What is Industrial Powder Coating?

Understanding the Powder Coating Process

The powder coating process is nothing new. Manufacturers in industries such as structural steel, fabricated steel, rebar and welded wire fabric (wire mesh) have been using this fast, reliable metal finishing technique since the 1960s for purposes such as enhancing corrosion protection, increasing surface hardness and durability, and adding aesthetic appeal.

The increasing awareness in recent years about protecting the environment and reducing waste has led more manufacturers to choose powder coating over liquid paint. Unlike painting, the powder coating process does not produce potentially harmful solvents or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere. Any powder coating overspray is 100% recyclable, which cuts down on the amount of waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.

How Long Does the Powder Coating Process Take?

The length of the powder coating process will vary widely based on factors such as the size of the workpiece, the type of pretreatment method used to prepare the object for coating and the type and quality of the equipment. The skill and experience of the service provider also play a key role in the length of the powder coating process. Powder coating often takes less time than painting. This is because in most cases, one coat will get the job done, whereas liquid painting may require multiple coats.
At Lane Coatings, we will work with you to get your project done in a quick and timely manner while achieving the highest quality work. Contact us to get a free custom quote for your specific project.

What Are the Steps in the Powder Coating Process?

The powder coating process consists of the following steps:

  1. Surface Preparation: It’s usually necessary to prepare the surface before applying the coating to promote adhesion and maximize its long-term performance. Depending on the condition of the surface, your best preparation method will include a combination of washing and pretreating methods, such as:

    • Blasting: Grit blasting is an excellent choice for eliminating metal scale and rust from steel, as well as for removing existing coatings.
    • Washing: Washing the metal via methods like spray pressure washing will remove soils. Special soaps are available that can aid the cleaning process if necessary. Steam cleaning is a washing technique that works well for both breaking down oils and reaching recessed surface areas.
    • Etching:Chemical etching entails the application of an acid-based solution to remove oxidation and promote coating adhesion on smooth, slick metals such as aluminum.
    • Phosphating: Applying an iron or zinc phosphate will significantly improve the corrosion resistance of the substrate, making the process ideal for products that will be exposed to moisture or harsh climatic conditions.
  2. Coating Application: After cleaning and pretreatment or grit blasting, the metal surface is ready for the application of the coating. The dry powder is sprayed on with an electrostatic gun that “shoots” electrically charged particles onto the surface. The electricity generated during spraying causes the particles to adhere to the surface and remain in place until curing. Because the powder goes on dry, the coating will not run or drip — a big advantage when compared to liquid painting.
  3. Curing: Curing is the final powder coating process step and may take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. The coated workpiece is placed in a specially designed oven and “baked” at a high temperature. Curing hardens the coating and melts it on to the surface. The hardening will continue during cooling, which takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Lane Coating Offers an Advanced Powder Coating Process

When you choose Lane Coatings as your powder coating services provider, you get a company with more than 30 years of powder coating expertise. Unlike many of our competitors in the metal finishing industry, we only do powder coating. So, we’ve developed an innovative powder coating process that ensures high-quality, fast results for every project, regardless of size or scope.

Contact us for more information on our Powder Coating Process or a free project quote today!

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