being considered. In addition, those newer enclosures are set to use interior layouts that employ fewer sharp corners. Gentle curves don't trap powder residue.
Spreading the Developments Throughout the Process
There are more decisions to be made inside that sealed chamber. More efficient multi-pass systems and finer power supply modules will produce less waste. Beyond these considerations, though, let's move over to the curing oven. Light-powered curing technology is maturing at a great pace. Infrared and UV emitting bulbs activate the fluidizing phase. However, these solutions don't work well when workpieces have intricate geometries. Obviously, there's no line-of-sight, so the tech can't work properly. Hybrid ovens solve this problem by combining light and convection technology into one smart parts heating solution.
The sustainability issue is already partially solved. Dry powders are solvent-free and eco-friendly. If there's waste powder, reclamation systems intelligently recycle and separate the residue. If the reclaimed powder still doesn't satisfy a demanding customer's needs, it can be used to coat a hidden surface. To prevent the material from reaching a landfill as a loose pile of dry grains, it can even be baked down into a block and safely disposed of in this way. These existing strategies pair with improved power supplies, hybrid curing oven designs, and newer booth materials to assure a safer, reclamation-oriented and residue-less future.
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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