The History of Powder Coating

Powder coating is used around the world for an extremely wide variety of applications, from car parts to patio furniture to signage. Due to its environmentally friendly process, more and more companies are relying on powder coating in Washington and across the globe. While the process is slowly overtaking the process of liquid finishing, the success of powder coating is still relatively recent, which leads many of our clients to believe the process itself is new.

However, this is not the case! The idea for powder coating processes stems from the early 1950s and has endured over 60 years of analysis, experimentation and technological advancement. The processes and equipment for powder coating are ever-changing and improving, as well. Let’s take you back to the beginning, when the true origins of powder coating emerged.

Origins in Europe

The original idea for powder coating began in Europe in the early 1950s, as environmental concerns regarding liquid coatings’ solvent contamination began to trouble people around the globe. Initially, powders were flame-sprayed onto metallic surfaces to coat them.

It was around this time when German scientist Dr. Erwin Gemmer developed the idea for the fluidized bed application of thermoplastic resins on metal. This technique was an improvement upon flame spraying because it was far more efficient. The patent for his new process was issued in 1955.

Widespread popularity

Dr. Gemmer’s fluidized bed application technique became extremely popular, being used not only in Europe but around the world. The uses for this powder coating technique were for mainly functional purposes, to create things such as electrical insulation and corrosion- and abrasion-resistant surfaces. The fluidized bed application was used on almost all powder coating applications between 1958 and 1965.

New technology

While the fluidized bed approach was being used, more approaches were being tested. The electrostatic processing of powder coating was commercialized between 1962 and 1964. This process utilized electrostatic spray guns to spray powders as if they were liquid in nature. Electrostatic processing continued to gain traction, and between 1966 and 1973, the four main types of thermosetting resins were established: epoxy, epoxy polyester hybrid, polyurethane and polyester (TGIC). This allowed powder coatings to be used in more widespread commercial settings, and the process took off.

Environmental pressures

Between the years 1966 and 1970, there were also increasing environmental pressures that came alongside the “Los Angeles Rule 66” and the Clean Air Act. These pressures helped push the powder coating process along and bolster its popularity worldwide.

Starting in the early 1980s, worldwide growth of powder coating manufacturing and application was evident, particularly in North America and Japan. Since that point, the technologies have seen immense improvement, including formulation of powders and increased efficiency of spraying methods.

We know the importance of powder coating in Washington

We at Powder Vision Inc. know firsthand the benefits and uses of powder coating, which is why we’ve dedicated ourselves to the craft for the past 20 years. We provide residential, commercial and industrial clients with top-quality powder coating in Washington, including parts for cars and motorcycles, patio furniture, city maintenance and signage for housing developments. Call us today for more information and to see what we can do for you!