Potential Cure Cycle Problem Areas in Powder CoatingApril 19, 2017
This is an occupation where cure quality means absolutely everything. Primarily, we're being tasked with the production of an impenetrable skin, so an optimised curing stage is essential. That perfectly managed oven bake ensures an aesthetically appealing coating, plus membrane sealing is assured. In order to achieve these quality-assured goals, the oven curing stage should be assessed for potential cure cycle problem areas, conditions that corrupt the coating.
An Overview of the Curing Cycle
Powder coating transformations take place in evenly heated ovens. This is no ordinary domestic appliance, though. Rather, it's a commercially certified part of the process, a piece of equipment that's built to deliver uniformly heated air throughout the sealed chamber. The adhered powder melts and flows when the baking temperature reaches its melt point, then the liquidized coating enters a cross-linking phase until all of the material is chemically altered. The dry finish now forms a tough film, at which point the part is moved out of the curing oven.
A List of Common Curing Problems
- The curing oven is too hot or not hot enough
- Airflow issues are compromising thermal distribution
- The workpiece is acting as a heatsink
- Adherence complications prevent uniform liquidation
- Identifying Potential Cure Cycle Problem Areas
It takes a certain amount of insider knowledge to operate these curing ovens. First of all, infrared curing is fast, but its direct light output won't work if that light is blocked. Complex geometries cure best when convection currents and infrared heat are used together. Next, a cure timed production phase uses a recipe, which is just what we'd expect when we're talking about baking. However, there are no foodstuffs here, just time and temperature. Generally, a 200°C bake that's carried out for 10 minutes is enough to liquidize and transform the powder, but different powders and different ovens require recipe alterations. Consult a manufacturer for the optimal "recipe" if cure quality is unacceptable.
Solve cure cycle problem areas by applying a temperature profile. The curing oven is a complex piece of equipment, so numerous parameters are in play. The temperature profile initially provides the temperatures and times for the baking stage, then it goes further by targeting the powder and oven brand. This strategy adds intelligently measured variables to the process, so any and all problems can be remedied. If the problem area lingers, there may be a flaw in the equipment, something that's blocking the airflow or hampering heat distribution. Don't wait, have the curing oven checked for a faulty IR light, convection fan, or leaky door.
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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