Many people have perceptions about powder coat; many of which are incorrect. This blog post will demonstrate how many of the rumors about powder coat are false! Before we jump right into the myths, lets first explain what powder coat is and how it works:
What is powder coat?
Powder coat is a type of finish that is applied to metal parts to create a cosmetic and durable coating. Unlike liquid paint, powder coat is applied as a dry powder using electrostatic which does not require a solvent. The end result creates a finish similar to liquid paint, but can be more durable. Powder coat is commonly used for home appliances, automobiles, bicycles, fences, metal furniture, and more.
How does powder coat work?
Once a metal part has been prepared for powder coat based upon it’s application process, powder is applied to a part by an electrostatic gun (most common application). The powder coat gun creates a positive electric charge to the powder, which when sprayed on a grounded metal part, adheres to the metal. Once the powder has been applied to a part, it is then cured in an oven. When powder is exposed to high temperatures, it melts down and creates a film.
Top 5 Powder Coat Myths
1. Powder coat is so durable, it can’t chip or crack.
FALSE- Although powder coat creates a “shell” or “skin” over the part, it isn’t damage proof. Under certain conditions, powder coat can chip or crack and once it does, it acts as an egg shell that can be picked away and peel.
2. Powder coat can be applied to the same materials as wet paint.
FALSE – Although powder coat is used as an alternative to wet paint, it isn’t an alternative on all materials. By reading the above section, How does powder coat work?, it will help you to better understand how and why powder coat can’t be used on material like wood, plaster, rubber, and other similar materials that are not compatible to electrostatic. The main use for powder coat is to be applied to metals.
3. Powder coat is great at covering imperfections.
PARTIALLY FALSE – Since powder is being added on top of a surface, it seems logical that it would easily hide flaws. The reason this is partially false is because if the surface has discoloration on the surface, it can usually be covered by the powder coat depending on the color of the discoloration and the color of the powder coat. However, the statement is false in regards to surface imperfections like scratches, dents, and other types of imperfections. Although powder is being applied to the surface, it doesn’t act as a “filler” by hiding these types of surface flaws. Instead, powder coat can actually highlight many of these imperfections and can make them more obvious.
FALSE – Powder coat does not have a dry time, but only a cure time. Since powder remains dry during the application process, there isn’t a “drying time” like liquid paint. Powder coat does however, require a cure time where the parts are put into an oven over 400 degrees Fahrenheit in order to bake the powder into a film or “skin”.
5. Powder coat prevents rust and corrosion.
FALSE – Although powder coat creates a film-like barrier on a metal part, it does not prevent rust or corrosion, especially with exterior parts. It is important to pre-treat and apply primer in order to help with the longevity of the coating.
If you have metal parts that require fabrication and powder coat, be sure to contact us for a quote. We hope this blog post has cleared up any misconceptions about powder coat and has provided you with more knowledge. Thanks for reading along and stay tuned for our next blog post!