The Powder Coating Process in Three Easy Steps

Powder coating is an advanced method of applying a coating to metal surfaces and while it may seem like a complex process, you can break it down into three main steps: part preparation, also known as pre-treatment, applying the powder and lastly, curing the powder. Here we break down the three-step process for powder coating in Preston, WA:

Step 1: Part and equipment preparation

Similar to any other manufacturing process, you want to make sure all of your working components are prepared to complete the job. In this step you want to remove any excess dirt, oil, greases and metal oxides that may be residing on the equipment. If the parts and equipment are not cleaned properly, it can affect the performance and outcome of the finished product.

Your parts can be cleaned using chemical cleaners and sprays and are typically performed in multiple states that consist of degreasing, etching, de-smutting, various rinses and the final phosphating or chromating of the substrate.

Another method of preparation is known as abrasive blasting or sandblasting and shot blasting. This step provides surface texturing and preparation, etching, finishing, and degreasing for products made of wood, plastic, or glass.

Ultimately, different jobs may require different forms of preparation, but those are the typical steps you can assume will need to take place.

Step 2: The powder application processes

Step two is where the powder is actually applied to the designated surface by means of a powder coating spray gun. This gun conveys a positive electric charge to the powder, which is then discharged towards the grounded object by means of compressed air and accelerated towards the work piece by the powerful electrostatic charge. There are a wide variety of nozzles and guns that can be used depending on the project, but typically an electrostatic gun or corona gun is used.

Another method of applying powder coating is called the fluidized bed method and this involves heating the substrate and dipping it into an aerated, powder-filled bed. The powder then sticks and melts to the hot object, coating it completely. This method is typically used when there is a specific desired thickness.

Step 3: Curing

The third and final step is a process that is called curing. When the powder is has been applied, it is then exposed to very high temperatures. When it is exposed to this high heat, the powder begins to melt and chemically react to create a higher molecular weight polymer in a network-like structure, this is called crosslinking. In simpler terms, the powder that is on the designated product is melted at high heat which causes the powder to chemically react and melt, coating the desired surface. Now, different projects may require different applications and heat, but the method is treated the same.

No matter the size of the project, powder coating in Preston, WA can be a breeze. Work with your local powder coating professionals today and get going on your next project.