Learn More About The Process Of Powder Coating
There are many methods that can be used for putting a finishing touch on a surface. One of the methods that can be used is powder coating and this is seen as an environmentally friendly method. Avoiding the use of paints that are solvent based will help to avoid the problem of overspray as any unused powder can be recycled and reused. In the early days of this method, it was seen as a way to add a finishing touch to metal surfaces however the advancements in technology has meant it is now a method that is used for plastic, wood and even ceramic surfaces.
Research has found that this type of coating is rapidly becoming one of the most popular methods for coating. The environmental benefits of this coating are probably one of the reasons that it is becoming so popular.
This method of coating is available in two different formats which are thermoplastics and thermosets. The thermosetting variations include the powder bakes and this reacts with chemicals in the polymer powder, which increases the molecular weight while improving the performance properties.
The process for this type of coating involves three different stages. The first stage is the pre-treatment which is when the surface if prepared for the coating. Preparation is a very important part of the process as this will allow the best possible finish when it is coated. The preparation process involves removing all lubricants, oils, and signs of metal oxides, as these will cause problems with the finishing touches. From an environmental point of view, phosphate preparations are the best way as chromates can release toxins into the environment. An alternative method of prepping is shot blasting or sandblasting. This method uses abrasives to prepare the surface. Silicone carbide is good for plastics and grinding metals. Surfaces such as aluminum are sensitive to abrasive substances.
The second stage of the process is the application of the powder and the most common method of doing this is electrostatic spraying using a spray gun. The spray gun will cause a positive charge and it will accelerate the powder towards the component that it is being applied too. The component is heated and the powder is melted into the film of the surface. When the surface cools down the powder then becomes hard. It is possible to use electrostatic discs in order to apply the powder.
The final stage in the process is the curing when the powders are exposed to high temperatures usually through the use of a conventional oven and it will start to melt. The curing process requires a certain temperature for a set period of time.