1. What is Powder Coating?
Powder Coating is an advanced method of applying a decorative and protective finish to a wide range of materials and products that are used by both industries and consumers.
The powder used for the process is a mixture of finely ground particles of pigment and resin, which is sprayed onto the surface to be coated. The charged powder particles adhere to the electrically grounded surfaces until heated and fused into a smooth coating in a curing oven. The result is a uniform, durable, high quality and attractive finish. Powder coating is the fastest-growin finishing technology in Europe representing over 10% of all industrial finishing applications.
2. Why is powder coating better than other finishes?
Powder coating produces a high specification coating which is relatively hard, abrasion resistant (depending on the specification) and tough. Thin powder coatings can be bent but this is not recommended for exterior applications.
The choice of colours and finishes is almost limitless
Powder coatings can be applied over a wide range of thickness. The general consensus amongst users is to recommend a 25 micron minimum for mild interior applications and up to 60 micron minimum for exterior applications. Care must be exercised when quoting minimum thickness because some powder will not give ‘coverage’ below 60 or even 80 micron. ‘Coverage’ is the ability to cover the colour of the metal with the powder. Some of the white colours require about 75 micron to give full ‘coverage’. Certain colours must be applied at 80 micron*
3. What are the advantages of Powder Coating?
Powder Coating gives consumers, businesses and industry one of the most economical, longest-lasting and most colour durable quality finishes available.
Powder coated surfaces are more resistant to chipping, scratching, fading and wearing than other finishes. Colour selection is virtually unlimited with high and low gloss, metallic and clear finishes available. Colours also stay brighter and more vibrant for longer. Texture selections range from smooth surfaces to a wrinkled or matt finish and rough textures designed for hiding surface imperfections.
4. Is Powder Coating harmful to the environment?
In a word, no. Powder coating is highly protective of our environment. Whilst liquid finishes contain solvents, which have pollutants known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), powder coating contains no solvents and releases negligible amounts, if any, of VOCs into the atmosphere. Thus, there is no longer a need for finishers to buy costly pollution control equipment. In addition, most powder coating overspray that does not adhere to the part can be retrieved and re-used, virtually eliminating the waste commonly found within liquid finishing processes.
5. What are the differences between Epoxy, Epoxy Polyester and Polyester Powder Coating Products?
Epoxy: was the original powder finish. Epoxy coatings are based on epoxy resin, they are manufactured in a way, which enables the possibility of coating to a high thickness without defect in the coating after curing.
Epoxy Polyester: This came later than the basic Epoxy and gives more weathering and flexibility properties. Epoxy-polyester powder coating is based on specially selected resins to give the hard durable finish associated with epoxy coating but with superior heat stability and exterior durability.
Polyester: This offers improved durability. Polyester powder coating is designed for external use and the most characteristic feature of polyester powder coatings is the very good colour and gloss retention in outdoor exposure, where UV stability and weather resistance is required.
6. What is priming and do I require either of them?
There are two main types of priming. These are etch and zinc, (used for Aluminium and Galvanised Steel respectfully) which are a form of base coat, adding extra adhesion for the top coat, which in turn adds an additional protective surface to your items ensuring the best quality long lasting finish. You will need your items e. g. Garden gates, security shutters, railings etc., to be primed prior to Powder Coating should they be exposed to adverse weather conditions.
7. What sort of finishes do you offer?
We can offer a variety of finishes and textures available in certain colours only as follows:-
- Clear Lacquer
- Full Gloss
8. What is the maximum size of any one item you are able to Powder Coat?
Our Powder Coating Plant has been re- developed to accommodate materials up to 12.5 metres in length by 2.2 metres x 2.6 metres in our oven boxes. Our new automatic conveyor system can accommodate lengths up to 3.6 metres x 1.5 metres that also increases our overall capacity to two on-line conveyor systems and two large box ovens to meet our customer requirements.