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What is powder coating?
Powder coating is a dry painting process that uses a fine powder with the consistency of powdered sugar, and an electrical charge to coat an object. Then the piece is baked in an oven at 400+ degrees Fahrenheit to make the powder melt and flow together. Once it is cooled and cured the powder coat has formed a solid plastic coating over the entire surface that is much more durable than regular paint.
How does the powder stick?
When initially applied the powder sticks to the part the same way a balloon will stick to the wall if you rub it on your head on a dry day. An electrical charge is applied to the powder, and the opposite charge to the part to be coated. The dry powder in the air is attracted to the opposite charge and sticks. Until you bake it though, the powder can be easily brushed off. It needs heat to make the powder flow and form a permanent coating.
Is powder coating durable?
Yes. Powder coating is more durable than even baked on enamel in most applications. Powder coating is better protection against rust and corrosion, and resists scratching and shipping better than paints too. It is also much more resistant to chemical solvents too.
What colors are available?
There are literally hundreds of colors of powder available including candy, clear and sparkle finishes. Plus you can get gloss, matte and even textured finishes.
What can and can’t be powder coated?
Typically powder coating is best used on parts made of an electrically conductive material that will withstand the 400 degree baking process.
What shouldn’t I powder coat?
Powder coat tends to be thicker than traditional paint. Therefore using it on intricately detailed parts can leave them looking like they are in soft focus, with much of the sharpness gone.
Is it environmentally friendly? Is it safe to spray?
Powder coating is much better for the environment than even spraying water borne paint. There is barely any waste or overspray, and no volatile organic compounds, or solvents evaporating into the air. For the person spraying it is much safer too. You need to keep from inhaling the powder, but there are no toxic chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin or anything, like many sprayed automotive finishes.
How can powder coating be removed?
Before curing it will just brush off. After curing there is not much that can remove powder coating. Powder can be removed with bead blasting, grinding or other mechanical means.
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