Is Powder Coat Paint Stronger Than Classic Wet Paint?

There’s an ongoing debate as to which finishing technique is superior in sheet metal fabrication—powder coating or wet painting. While each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages, the one that is more advantageous can only truly be considered on a case by case basis. Therefore, to determine which process will be right for your project, it’s important to understand the basic principles, processes and benefits of each method of finishing.

Here’s some helpful information about wet paint versus powder coating in Washington.

Powder coating

Powder coating is a process in which the coating is applied electrostatically to a surface as a dry powder before being heated up to let that coating flow around the surface and stick in place. The powder can be made from a variety of materials, such as polyurethane, polyester, epoxy and acrylics. Many types of products use powder coating, including automobile parts, tools and various household appliances.

There are a couple main processes used to achieve powder coating. Thermosetting involves adding chemicals that react during heating to the powder. Thermoplastics do not use additional chemicals, instead focusing on melting and flowing into the coating. Otherwise, both processes generally result in a similar appearance.

After the metal is prepared for the powder coating process, the object is then cleaned, with all debris and oil that could potentially have a negative impact on the process removed. The next step is the application of the dry powder, followed by heating (up to 400 degrees) for 10 minutes to ensure the finish sets onto the object being coated. During this process, the powder melts and flows freely around the object, binding the polymer into a heavier sort of polymer that creates a strong, tight bond.

Powder coating creates a dense finish on metal products that can be longer lasting than standard wet painting. It also is a one-coat process, which makes it quick and easy. Powder coating can occur in a variety of colors and textures, is environmentally safe and creates the most even finished surfaces because of the spraying and heating process that doesn’t result in any drips.

Wet painting

Wet painting is the traditional method of finishing, but these days it’s performed in more high-tech manners. It will often involve the use of a spray or other pressurized vessel to evenly coat the object with wet paint. That paint must then be dried.

As with powder coating, the object must be thoroughly cleaned before it’s coated with paint.

Wet paint is ideal for any products that cannot withstand the heat required for powder coating. It also produces a wider range of colors, allowing for more custom color work. It produces a thinner finish than powder coating (which can be a pro or con, depending on the application) and is a much less expensive process, especially for smaller jobs.

For more information about powder coating versus wet painting and which is better for your project, contact Powder Vision Inc. today. We look forward to working with you soon!26