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What is powder coating?

First developed in the 1960s, Powder Coating has become an
increasingly popular alternative to liquid paint, and now makes up over 15% of
the industrial finishing market. Versatile in its applications, long-lasting
and durable; powder coating is an ideal metal finishing method well suited to a
diverse range of projects and industries. 

But what exactly is powder coating, and what is it that makes it so
desirable?

What is Powder Coating? 

Powder coatings can be thought of as being like paint, but minus the
solvent. They are made up of a polymer resign, such as epoxy or polyester,
combined with curatives, levelling agents, pigments and other additives. These
ingredients are melt mixed, cooled and ground into a homogenous powder. 

The powder coating process is generally
broken down into three stages: 

• Preparation & Pre-Treatment

• Application of the Powder Coating

• The Powder Coating is then cured under heat

Typically used to finish metals, the coating is usually applied as a
free-flowing dried powder using a spray gun. This particular method applies an
electrostatic charge to the powder which causes the particles to be attracted
to the ground substrate prepared in the pre-treatment process. Once the powder
has been applied, the coated parts are then cured in an oven, wherein the
temperature causes a chemical reaction that produces long molecular chains of
high cross-link density. In addition to metal substrates, powder coatings can
also be used on a range of non-metallic surfaces such as plastic.

What are the benefits of Powder Coating?

From items you use every day to heavy-duty industrial machinery; powder
coatings are used to provide an attractive and durable finish for all kinds of
products across a range of industries. There are several benefits to this
finishing process that make it superior to traditional liquid paint in many
applications. 

From a functional standpoint; powder coatings offer a greater level of
durability. Powder-coated surfaces provide significant resistance to everyday
wear and tear.  Unlike liquid paints that are delivered using an
evaporating solvent; they can be applied in thicker coats without sagging,
dripping or running. For industries such as construction, automotive, electrical engineering and agriculture; this reduces the need to replace
equipment as powder coating can last for decades, ultimately saving
businesses money over time. 

In addition to its durability, powder coatings are more Eco-friendly than
traditional paint finishes. Because this method does not require the use of
solvents, they offer less of a carbon footprint. The process of powder coating
also cuts down on the amount of waste, not only that but in many cases – it can
even be recycled. This reduction of the wasted product presents significant
cost savings, not only because less product goes further, but also it reduces
the burden on companies to dispose of volatile organic compounds and remains
compliant with industry regulations.  

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