Powder coatings are a common means today of protecting various components against diverse quality issues. Powder coating applications are used to provide the base substrate with the ability to protect itself against such threats. The coating may endow the surface of the substrate with a protective layer or two while also improving its appearance. Nylon, epoxy and polyester are three powders that act as protective coatings as long as the finisher or fabricator apply the right material correctly to produce the perfect coating
Considerations for Formulating Protective Powder Coatings
Coating failures do occur. In the case of thermoplastic powders such as Nylon, corrective measures are easier than they are for thermoset powders such as Epoxy and Polyester. In both cases, it is important the finisher follow certain steps to ensure success. It begins before the actual coating takes place.
- Preparation Work: Make sure the piece is cleaned thoroughly and properly prepped before starting the process of coating. This can include total disassembly as well as sandblasting. The surface of the substrate has to be ready to receive the powder coating.
- Selection: Choose the right resin for the job. Make sure it corresponds to the requirements of the client as well as the demands of the environment. Protective coatings must be able to provide the protection required by the environment of the component. It must meet the exigencies of the elements. The finisher knows when nylon and not polyester, for example, will work best to protect the designated part
- Application Method: Always make sure the method is the most compatible with the resin coating, the substrate material and the intended result. Will a fluidized bed be better than using a gun?
- Check the equipment: Always make sure the equipment is functioning perfectly. Regular maintenance goes a long way to create perfectly functioning tools and devices
- Monitor the process: Watch the process from start to finish. Make sure every procedure, from the preparation of the substrate to the mixing of the resin to the application – heating and cooling, process meets the ideal of a perfect powder coating application
- Test: Test to see the components meet quality standards and desirable specifications
While flaws are always a potential problem with powder coatings, it is possible to decrease the risks of such occurrences by taking the necessary steps.
If you are in the business of providing protective powder coatings to your client, you understand the various steps necessary to produce the perfect coating every time. For customers, it is essential for the finisher to provide them with exactly what they want. For a finisher, taking the necessary steps ensures the customer gets what he or she wants without the finishing company losing time, energy or money to provide them with the ideal protective coatings.