With its non-toxic elements and unique bonding system, the several steps of powder coating in Preston, WA frequently involve cleaning, either before or after. As with many other processes that require a specific chemical reaction to work well, the success of powder coating depends on a properly treated surface. While cleaning before pre‑treatment is frequently the most obvious step, other steps also require monitoring in order to avoid soil and oil buildup, while also assuring the equipment works correctly so parts leave the shop protected. Here is a description of the various cleaning steps that occur throughout powder coating.
The first step
Cleaning the surfaces of the item requiring powder coating is the first step before pre-treatment. The choice is between liquid and powder cleansers, and choosing one depends on base metal, the soil that requires removal, contact time during the process and bath temperatures. Neutral cleansers remove soils and substrates that can react with the acids. Oil-splitting cleansers come into play when there is a high level of oil buildup during the process baths. Other environmental considerations also come under scrutiny in this choice, too, especially temperature and humidity.
Professional powder coaters normally have a variety of cleansers and techniques available so they can rise to the challenges clients present to them. Once it undergoes this step, the part gets tested to assure it is actually clean enough for pretreatment.
Keeping the compressed air clean is also a very important step. If there is oil and water buildup, it will affect how powder coating binds with the surfaces. The air propels the powder so it can bond with the surface, and that can fail if there is excess debris. Filters, air dryers and proper grounding keep compressed air clean so it helps, rather than hinders, your powder coating project.
The powder hose
Frequently the first part to wear out, the powder hose also benefits from cleaning. You will replace it frequently, so giving it a quick rubdown or running cleanser through it so debris doesn’t build up should normally suffice. However, if it starts to crack or sustains impact fusion (when powder fuses into the hoses and tools instead of the project, making application impossible), it will need to be replaced, or future work will be contaminated. As you can imagine, powder coating technicians pay close attention to the powder hose.
If powder coating guns are not cleaned out between color changes, another customer’s project could look much more interesting. Between uses, the gun system needs to be purged, and that includes guns, pumps and hoses. This also keeps them from clogging, which can slow down the rate at which jobs get finished. If there is an especially busy week, deep cleaning and part replacement is often also necessary.
Powder Vision Inc is a full-service shop offering powder coating in Preston, WA. We are prepared to help you get parts and structures ready for the upcoming winter precipitation by providing top-notch powder coating services. Call us today to make arrangements.