Laser Precision Brings Powder Coating In-House for Superior Results
June 13, 2017
Bare metal used to construct appliances, pipes, off road construction vehicles and other objects is not only unattractive, it can rapidly become useless due to oxidation (rust) when exposed to the elements. A quick spray of color can enhance appearance, but a protective layer must be added to protect the integrity of the surface and increase its longevity. Powder coating is an outstanding way to achieve both objectives.
As the name implies, powder coating is applied to the bare metal as a free-flowing dry powder. The spray and metal surface are each given different electrical charges so that the spray is “magnetically” attracted to the metal and adheres to it. The piece is then cured under heat to form a deep bond or “skin” on the metal. This “electrostatic” application creates a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint.
Always looking to improve our in-house capabilities and the range of services we provide with our metal products, we have recently integrated powder coating capabilities into our facility. Our advanced system utilizes a 7-stage wash with environmentally friendly technology to achieve superior pre-treatment, which is key to the entire process. This 7-stage wash ensures all oils, soil and other contaminants are completely removed from the metal surface prior to the powder coat. Without it the coating is incomplete and corrosion protection is decreased. Utilizing a racking system for line density and maximum throughput, the line moves at an efficient pace and employs an automatic chain lubrication system for reduced maintenance.
Single coat (direct-to-metal) and dual coats (gel and topcoat or powder-on-powder) can all be applied with the new system. Single coat is a standard application where the powder coat is applied directly to the metal. Dual applications are recommended when or where corrosion is more likely to occur, especially in industrial and construction applications, or other rough working environments. Quick-change color modules allow us to rapidly change colors to meet customer requirements. Our paint booths can accommodate pieces as small as a wristwatch or as big as a refrigerator, and our anti-corrosion standards are some of the most rigorous in the industry.
The system is constructed of stainless steel, and unlike other companies, we use a reverse osmosis system to purify the water used for all rinsing stages. This may seem like overkill, but it’s typical of the attention we give to the smallest details in each of our operations.
How it Works
Our powder coating process involves three basic steps along with four separate rinsing stages.
- Pre-treatment – The parts are thoroughly cleaned in our washing system and then rinsed to remove any residue. A corrosion resistant coating is then applied to prepare the material for powder coating.
- Powder application – A variety of powders can be applied to the material after cleaning. Surface finishes include matte, textured, semi gloss, and high gloss.
- Curing – Heating the powder to a hardened state is the final process in the system.
After completing the process, the resulting finish is impact, abrasion, and corrosion resistant. The finished piece also has an excellent surface for additional decorative layers and maintains all of its flexibility and mechanical properties.
Our new in-house powder coating operation is a perfect example of our willingness to invest in equipment that gives a better result to our customers. We are already experiencing faster turnaround times and the ability to more easily handle rush projects. If you would like to learn more about our powder coating or other metalworking capabilities, please contact us.