The quality of the finish on your product reflects on the quality of your product. Your customer may view your product as poor quality if it rusts quickly, making it unsightly or un-useable. Powder coating has replaced enamels and other paints in a multitude of applications. One hears about the benefits of powder coating over paint, but some parts seem to rust just as fast despite the powder coating. So, is powder coating over-rated?
What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is electrostatically applied to the metal. Heat melts the powder which flows and forms a single layer “skin.” Powder coating provides better performance than wet paint when engineered and applied correctly. It is more resistant to chipping, and scratching. It also provides superior color retention, and maintains its finish up to 20 years. Its ability to withstand weather, and resist corrosion and chemicals makes powder coating a more durable finish than paint. The finish’s thicker layers will also cover minor scratches in the base metal.
Five factors that affect the quality of powder coating
1. Poor pre-treatment can result in oils and contaminants remaining on the surface to be coated. The metal must also be properly dried to avoid bubbles in the finish.
2. Dust and other contaminants can affect the finish and adhesion.
3. Poor adhesion can cause flaking or pores in the coating. These are active sites for corrosion.
4. Moisture may penetrate into the powder coating due to uneven or light spraying of the powder creating pores where moisture may penetrate into the powder coating.
5. Many consumer products have extremely thin finished powder coating thicknesses. The thickness of the finish, in “mils”, affects the level of protection.