When it comes to painting finishes, the process of powder coating is a unique one. That is the kind of paint job that will stand the test of time. If you have items in your house with this type of finish, they should last you many years and still look the same. You can try scratching the paint off with sharp instruments, but that will not do much.
The process of powder coating is pure science. In a nutshell, you will be running an electrical charge on the object that you want to paint. While that is happening, you spray the powder particles onto the surfaces. That is done using a gun that will give the particles a negative charge, and this is what will make them stick. The curing process comes after that. That is where the powder gets bonded stronger because of the heat applied to it. These are all fascinating stuff, but there is much more to learn about powder coating. Here are some of its features you may not know about.
Have you ever came into a freshly-painted room and complained about the smell? Some people are not able to stand it. That is why you have to give it time to dry and for the scent to go away. You have the choice to use water-based paints, and these have milder or no scent at all. For those that do, they usually have a fair amount of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These are mixed into the solution to make the paint dry faster.
VOCs are chemicals that do not need high temperatures for them to evaporate. The smell that enters your nose is the vapors fading into the air. Inhaling that could be harmful to your lungs.
Since powder coating uses a dry form of paint, it does not need any chemicals that help accelerate evaporation. If there are VOCs, it would be a minimal amount or nothing harmful to your body. That makes it more environment-friendly and safer for your health.
Plastics Are Welcome
You might think that due to how powder coating is done, it can only work with metals. But does it work with plastic? Yes, but not all of them. First, you have to prepare the material’s surface. Metals have to endure sandblasting, a process where particles of sand are fired until it gets all smoothed out. For plastics, silicon carbide particles can be used instead.
Even though they are insulators, plastics can still hold electrical charges on their surfaces with static energy. That can be enhanced once you are done preparing the surface.
Next up is the curing process, which is done in an oven. Materials that can withstand high temperatures can be prime candidates for powder coating, metal or otherwise. That means if your plastic object can withstand the temperatures of this oven, then you can powder coat it.
If you think of a business that involves paint finishing, two of your choices are using a spray gun or a powder coating setup. Both have their own set of advantages and limitations. But if you have determined those to be non-factors, you have to analyze the cost of setting up the business. Both require you to build a closed space so that you do not blast away paint where you do not intend to. Spray painting equipment includes an air compressor, containers, nozzles. You also have to stock up on paint cans of different colors. In addition to that, you also need machines to clean up or reduce the fumes brought about by your materials, like vacuum cleaners and exhaust fans.
You might think that setting up your own powder coating workshop would be considerably more expensive. After all, it is a highly scientific process with a hardware selection that seems to be more advanced, like the spray gun that electrically charges then blasts particles. You also need to have a large curing oven if you want to have many items heated up at the same time. It is more efficient when it comes to using materials, as you can recollect the excess powder that has been scattered over the work area. You also do not need sophisticated cleanup equipment since you practically do not have to deal with VOCs. All in all, starting a powder coating business comes close to being as pricey as spray painting.
Powder coating an object is like coating it with armor, and all this is thanks to the curing process. The heating and drying help make the paint particles harder. You can reinforce this further by applying multiple coats, and you can have more of those compared to traditional wet paint. The electrically-charged surface allows for superior adhesion.
Objects that have been powder coated can have a glossy or matte finish. They look as if the material itself is of the same color. It is hard to believe that the paint you are looking at is just coated on the surface. The process may be different and not only a simple application of paint, but you are assured that it is something that will stick forever.