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Category Archives: The Powder Coating Industry

Categories The Powder Coating Industry

What is Powder Coating

Powder Coated Pipe and Elbow

Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder.

The main difference between a conventional liquid paint and a powder coating is that the powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form.

The coating is typically applied electrostatically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a “skin”. The powder may be a thermoplastic or a thermoset polymer. It is usually used to create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint. Powder coating is mainly used for coating of metals, such as “whiteware”, aluminium extrusions, and automobile and bicycle parts. Because of its method of application powder coated items have a more even tougher surface that cvcovers all areas helping in repelling moisture and corrosion.

Categories The Powder Coating Industry

Can it be Powder Coated?

Powder Coat Industrial Shelves and racks

Large or small… steel, aluminum, brass, stainless steel, cast iron…

With the technological developments over the past decade in both the composition of the powders and in the enhancement of processes, almost anything metal can be powder coated.

Whatever your needs, whether for aesthetics or corrosion protection… OR BOTH… APC has a solution.

The list below represents just a sample of some of the items that APC has finished:

Industrial

  • Brackets
  • Tooling
  • Shop Fixtures
  • Motor Housings
  • Hardware, Tool Boxes
  • Hand Tools
  • Valves
  • Metal Signs
  • Metal Poles (power line, turn signal, sign, street light)

Vehicles

  • Wheels (aluminum, steel, billet or spoked)
  • Windshield Wiper Arms
  • Brake Calipers
  • Brake Rotors
  • Intake Manifolds
  • Valve Covers
  • Frames
  • Rear End Housings
  • Transmission Housings
  • Bumpers, Grill Guards
  • Seat Frames
  • Roll Bars
  • Sprint Car Wings
  • Luggage Racks, Accessories

Metal Office Furniture

  • Desks
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Filing Cabinets

Home Furniture

  • Beds
  • Cribs, Playpens
  • Drapery Rods
  • Metal Dining Room Furniture
Home Products

  • Barbeque Grills
  • Lighting Products
  • Air Conditioner Housings
  • Bicycles
  • Electronic Enclosures
  • Art Pieces

Lawn and Garden

  • Tractors, Mowers
  • Playground Equipment
  • Sports Equipment
  • Lawn/Patio Furniture
  • Landscape Accessories
  • Garden Tools
  • Wheel Barrows, Spreaders

Architectural

  • Window Frames
  • Gutters, Downspouts
  • Satellite Dishes
  • Guard Rails
  • Metal Fence
  • Gates
  • Mail Boxes
  • Stair Cases
  • Bathroom Fixtures
  • Air Vents
  • Duct Work
  • Window and Door Frames
  • Metal Roofing, Siding
  • Aluminum Windows, Louvers
  • Railings, Ornamental
  • Column Covers
  • Awnings
  • Sculptures

 

Categories The Powder Coating Industry, Uncategorized

The Atlas Protective Coatings Process

Powder Coating Utility Trailers

 

  • Powder Coating and Metal Finishing
  • Sandblasting
  • Metal Stripping
  • Consultation
  • Final Packaging and delivery

Burn-Off: To ensure the maximum cleanliness of the surface, we may place your parts in our oven. This will remove any previous coating, machining oils or greases that may have accumulated during fabrication or machining.

Grinding: We may also prep parts by radiusing edges, grinding welds, and cleaning off weld spatters.

Shot Blast: For more aggressive pre-treatment we can sandblast to provide a white metal finish for maximum coating adhesion.

Chemical Stripping: For thin gauge, aluminum die cast, or parts that cannot withstand the heat of the burn-off oven, we can chemically strip the part to bare metal. This is especially important for parts requiring rework.

Cleaning: To achieve maximum coating performance for your product, we clean parts using a cleaning method most suitable to the part according to the metallic make-up and surface condition. For large products we have a high pressure washer/cleaner.

Powder Coating: Powder coatings are precision-applied by electrostatic spraying. After coating, each piece is heat-cured in an oven, where the tough plastic film is permanently fused to the metal.

Consultation

We pride ourselves on finding coating solutions for our customers where others have failed. We can advise you on the correct pre-treatment, coating resin and application process to use to enhance the quality of your product depending the product’s base metal and application.

Final Inspection and Certification

Throughout the finishing process, coatings are thoroughly checked (up to three separate inspections). Sandblast profiles can also be tested.

Categories The Powder Coating Industry, Uncategorized

Advantages of Powder Coating

Protect your wrought iron fence with powder coat

There are several advantages of powder coating over conventional liquid coatings:

  1. Powder coatings emit zero or near zero volatile organic compounds (VOC).
  2. Powder coatings can produce much thicker coatings than conventional liquid coatings without running or sagging.
  3. Powder coating overspray can be recycled and thus it is possible to achieve nearly 100% use of the coating.
  4. Powder coating production lines produce less hazardous waste than conventional liquid coatings.
  5. Powder coated items generally have fewer appearance differences between horizontally coated surfaces and vertically coated surfaces than liquid coated items.
  6. A wide range of specialty effects is easily accomplished which would be impossible to achieve with other coating processes.
Categories The Powder Coating Industry, Uncategorized

Powder Coating Steps

The powder coating process involves three basic steps:

  1. Part preparation or the pre-treatment
  2. The powder application
  3. Curing

Part preparation processes and equipment

Removal of oil, soil, lubrication greases, metal oxides, welding scales etc. is essential prior to the powder coating process. It can be done by a variety of chemical and mechanical methods. The selection of the method depends on the size and the material of the part to be powder coated, the type of soil to be removed and the performance requirement of the finished product.

Chemical pre-treatments involve the use of phosphates or chromates in submersion or spray application. These often occur in multiple stages and consist of degreasing, etching, de-smutting, various rinses and the final phosphating or chromating of the substrate. The pre-treatment process both cleans and improves bonding of the powder to the metal

Another method of preparing the surface prior to coating is known as abrasive blasting orsandblasting and shot blasting. Blast media and blasting abrasives are used to provide surface texturing and preparation, etching, finishing, and degreasing for products made of wood, plastic, or glass. The most important properties to consider are chemical composition and density; particle shape and size; and impact resistance.

Silicon carbide grit blast media is brittle, sharp, and suitable for grinding metals and low-tensile strength, non-metallic materials. Plastic media blast equipment uses plastic abrasives that are sensitive to substrates such as aluminum, but still suitable for de-coating and surface finishing. Sand blast media uses high-purity crystals that have low-metal content. Glass bead blast media contains glass beads of various sizes.

Cast steel shot or steel grit is used to clean and prepare the surface before coating. Shot blasting recycles the media and is environmentally friendly. This method of preparation is highly efficient on steel parts such as I-beams, angles, pipes, tubes and large fabricated pieces.

Different powder coating applications can require alternative methods of preparation such as abrasive blasting prior to coating.

Powder application processes

The most common way of applying the powder coating to metal objects is to spray the powder using an electrostatic gun, or corona gun. The gun imparts a positive electric charge on the powder, which is then sprayed towards the grounded object by mechanical or compressed air spraying and then accelerated toward the work piece by the powerful electrostatic charge. There are a wide variety of spray nozzles available for use in electrostatic coating. The type of nozzle used will depend on the shape of the work piece to be painted and the consistency of the paint. The object is then heated, and the powder melts into a uniform film, and is then cooled to form a hard coating. It is also common to heat the metal first and spray the powder onto the hot substrate. Preheating can help to achieve a more uniform finish.

Curing

When a thermoset powder is exposed to elevated temperature, it begins to melt, flows out, and then chemically reacts to form a higher molecular weight polymer in a network-like structure. This cure process, called crosslinking, requires a certain temperature for a certain length of time in order to reach full cure and establish the full film properties for which the material was designed. Normally the powders cure at 200°C (390°F) for 10 minutes. The curing schedule could vary according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

The application of energy to the product to be cured can be accomplished by convection cure ovens or infrared cure ovens.