Thermosets vs. Thermoplastics: Pros and Cons

Powder coating is a process of coating metal with a plastic finish applied in powder form and baked to a fluid state to bond it to the metal surface. It extends the life of your metal products and gives them a decorative finish to increase their aesthetic appeal. The experts at Powder Vision, Inc., provide coating services in Preston, WA, on all types of stainless steel, steel, aluminum and brass products.

How does powder coating work?

Before powder coating begins, we will use a sandblaster to completely clean the surface of oils, dirt, paint, rust, corrosion and damaged plating. Other pretreatment steps include alkaline cleaning and clean water rinsing to prevent any rust from forming. Once dry, the metal parts are coated and cured in an oven at 400 degrees. The cure time will vary depending on the thickness and density of the parts. This creates a lasting bond that will ensure superior durability of your metal item. Once curing is complete, the parts are removed from the oven for cooling. We then carefully inspect each item.

Powder coating can be applied over galvanized surfaces and provides an environmentally safe finish while releasing no fumes, carcinogens or hazardous by-products.

Types of powder coating

Based on the items you’re having powder coated, you will need to determine the type of coating our professionals should use: thermoset or thermoplastic. Thermoset coatings and thermoplastic coatings have different chemical properties, making each one better suited for some items than others. The main difference is the reversibility of each coating. The following descriptions will walk you through the pros and cons of each type.

Thermoset coatings: Thermoset coatings are ideal for metal items such as electronics and appliances, because these items must withstand higher amounts of heat than thermoplastic coatings. This type of coating provides superior chemical and heat resistance, which helps to reinforce the structural integrity of an item. Thermoset coatings are suitable for items that receive heavy wear-and-tear or will remain essentially permanent. They cannot re-melt after undergoing an irreversible chemical bonding process.

Pros: Attractive, aesthetic look; inexpensive; offer added strength and stability; resistant to extreme temperatures.

Cons: Powder coating may be more difficult to apply; finish can’t be reshaped; coating can’t be recycled.

Thermoplastic coatings: Thermoplastic coatings are frequently used for items such as mechanical parts and other items that you might eventually remold. This type of coating offers a combination of strength and flexibility and is ideal for items that require both plasticity and durability. They can re-melt because no chemical process occurs.

Pros: High lubricity (less friction and wear of the coating); finish can be remolded or reshaped; recyclable coating; increased impact resistance.

Cons: Often more expensive; can melt off if overheated.

To talk through coating services in Preston, WA, and to determine which type of powder coating is the right fit for your needs, contact the experienced professionals at Powder Vision, Inc., today at 425-222-6363.