Powder coating is a unique method of painting used for coating metals and finishing a wide range of products including home appliances, automotive, medical devices, and many more. It’s a highly effective method of painting as it forms a durable and beautiful finish than regular liquid paints. In fact, it’s estimated that of all the industrial finishing projects, powder coating accounts for 15%. If you’re new to this method of painting, and not sure where to start, here are a few benefits this product offers and the types of powder coatings for different applications.
Advantages of Using Powder Coatings for Finishing
Why get a powder coating? There are a lot of reasons why you should consider powder coatings, but just the main ones are:
No solvents required for formulations
Unlike liquid coatings, which often require solvents in their formulations, powder coatings are considered to be 100% solid and free of solvents. They also have negligible volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, making them environmentally friendly, which has been increasing demand. This is particularly important if you consider the adverse health and environmental effects caused by traditional liquid paints; they’re safe to use, dispose of and transport.
Forms Thick Coatings Than Regular Liquid Paints
Traditional liquid coatings and paints are known to offer thin coatings and less uniform paint look on different surfaces. But with powders, you are guaranteed of much thicker coatings with more uniformity in an appearance on different surface orientations. This is made possible due to the lack of solvents or liquid carriers which are commonly found on conventional liquid coatings, no running or sagging paint.
Other benefits of using powder coating that you cannot achieve with regular liquid paint include improved scratch resistance, durability, and toughness.
The Different Types of Powder Coatings
There are 6 types of powders used for industrial finishing with each having unique properties and used for specific applications. Understanding their differences will help you choose the right type of powder based on what you’d want the powder to offer.
This is the most applied type of powder and it provides superior toughness and durability with perhaps the best corrosion resistance capabilities than other powders. It’s easy to use and has multiple curing schedule depending on how the powder is applied and the specific application. Epoxy powders are designed to form strong bonds with metals using various pretreatments methods such as sandblasting for improved adhesion.
However, epoxies are more susceptible to damage when exposed to sunlight or high temperatures, and therefore are only ideal for indoor applications. They tend to fade easily when subjected to sunlight and the surface often starts to wears out. Epoxy powders are essentially used as undercoats or primers due to their strength and taking advantage of the upper coat for protection.
Polyesters are yet another popularly used powder for coatings and offer excellent performance. This powder is composed of resin and Primid, which is a hardening agent. The two types of polyester powder are Tri glycidyl isocyanurate (TGIC) and the non-TGIC, sometimes referred to as Primid.
Both options offer excellent mechanical and chemical resistance such as scratch, impact and corrosion resistance. Ideally suited for exterior applications, polyesters powders have good UV resistance and unlike epoxies, they are resistant to yellowing. They are commonly used in the industrial coating of aluminum products and they come in a range of color options and glossy levels for different applications.
With superior weathering properties, fluoropolymers are ideally suited for architectural applications such as doors and windows. They offer excellent chemical and mechanical resistance, and hardly fades like other types of powder coatings like epoxies. Fluoropolymers also have good gloss and color retention capabilities making them a preferred choice for exterior use.
Super Durable Polyesters
This type of powder is considered the most superior when compared with a regular polyester. They are much more durable and are designed to retain glossiness and color for up to 10 years. Their outstanding properties make them perfect for both indoor and exterior use, giving you value for money.
Other types of powder coating include urethane and epoxy-polyester hybrids which offer essentially the same benefits. You have plenty of color choices and special effects when choosing powder coatings.