Powder coating is an extremely popular solution for metal finishes, but metal is not the only material for which the process can be used. Though it is far and away the most popular application for powder coating, you can also powder coat materials such as glass, MDF, plastic, composites and wood, so long as the material is able to withstand the high temperatures associated with residential powder coating in Washington.
This means you’ll need to spend some time researching the temperature threshold of the material you wish to have powder coated. Some plastics will be able to hold up to the process, for example, but not all.
Coating non-metallic materials
Some people are under the mistaken impression that you cannot powder coat non-metallic items, because they won’t be able to conduct electricity. However, powder coating can be performed with many types of materials, regardless of conductivity.
In the powder coating process, the powder is electrostatically charged, which allows it to stick to the metal that will get grounded up. If you are using a plastic, wood, glass or other material without electrical conductivity, you can’t follow the process you’d typically use, which involves just spraying the powder on the material. Instead, you will need to preheat the material before you spray on the powder. This requires you to use an oven.
You’ll need to fully coat the material before it gets cool. Then, once the powder comes into contact with the heated material, it will melt slightly so it can stick in place. Once the material is fully coated, you can put it back into the oven to be cured.
Just remember that you cannot put on a coating that’s too thick, because there’s a chance it will start to run in a manner similar to paint. If this occurs, your finish will likely have some noticeable craters that will make it more susceptible to flakes and chipping, and it will be structurally weaker as a result.
Another method of coating non-metallic materials is hot flocking. This process involves heating up the material using the curing temperature—approximately 400 degrees for this application. Next, you will remove the item from the oven and then spray it with the powder coat. Fortunately with this method the powder will quickly meld and flow, so it will be relatively easy to apply. However, because the powder flows so quickly, it is then more difficult to see if the coating is applied too thickly.
Powder coating metal materials is a much simpler process, one that most people looking to have an item powder coated are already familiar with. But now you know you’re also able to powder coat other materials, even ones that you might have thought would not hold up to the process.
If you’re interested in learning more about our powder coating services, we encourage you to reach out to the team at Powder Vision Inc. today and we’ll be happy to tell you more about the process of residential powder coating in Washington.