Pretreatment Options for Powder Coating

Before you apply powder coating to a surface, it is essential to perform powder coating pretreatment. This provides a sound surface for bonding and prevents the coating from degrading in the future. In short, it allows the coating to deliver better and longer-lasting performance.

There are various methods available for this process, but all of them have similar components. Let’s take a closer look.

Steps for powder coating pretreatment

Here is what you need to know for how to pretreat powder coating:

  1. Cleaning: The surface should be cleaned thoroughly. This is often accomplished with a spray cleaner that may include chemical agents. Shot blasting is another option. This method “blasts” the surface with sand, shells or other “shot” to remove debris and create a smooth surface.
  2. Rinsing: After cleaning, the surface should be rinsed. This process should remove all particles to provide a smooth surface for the powder coating.
  3. Conditioning: For best results, the surface should be treated with some type of conditioning agent. This brings the surface to a specific pH level and keeps it there, so the surface is ready to accept the coating.
  4. Zinc phosphate application: Next, zinc phosphate, iron phosphate or zirconium is applied to the substrate. This creates a protective layer that prevents future corrosion.
  5. Sealing: This step allows the powder coating to adhere to the surface. Chrome, non-chrome and dry-in-place sealers are all possible sealers to use for this phase.
  6. Rinsing: After the conditioner and other materials are applied, the material should undergo another rinsing phase.
  7. Drying: The final step in powder coating pretreatment is to dry the surface. Do not try to skip this step. The material should be completely dry in order to accept the powder coating successfully. A dry-off oven is typically used to efficiently remove moisture. It also heats the material slightly to further prepare it for powder coating application.

Shortcut methods for powder coating pretreatment

In some cases, not all of these steps are necessary. For certain approaches to powder coating pretreatment, you may be able to use this shortened method: spray clean, condition, rinse, dry.

In other instances, it might be possible to use an all-in-one approach to shorten some of the steps. This method would require the following steps: spray clean/condition/phosphate with an all-in-one solution, rinse, dry.

Professionals only

Keep in mind that these steps should only be completed by trained specialists with the proper equipment. Certain substances involved in this process are strictly regulated and only available to certified professionals. Additionally, if not done properly, these methods could result in poor-quality finishes as well as create personal and environmental hazards. For expert powder coating pretreatment, contact your local powder coating company.

We know powder coating

Serving the area since 1997, Powder Vision Inc. specializes in residential, commercial and industrial powder coating. We know the best processes for each application so your final product looks sharp and stays sharp. Contact us today with any questions on quality powder coating pretreatment methods or to schedule your next project. Reach our experienced team at 425-222-6363.