Powder Coating as a Metal Finishing Process

Powder coating has become a common treatment for metal finishing. This finishing method offers several distinct advantages when compared with many conventional paint finishes.

Powder Coating SprayerIn powder coating, a dry, free-flowing powder is applied to the metal through a process that doesn’t require the use of a solvent, as is the case with liquid paint finishes. The powder is first applied to the metal electrostatically, and is then cured under heat to create a solid finish. The coating is commonly applied using an electrostatic gun that introduces a positive electrostatic charge to the coating material, which is then sprayed toward the piece to be coated. Most powder coatings are cured at about 200 degrees C for 15 minutes or more to ensure a reliable bond.

There are two common types of powder coating: thermoplastic and thermosetting. Both coatings employ a variety of polymers like acrylics, epoxy, polyester epoxy, polyurethane and polyester. The thermosetting process reacts with other chemicals to enhance the performance of the finished product.

There are several benefits to using powder coating for a metal finish, including:

• Increased torque tolerance, reflectivity and ability to solder
• Improved electrical resistance or conductivity
• More durable and harder than paint
• Improved resistance to wear, chemicals and corrosion
• More environmentally friendly than paint with very low emissions of volatile organic compounds since solvent is not used in the application process
• Uniform appearance between surfaces with a different orientation

Powder coating also makes it possible to apply thick, uniform coatings without running the risk of having issues with sagging or runny appearance because powder coating does not require a liquid carrier like paint. Plus, the spectrum of dry colors available for powder coating can be blended before application, offering a uniform coloration or even special effects and unique coloring patterns.

R.G. Smith Company specializes in sheet metal fabrication for businesses throughout the greater Ohio region. Contact us today at either our Canton office at 330-456-3415 or in Mansfield at 419-524-4778 to learn more about our industrial metal fabrication or roofing services.

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