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Paint Powder Qualities Required for Powder Coating Equipment

February 26, 2019

Each of the particles floating in a dry powder coating cloud contains an exotic mix of chemical reagents. Cemented to a binding agent, there's a heat-amenable plastic. Then there are additives, which include pigments and curing agents. Really, every single powder coating pellet is loaded with tinting, texturing, and finishing tech. It's like the dry particles have their own DNA, which grants powder finishes a burgeoning range of extensible qualities.

The Anatomy of a Powder Finish Pellet

The DNA comparison is perhaps a little extravagant, but it does illustrate the nature of these chemically loaded packages. The teeny grains are made of thermoset or thermoplastic polymers. As polymer science has long defined their qualities, thermosets are durable. They create an incredibly tight and utterly permanent second skin around a workpiece, but they only dissolve once. Thermosets do not remelt. Thermoplastics are way more pliable, and they melt again and again as heat is applied a second or third time. Added to the polymer base, chemical binders keep the material viscous after it enters its fluidized state. Tints add colour, texturizers change powder coated surface features, and curing agents control the cross-linking magic. All-in-all, the powder uniformly coats a simple or detailed surface, then it flows, still uniformly, and cures as a perfectly coloured and textured coating.

Powder Parameters Control Equipment Selection

In previous posts, the equipment selection process proceeded according to a shop's needs. That amount of control doesn't always side with the equipment layout and company bottom-line, though. Sure, the needs of the shop come first, but those needs are also influenced by the powder medium. If that medium employs a larger than average grain size, expect problems. The cloud density will thicken because of the larger pellet size. Likewise, the powder deposition patterns and fluidization behaviour will both alter, all because the grains are denser. To offset such issues, adjustments are made to the entire process. For the electrostatic charge and gun nozzles, a heavier charge and a wider grain dispersion pattern are recommended. Essentially, pellet mass and size variations can result in corresponding changes to a powder coating operation.

Powder quality variations ripple through the entire process chain. The booth and its electrostatic equipment get a newly entered series of instructions, which are dialed into their controls. It's the same with the guns, which have their own stream manipulating controls. Even the air pressure alters if the pellet medium cloud doesn't spread out uniformly. Then, way over at the curing oven, there are fluidizing temperatures and dwell times to adjust before the process can kick back up to full speed.

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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