Powder coating is a finishing process that entails several steps. Usually, the coating is applied on metal. To start with, the metal is cleaned, then prepared for coating. Once it is ready, it is now coated with a fine powder. After the application, the metal is cured in an oven. The outcome is an attractive and durable coating.
Equipment You Need
Professional powder coating is done in three-stage: pretreatment, application, and curing. Therefore, you need the right equipment for all these steps.
Pretreatment for Powder Coating
The main essence of pretreatment for best powder coating is ensuring that the surface is sparklingly clean. You should get rid of dirt such as dust, rust, old paint, and any other finish material. Pretreatment ensures enhanced powder coating with a professional finish.
If you want to powder coat an extremely dirty product, you might need to use a blast room. In the blast room, compressed air propels abrasive material against the product you are powder coating. Due to the high pressure, all dirt will be gotten rid of.
Blast rooms are especially ideal for companies that deal with raw materials that are not pure. Such raw materials include plate steel.
If your product’s surface is covered with solvents such as oil, then a blast room cannot help. Instead, you need a wash station. In a wash station, you spray detergent on the product then clean it up with hot water or steam. An alternative to detergent is chemicals such as iron phosphate.
However, even if you have blasted your surface, you can still take it to the wash station to improve adhesion and boost the finish quality. Although pretreatment equipment is very crucial, you don’t necessarily have to own expensive equipment.
Application of the Professional Powder Coating
Professional powder coating application requires special equipment known as a powder coating gun. Although there are a variety of powder coating guns in the market, the professional-grade gun is the best. It offers both reliability and better results.
To apply the coating, you need a powder spray booth. The booth helps in ensuring that none of the overspray lands in unwanted spaces. It is designed to ensure that you uphold tidiness throughout your coating process. It is also adequately lit to ensure that you do everything to perfection.
A spray booth is fitted with multiple exhaust fans that trap some of the overspray. If your working area is close to the blasting area, you need to install your spray booth with filtered doors to prevent any contaminants from landing on your powder coated product.
There exist many booth configurations. Different configurations are suitable for various projects. Ensure that you choose one that suits you. If you would like to reuse your spray powder, you need to fit your spray booth with a reclamation system.
Curing the Powder Coating
Curing is the last step of professional powder coating. For this step, you require a curing oven. The coated product is exposed to the air, which is precisely heated for a given period. Once the period elapses, the product is removed from the oven and allowed to cool off.
Some curing ovens use infrared emitters. However, such ovens are expensive to acquire as well as to maintain. The most common ovens use electricity or natural gas to heat the product.
The exposure time on the product is not constant. It varies depending on factors such as size, shape, and thickness of the product being coated. Ensure you choose a high-quality oven for excellent results.
Benefits of Powder Coating
Powder coating comes with many benefits.
Powder coating finishes last longer. The surfaces are more resistant to chipping, fading, and scratching than other finishes.
2. Environmental Friendliness
Powder coating eliminates VOC’s and reduces waste production. Reduced waste goes a long way in protecting the environment. Additionally, powder coating does not contain any solvents.
Pollution control can cost a company much money. Therefore, once a company embraces powder coating, it saves much since there are no pollutants released.
Powder coating applies to many products and parts. Some of them include appliances such as dishwasher racks, architecture such as guardrails, as well as other everyday products such as baby strollers.