BENEFITS OF POWDER COATING
Powder coating, a dry finishing process, has gained significant popularity in North America for over four decades. Increasingly, companies opt for powder coatings to achieve high-quality, durable finishes, leading to heightened production efficiency, enhanced operations, and streamlined environmental compliance.
Powder coatings are composed of polymer resin systems, blended with curatives, pigments, flow modifiers, leveling agents, and other additives. These constituents undergo melting, mixing, cooling, and grinding to form a uniform powder. At AP Coating, we employ electrostatic spray deposition (ESD) to apply the powder coating onto metal substrates. This technique employs an electrostatically charged spray gun, attracting the powder particles to the grounded part. Subsequent to the coating application, the parts enter a curing oven where the added heat triggers a chemical reaction, forming long molecular chains and resulting in high cross-link density. These molecular chains exhibit remarkable resistance to deterioration.
To ensure the quality of our finishes, we employ specific Quality Control methods to assess the deliverables:
A general guideline prescribes a minimum application thickness of 2.5 – 3.0 mils
for powder coatings, though this is subject to specific product recommendations.
Testing Method: Digital coating thickness measurement.
Scratch resistance is gauged by the ability of the coated object to
withstand 3000 to 4000 grams of added weight (1 to 5 kg, pin type testing).
Testing Method: Adhesion using a cross-cut hatch and tape method
TYPES OF POWDER
Beyond various finishes, powder coatings are available in a range of chemistries to optimize flexibility, enhance edge coverage, influence material thickness, or mitigate the Faraday cage effect associated with static charge application. Collaboratively, we assist our customers in selecting the most suitable powder for their product.
Epoxy powder coatings possess inherent toughness, corrosion and chemical resistance, flexibility, adhesion, and abrasion resistance. They excel as functional coatings for substrate protection, emphasizing corrosion and impact resistance, though weatherability can be a limitation. Common applications encompass industrial equipment, automotive components, metal furniture, and appliances.
This powder stands out as one of the market's most versatile and durable coatings. It boasts exceptional resistance to sun, salt, and sea water, along with excellent impact and sand abrasion resistance, and a premium glossy appearance. With a remarkable low-temperature performance down to -70°C, it eliminates the need for a primer. Rigorous Plascoat lab testing and real-world application have shown a projected working life of over 70 years.
Epoxy-Polyester hybrid powders form a extensively utilized category of thermosetting powders, where epoxy resin functions as the curing agent for polyester resin. The hybrid's attributes vary based on resin selection and their ratios, encompassing a range between pure epoxy and pure polyester properties. The inclusion of epoxy resin makes this type susceptible to chalking upon exterior exposure.
Acrylic resins find prominent usage in the automotive sector as clear coats for various materials. They yield a seamless, clear finish with exceptional clarity, offering a robust, chip-resistant surface. Additionally, acrylic resins function as additives to enhance flow, leveling, stain resistance, and chemical resilience in polyester hybrid, polyester TGIC, and polyurethane powder coatings.
Polyester powder coatings exhibit attributes of prolonged outdoor endurance, exceptional mechanical properties, and resistance to overbaking. These powders are commonly employed for decorative elements requiring substantial resistance to UV rays. Numerous automotive trim and exterior components are coated with polyester powders.
Known for their exceptional durability, flexibility, and resistance to chemicals and abrasion, polyurethane powders are commonly used for demanding industrial applications. They provide excellent gloss retention and long-term resistance to humidity and corrosion in thin film applications.
SAMPLE COLOR CHARTS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is powder coating durable?
Yes. Powder coating is generally more durable than any other paint application. It provides better protection against rust, corrosion and resistance against the toughest conditions, keeping its original polished look. This is why powder coating is the main choice in the aerospace and marine industry.
There are many types of powder, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Outdoor powders are meant to withstand rain, snow, heat, cold and ultraviolet rays. They can also provide enduring rust inhibiting qualities, thus protecting the parts intended look and feel. Indoor powders cater more to the conditions relating to indoor use. Chipping, scratching and every day wear and tear are no threat to indoor powders. They come in a variety of special mixtures, providing a custom balance between maximum durability and many unique textures looks. When deciding which powder is right for you, we take into account what we are powder coating and how it will be used.
What is your turnaround time?
This depends mostly on the size of the job but two weeks is our average turn around time. We generally don't do rush jobs since our emphasis is long-lasting quality, not speed. All orders are completed in the order they are received.
Does new steel need to be sandblasted?
We highly recommend sandblasting for any parts that will be exposed to the elements; that is any project that will have outdoor use. Otherwise, it will go through a thorough preparation process before it is coated.
Can you powder coat parts that have been previously treated? What about galvanized parts?
Yes. We can remove any old finish, dirt, rust and anything else that might be on the surface of the part until it is ready to re-coat. Once we sandblast the previous coating to bare metal, it becomes an excellent candidate for powder coating. Galvanized steel parts can be powder coated as well, at AP Coating we have completed a couple architectural projects with this process several years back, which remain in excellent conditions today.
Should I have my parts sandblasted before bringing them to you?
Although you can have your part sandblasted before you bring it to us, we do not recommend it. After a part is sandblasted it is bare and exposed to the elements. Any moisture in the air will cause your part to begin surface rusting. This may not be very noticeable to the naked eye, but the presence of this microscopic surface rust will compromise the adhesion of the powder. As a complimentary part of our service, we provide pick up and drop off service from our associated sandblasting vendors. This usually minimizes the time your bare part is exposed to the elements, and guarantees the best possible adhesion of the powder.
What about holes with threads and other areas that need to stay coating free?
We can mask/plug off areas that do not need to be powdered. We can also apply high temperature masking to special surfaces such as threads or high tolerance areas to keep them from being coated.
Can you do textures?
Yes. A constantly increasing variety of textured surfaces and wrinkles are available. There are also veins and hammer tones available to choose from.