What does Powder Coating really mean?
Many times people will ask me what do I do for work. I tell them that I sell Powder Coating.
Nine out ten times I get a crazy look on their faces with the question what is that? My usual
answer to explain it in the easiest way to understand is to say that it is the opposite of wet paint
which normally would go on metal parts. Depending on the audience I would further explain.
So what is Powder Coating really? Here are the basics:
Powder coating is a paint in powder form, instead of liquid form, however one of the main
purposes of powder coating is to protect, but it definitely helps with looks as well. It adheres to
the surface after applying an electrostatic charge to the part you are going to paint. It is on the
similar idea of if you rubbed a balloon on your hair, and I spray you with some powder coating,
you will be ready to go in the oven! Ok maybe not, but that is the idea. The powder will stick to
your head, because it has an electrostatic charge.
As regular paint, there are lots of colors to choose from! Just the way that regular paint comes in
latex, acrylic, oil based, water based, etc… powder coating has different chemistries as well
which included epoxy, acrylic, hybrid, polyester, polyurethane, etc. It also has different finishes,
regular paint has the satin, eggshell, semi-gloss, gloss etc. Well, powder coating could be: high
gloss, semi-gloss, matte, semi matte, it could have textures like vein texture or hammered
texture, etc. As regular paint, there are lots of colors to choose from!
The powder coating is applied with a gun, which is powered, and air goes thru it, think of an air
compressor. And there is a deposit where you put the paint into, and while air goes out, powder
goes out so you can spray evenly.
It is mainly used to coat metals, as the electrostatic charge is very easy to achieve and also it
resists the high curing temperature. Then you put the sprayed part in an oven at approximately
400 degrees temperature for about 10 minutes so it cures (bakes, gets hard).
You now have a painted surface. But more than just painted, you have a protected piece. It will
protect against, rust and weather. Some powder chemistries are better for outdoors, or for high
humidity environments or some are just good enough for indoors, etc.