Here’s Why It’s Not Good to Powder Coat Plastic

One of the most common questions we receive is whether you can powder coat any type of material. Most people are familiar with powder coating as a process used for metal applications, but what about for materials like plastic, wood, MDF and more?

Technically you can powder coat some other materials, but many times it simply will not work. As long as the material is capable of surviving the high temperatures of a powder-coating bake oven, it can be powder coated, but this often rules out a large number of different materials.

Here’s an overview of why powder coating in Washington doesn’t usually work for plastic and other materials aside from metal.

Heat considerations

Perhaps the most important consideration when it comes to powder coating objects is a particular object’s ability to withstand the heat needed to get the job done. Most materials simply are unable to survive the extreme heat involved in the process of powder coating.

Every part that is to be powder coated must be baked out after it has been powdered. During this process, it will experience long-term exposure to temperatures of more than 400 degrees. If you attempted to do this with most plastics, wood, rubber and other types of materials, they would either burn or melt away.

This isn’t to say that powder coating wood or plastic is totally impossible—the technology exists, but it is still very much in the experimental phases. So far, experiments with applications for powder coating these types of materials have been quite successful. However, because that technology is still so new and it relies on some especially large fluidized piping tanks (which are not at all readily available yet), it is still an expensive process, which makes it not particularly attainable or economical for most applications.

Considerations when working with powder coating specialists

For these reasons, it’s just better to rely on metal if you want a powder-coated part. When submitting parts to be powder coated, you should make sure they are made using some sort of metal that will be able to survive the very high temperatures associated with the powder coating process.

In addition, if your part has any rubber or plastic pieces attached to it, you should see if you can remove them before shipping them off to be powder coated. Ultimately there are no guarantees that these pieces of your part will be able to survive the powder coating process, and if they burn or melt away, the part itself could potentially be rendered useless.

Our powder coating ovens also have some size limitations you should keep in mind. Our current batch oven’s interior dimensions are eight feet wide by 38 feet deep by eight feet high, so any parts you send to be powder coated must be able to fit within these dimensions.

For more information about some of the limitations associated with powder coating in Washington, especially powder coating materials like plastic, wood and rubber, contact the team at Powder Vision Inc. today.