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Engine & Ceramic Coating FAQPowder Coating FAQ

Powder Coatings FAQ

What is Glass Bead / Sand Blasting?
Surface preparation is the most critical step in the Powder Coating process. A clean surface provides for maximum adhesion between the part and the coating. If a surface is not carefully cleaned before coating it may lead to early peeling of the coating, easier chipping of the coating and overall result in a poorly finished part. Therefore we strongly recommend the blasting of all parts before powder coating. Steel parts are typically blasted with a sand like product to remove old paint, rust, mill scale and other contaminants. Aluminum, Brass and other non-ferrous parts also need blasting for the same reasons mentioned above. Because these metals are typically softer than steel we will use glass bead blasting to remove contaminants. Glass bead blast will not harm or alter the surfaces of your parts.

What is Zinc Primer?
Zinc Primer is a powder coating that is applied to ferrous metals parts to give the best rust and corrosion protection possible. Surfaces exposed to weather extremes, atmospheric corrosion, heat, moisture and salt air will benefit from the application of the Zinc Primer.

What is the Powder Coating?
Powder Coating is a dry finishing process, whereby, finely ground particles of pigment (color) and resigns (glue) are electrostatically charged and gently sprayed onto a metal or alloy part surface. The component being coated is electrically grounded so that the positively charged powder particles adhere to the part. This condition remains until the part is subjected to an elevated temperature where the powder coating changes to a fused liquid. This powder curing process yields a hardened smooth surface upon cool down of the part to room temperature. This results in a high quality, continuous, and uniform coating that is durable, and has no porosity. With powder coating there are no runs, sags or drips as are often experienced with regular liquid painting.

Why Use Powder Coating?
With increased concerns for both air and water quality, rising energy cost, and consumer demand for high quality products, many equipment manufacturers are beginning to look at the benefits of powder coating. The key benefits of powder coating as an excellent alternative to liquid coating are:

  • Powder coats offer uniform coverage and thickness, durability, and high quality finish.
  • Powder coated surfaces are more resistant to chipping, scratching, fading, and wearing than other coatings.
  • Powder coating is a one-coat process and when applied over a phosphatized surface it will meet or exceed the corrosion resistance of a comparable liquid coating.
  • Powder coated products will not have the microscopic holes that are often encountered in liquid coatings. Because of this high quality surface, a powder-coated product has excellent corrosion protection to outdoor elements.
  • Powder coatings are available in virtually any color as well as many two color combinations that may be applied together for a special effects. Textured or wrinkled finishes are also available.

How thick is powder coating?
Average cold application to a flat plate would be 1-3mils or .001" to .003". Application to a warm part can result in 3-5 mils. Spray or fluid bed dip on a hot part can achieve 8-12 mils, and multiple coats, depending on the powder resin, can yield a thickness in excess of 125 mils or 1/8 inch.

What colors are available?
As with paint, there are an infinite number of colors and textures available, many of which are stock. Two common color standards that many suppliers use for color specification are RAL colors and Federal Standard colors. Unlike paint, powder can not be made a pound at a time, so color matching is often more costly. Fortunately, there are many different powder suppliers, and they each have their own array of colors and textures. The RAL Color Chart is available for your convenience – See Our Color Charts.

What if I just want something coated black?
There are probably over 50 different ways to make something black. There are at least 20 different shades of black, and each powder supplier has several. There is flat black, low gloss black, varying percentages of gloss black, full gloss black, black texture, black wrinkle, black hammertone, etc. There is also black epoxy, black polyester, black nylon, black hybrid, etc. So if you just want it black, you may still have to answer a few questions.

Can you match a color?
Yes. If a customer has a paint chip, a powder supplier can match it, both color and gloss. It may not be an exact match, but it will be very close. Also, colors approaching red, orange, and yellow are more expensive, and you may have to fulfill a minimum order quantity. So if you want to coat a door knob to match the electric yellow paint on your house, you may end up buying enough powder to coat the entire floor of the house, for the cost of a used sedan.

Is powder cost competitive with paint?
Even though the material and process cost of powder coating are considerably higher than they are for paint, powder remains competitive. Government and environmental regulations have greatly affected the handling and disposal of paint and paint bi-products. No longer can paint brushes, filters, and other contaminated materials be sent off to the land fills. Spent solvents that use to be used as weed killer must now be sent with manifest to disposal sites and reclaim facilities.

Today, when a customer wants a superior finish at a competitive price, in most cases, powder coating will fit the bill.