Over the last few decades, the practice of powder coating has become one of the more popular finishing methods in manufacturing. A wide range of industries including defense, household appliances, agriculture and automotive have adopted it to provide high-quality finishes to their products. Although there still are many instances where traditional wet paint applications can fulfill this purpose, utilizing powders can deliver better performance in numerous ways.
When choosing the right finishing option for a particular product, understanding powder coating’s advantages and disadvantages is important for making the most informed decision. To help you understand why many manufacturers are believers in the benefits of powder coating stainless steel and other metals, here is a brief summary of what makes it such a popular choice.
How Powder Coating Works
Powder coatings start as a dry mixture of polymer resins, pigments, curatives and other additives, depending on the desired result. Ground into a uniform consistency, it is applied with the use of a spray gun that applies an electrostatic charge to each particle.
The object to be coated is grounded, which means the particles are attracted to the surface. Once it is covered, the component or product is placed into a curing oven. The intense heat triggers a chemical reaction that results in the creation of long molecular chains and a complete finish.
Key Advantages of Powder Coating
There are myriad reasons companies choose this process over traditional liquid painting:
- Greater durability: Because powder coating tends to be more resistant to chipping, scratching and other forms of wear, it is a good choice for equipment designed for heavy-duty usage. The toughness of these finishes means there is less risk of essential parts being exposed to the elements or worn by intensive use. In certain cases, such as military vehicles, powder coatings prove highly resistant to chemical agents that may be encountered in environments such as war zones.
- Cleaner application: Without the use of liquids in the spray booth, cleanup after each application is much faster and easier. A rubber squeegee can be used to clean any loose particulates that accumulate on walls. Spills can be dealt with swiftly using an industrial vacuum. This means less downtime between applications.
- Eco-friendlier materials: Unlike liquid paints, powder coatings contain no volatile organic compounds found in solvents. This means they create a much smaller amount of harmful emissions into the environment. Using powder coatings could reduce a manufacturer’s ecological footprint and decrease air pollution.
- Faster processing: One of the most significant advantages of powder coating over painting is how it can cut processing time. Liquid paints that require curing need time to allow the solvents to evaporate, but powder-coated pieces can enter the oven as soon as they are ready.
- Lower costs: Because they don’t contain solvents, these finishes don’t require as much ventilation in the booth as liquid-based ones. This means a significant reduction in the amount of air extraction and energy consumption from the necessary equipment.
- Easier maintenance: Once completed, powder coatings tend to last much longer than other types. Thus, fewer resources need to be spent on maintenance for the end user.
Trust Rhinehart Finishing’s Expertise
As an industry leader, there’s no better place to turn for exceptional powder coating services than Rhinehart Finishing. We have the technology and capabilities to provide you with all the benefits this technique has to offer and much more.
Thanks to our state-of-the-art equipment and extensive in-house expertise, we have the ability to deliver finishes that stand up to the harshest conditions and toughest jobs. To learn more, get in touch today.