Powder Coating: What is it? | Guide for 2023
We take great pleasure in being one of the most dependable manufacturers in the business and are recognized for our Powder Coating techniques.
Yet, our highly-trained staff’s daily activities do not just include the manufacture of aluminum and steel. Although we use press brakes and laser cutting equipment for many of our projects, finishing procedures are a crucial element of what we do as well, particularly for things that aren’t just parts of bigger products. ((To ensure the readiness of a final product, be it in an industrial, commercial, or consumer, it must undergo a process that makes it appear fully finished. Powder coating is a technique that we utilize for this purpose.))
How does the powder coating process work?
In reality, when you break it down, powder coating is really a scientific miracle. It was initially brought to North America in the 1960s and revolutionized the way goods are completed. The days of spray painting (and re-painting and re-painting) metal objects are long gone. It operates via electrostatic spray deposition (ESD), a technique that enables colored coatings to be sprayed using a spray gun.
These coatings typically include a mixture of powdered polymer resins, pigments, cures, and leveling agents. In essence, the colored powder is given an electrical charge by the cannon, which is then imparted to it, allowing it to attach to the grounded metal object being coated. After that, the object is placed in a curing oven, where very high heat is used to solidify the powder into a molecularly thick protective top layer. Even if there are alternative kinds of powder coating, such as fluidized bed application, ESD is still by far the most used technique.
What Purposes Does Powder Coating Serve?
Powder coating has two purposes: ornamental and protective. Since the molecular structure created by powder coating is so powerful and long-lasting, it’s not unusual to see objects that may never see the light of day powder coated for protection against the elements, such as rain, intense heat, friction, or other types of wear and tear arising from usage.
Yet, ornamental usage of it is also quite common. Powder coating is used to improve the appearance and longevity of products including bicycle frames, self-service kiosks, snowmobiles, fire extinguishers, and vending machines. Yet, powder coating is not limited to massive objects. It merely makes economic sense to powder coat small goods like thumbtacks and mechanical pencils. When carried out in large quantities, powder coating is often more affordable than hand painting. Because of this, mass-produced small goods are excellent candidates.
It doesn’t matter what kind of product is being finished or why a manufacturer opts to use powder coating over other options; what matters is that the procedure is a comparatively simple, incredibly durable, and incredibly affordable option that doesn’t hold many of the environmental concerns that other finishing processes do.
Which two types of powder coating are the most common?
The thermosets, which never change from their solid state, and the thermoplastics, which may be remelted into a liquid state, are the two main kinds of powder coatings. Both use a variety of polymers, including, to mention a few, polyester, polyurethane, and fusion-bonded epoxy. As they are unlikely to melt after they have taken on their final shape or form after curing, thermosets are the ideal option when a product will be exposed to high temperatures.
On the other hand, thermoplastics work best in situations where aesthetically pleasing finishes are desired but where durability is less of a concern. Both are required and appreciated in the powder coating industry, yet ultimately none is superior. See our In-House Powder Coating blog post.
Why Powder Coating Rather Than Other Metal Finishing Procedures?
Powder coating provides other benefits besides the decreased VOC emissions, particularly when compared to paint. It can produce much thicker coatings than liquid paints, and those coatings are also spread more evenly, particularly when comparing surfaces that are horizontally coated to those that are vertically coated. As a result, it is relatively simple to create a smooth surface devoid of bubbles or obvious paint lines.
What is universal, however, is that the powder coating process is a relatively straightforward, incredibly durable, extremely cost-effective option that lacks many of the environmental concerns that other finishing processes hold. This is true regardless of the type of item being finished and the reasons a manufacturer chooses to use powder coating over other available options.
There is an almost continual increase in the market for powder coating because of its adaptability and durability as a finishing method. Dale Brisco Inc., a pioneer in contract manufacturing, will keep investing in the knowledgeable workers and machinery needed to satisfy the demands of our clients throughout the Central Valley, whose projects benefit most from the most recent developments in powder coating methods, products, and equipment.
From quick-turn prototypes to high-volume production runs, Dale Brisco Inc. offers a range of precision fabrication, CNC machining, and metal finishing services. Get a quote online or give us a call at 559-834-5926 to learn more about how our state-of-the-art, in-house powder coating services in Central Central California may improve the value of your manufacturing supply chain.