Powder coating uses a thermoplastic or thermoset powder material. This material is applied to the surface that you want powder coated and it will then be melted. After melting, the finish will be left to dry and harden into a thin coating. This is a dry finishing process.
The powder is applied through a process called electrostatic spray deposition and the surface you are applying it to will be electrically grounded. After the powder coating is applied to an area, it will be heat cured. The powder will melt and flow together in this process. There are other ways of applying the powder such as dipping pre-heated parts into the powder. You can find many companies that offer powder coating services but make sure to check the quality of their finished product before hiring them. You can use this process for a variety of materials such as metals, glass, plastics and MDF. The application is both functional and decorative. Powder coatings are very durable and affordable. They are also an environmentally friendly option. But it is not recommended for large coating applications as it can be quite expensive when done at a large scale.
Durability is one of the main reasons that powder coating is preferred. It leaves a hard finish that provides protection to the surface in situations of impact and exposure to chemicals, moisture and extreme weather conditions. Also, powder coating provides protection against scratches, abrasions, fading and corrosion. It is excellent at withstanding daily wear. The color of the powder coating will remain as vibrant as it has been originally even after a considerable time. So touching up is not an issue that you need to worry about.
You can also control the thickness of the powder coating as well as the texture, color and finish. Therefore, it is superior to many other coating methods. You will be able to achieve the desired finish with powder coating much more quickly when compared to a liquid coating that doesn’t have a lot of solid material in its composition. So it is a very efficient process. You can achieve any type of color with this coating and the range of finishes include flat, metallic, clear, glossy, iridescent etc. Textured coatings will be able to hide imperfections on the surface as well which will make finishing the surface easier and quicker.
Many manufacturing processes are now shifting into the realm of sustainability. And powder coating is a way of minimizing air pollution. Powder coating doesn’t require solvents that liquid coatings need. And these solvents contain VOCs that are toxic to the environment. There are also minimized carbon dioxide emissions in the powder coating process and there is no hazardous waste to be disposed of. There is also little to no wasting of materials because almost all the coating material is used.
However there is some limitation in the range of suitable materials that can be powder coated and there is some difficulty in producing thin coatings that are even. If you require a custom coating or custom color, it will take a higher lead time. And it will take longer to cure large parts. If you are starting a powder coating company, you will have to consider a greater initial investment when compared to liquid coatings.