When to Choose Powder Coating
When choosing a finish for a product or component, there is often a choice to make between powder coating, wet paint and stove enamelling. So, with this variety of options for product and component finishing, why do buyers choose powder coating?
Read on to find out about the benefits of powder coating, as well as information on when wet paints or stove enamelling are a better choice.
Powder Coating versus Wet Paints
Powder coating offers a range of benefits over wet paints and, in many circumstances, it is the best way to finish a product. Powder coating is increasing in popularity over wet paint for five key reasons:
Whereas wet paint can run, powder coating is thick and viscous when molten, avoiding drips and dribbles. The nature of the way powder coating is applied means that a wrap-around effect can be achieved when coating surfaces like metal railings. The method of application also avoids the rough finishes that can be associated with wet paint in situations when the spray gun has to be used close to the surface that it is being applied to.
Ease of application
Powder coating makes it easier to achieve flawless results thanks, in part, to the wrap-around effect described above and the avoidance of over-spraying. The smoothness and quick application associated with powder coating means that spots are far less likely to be missed, even if they are in areas that would normally be difficult to see.
Environment and cost
Businesses have social and legal responsibilities to manage the environmental impact of their work, and powder coating is preferable to wet paints in this respect. The way the powder forms a coating by melting means that the process does not require the use of solvents, which reduces its ecological impact. Some wet paint formulations even contain carcinogens, which can put workers at risk.
Powder coating is also an economical way to work because any powder that does not adhere to the item being coated can be gathered and re-used, avoiding waste.
Tough, long-lasting finish
The polyester that is commonly used in powder coating is both flexible and hard wearing. And, because powder coating avoids the use of solvents, the process of evaporation that wet paint relies upon to dry does not apply. This prevents inconsistencies from developing in the paint surface and leading to damage and corrosion.
When wet paint is applied to a product or component, the paint needs to dry. Then, usually, there is another coat, which also must dry. This takes not only time, but also space, whereas powder coating can be applied, cured in an oven and cooled in under half an hour. As soon as it is cool, it is ready to go, with no extra fuss.
Powder Coating versus Stove Enamelling
Stove enamelling is a form of wet paint application. It uses specialist paint and it needs to be cured in an oven, resulting in a hard-wearing coating for mainly metal objects.
So, why would somebody choose powder coating over stove enamelling?
Although stove enamelling produces a durable, hard surface, it is nonetheless true that powder coating tends to be even more impressive in this respect. Powder coated items are less likely to suffer chips, scratches and other surface damage and the coating is waterproof, too.
Like other forms of wet paint, stove enamelling calls for the use of solvents, whereas powder coating processes are solvent-free.
Able to disguise imperfections in metal
If the metal surface that needs to be coated is rough or uneven, it can take over a dozen coats of stove enamelling paint to cover the damage. Powder coating, on the other hand, can deliver a perfect finish in as few as two applications.
Easy to maintain
Items that have been powder coated are incredibly easy to clean – dirt can be easily removed with water to return the product to its former glory.
When to Choose Wet Paint or Stove Enamelling
While powder coating offers many advantages, there are circumstances in which stove enamelling or wet spray paint are more suitable.
Some benefits of these paints include:
Less equipment being required
For wet paint in particular, there is less need for expensive, specialist equipment.
Wider range of colour options
Wet paint offers a bigger choice of colours than powder coating and metallic colours, matt and gloss finishes can all be achieved.
Avoids ‘orange peel’ effects
In the past, some powder coating practices were criticised for sometimes leaving the paint with an orange-peel effect. Although modern, high-quality powder coating substances are far less likely to show this result, they can be expensive. Wet paints, on the other hand, can avoid this unsightly effect much more easily, when the surface is smoothed between coats.
Painting over old paint
Applying a new layer of paint on top of paint of a different colour is much, much easier with wet paint and stove enamelling. Powder coating is really quite ineffective for this task.
How to Choose a Professional Powder Coating Service
Powder coating, when applied correctly, offers many benefits for applying a durable, ecologically friendly finish to components and products. The results should offer brilliant quality for an extended period of time, so it is important to use well trained, high quality, experienced professionals to make sure your items are coated effectively.
To assess a powder coating service, consider whether they:
Offer advice that shows they understand the best processes for a job, including taking into account long-term care, cost effectiveness and quality.
Have received professional training in powder coating application.
Provide the right service for each individual piece of work and match customers’ precise requirements.
Are happy to show you examples of the kind of work they have completed for other customers.
Are knowledgeable about all kinds of paint coating matters including environmental requirements, best practice guidelines and cost concerns.
Are respectful and listen to their customers’ needs.
Can show you recommendations or reviews from other customers or companies that have used their services.