If you have any knowledge of powder coating, you probably know that not just any material can be powder coated. Any item you wish to put through the powder coating process must be able to withstand certain temperatures without melting or burning. This is why metal is the most common material used in powder coated applications (though there are certainly other types of materials that can be powder coated).
But can any and all metal surfaces be powder coated? Are there any limitations to the kinds of metals you can use for your ideal powder coating application? Here’s some information from a powder coating shop in Washington.
The powder coating process
Before we answer that question, it’s important for you to have some knowledge of exactly what powder coating is and how it works, so you can better understand why there are some materials that can and cannot be powder coated.
Powder coating is the process of applying a dry coating on to a surface rather than a liquid coating, such as a solvent or paint. The powder is developed with several components that get blended together and created into a single solid pass, which gets broken down in a granulated form into a powder that is even finer than salt.
In this granular form, the powder can then be applied evenly and consistently on to a surface. That powder is electrostatically charged and then sprayed onto the surface that is to be coated. Once that powder is thoroughly applied, the part must be cured. It gets placed into a curing oven, which uses very high temperatures to melt the powder so the material sticks to the part in the form of a smooth, hard coating (upon cooling).
Strengths and limitations
There are several big advantages that come with using powder coating rather than standard liquid finishes. For example, powdered materials are typically not as expensive to produce, which means powder coating offers greater affordability for the end user. The quality of the finish is also significantly more durable, thanks to its resistance to chemicals, heat, corrosion and major weather swings, beyond providing a finish that does not run or drip at all. Finally, it is highly environmentally friendly—the compounds do not get evaporated into the atmosphere, so there is little health risk associated with its use.
There are, of course, limitations as well. You must have a completely clean part so the powder coating sticks, meaning you cannot powder coat an object with an existing finish.
Again, not all types of materials can be powder coated—they must be able to withstand the temperatures associated with the curing oven. Fortunately, though, almost any metal can be powder coated, including popular options such as aluminum, bronze, brass, steel, titanium and copper. So long as the metal can hold an electromagnetic charge and hold up to the heat of the curing oven, you can use it for powder coating.
For more information about powder coating in Washington, contact the team at Powder Vision Inc. today.