If we talk about coloring, then there are two prominent techniques – powder coating and painting. While we all know a lot about conventional painting technique, here we will be focusing on powder coating. The latter is a comparatively new technique and an effective one. It has become very popular, let us unfold how and why.
What is Powder Coating?
This mode of coloring involves free-flowing powder in dry form. The powder is applied electrostatically, followed by curing under heat which leads to the formation of the coating. This method is majorly used to coat metals.
Pros and cons of Powder Coating
If you have decided to go ahead with this method of painting, then you must know that it has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. These are enlisted below:
- Durability – The cured layer coating formed under heat is much more long-lasting and durable as compared to the conventional method.
- Effect on the environment – The application of this coating takes place in a sealed environment, the dissemination of the powder in the environment is nil, thus, reducing the probability of air pollution.
- Cost-effective – Another benefit of using this technology is that it’s a cost-effective method. There is very little waste in this process, thus, beating the cost.
Some Disadvantages To Watch For
1. Finish – It is good if you are looking for a thick finish, but if you are looking for a thin finish, then this technique is not good. If you need less than six mils coating, then you should rely on a different method.
2. Start-Up Costs – If you see from the long-term perspective then this is a great investment, but for initial usage, the cost may be more. You need to bear the cost of establishing a special booth for painting and an expensive oven for the process of curing. So, you need to consider the cost factor before going ahead with this mode of coating.
There Are Two Ways To Perform This Process:
Electrostatic Application – In this, a high powered generator is used to charge an electrode at the tip of the powder gun. This creates an electrostatic field between the gun and the surface on which the coating needs to be done. The gas molecule becomes negatively charged because of the electrostatic field, and this negative charge is transferred to the powder particles as they move out from the gun. These charged particles get deposited on the earthed surface.
Turbostratic Application – In this mode, the charged particles start moving along the specially designed surface. These charged particles then get deposited on the surface. The extent of charging depends on the volume of powder and the speed at which it is moving towards the surface. The turbostratic gun operator controls both these factors.
Places of application – When it comes to application, then this method is used for covering metallic surfaces. In addition to this, it is used for coating the following surfaces:
- Appliances like oven, refrigerators, etc., are colored using this technology. The appliance industry accounts for 1/3rd of the use of industrial powder coated products.
- Outdoor equipment like tractors, outdoor furniture, sports equipment, ski poles, bicycles, public signage, and lawn chairs, etc.
- Windows, fences, poles, facades, etc., – all these architectural and construction products.
- Automotive parts like shock absorbers, filter, batteries, oil, and all the interior automotive parts, wheels, handles and poles in bus and train, etc.
The reason why this method of painting is beneficial is that they are durable. Since all these objects are prone to wear and tear and are regularly exposed to heat, rain and other environmental conditions, it proves to be effective.
So, if you are planning to invest in the right method of painting, it is important that you must consider the pros and cons of powder coating. Also, it is important to hire a professional to carry out the process.