Powder Coating

Powder Coating Big Items Requires Big Ovens

Powder coating metal parts has been the preferred application method of paints and pigments since 1945. Metal fabricators and equipment manufacturers often apply coatings to the parts they make before the equipment they are making is assembled into a final component. This is often the case because most powder coating services simply cannot handle larger pieces due to size limitations these service professionals have with the curing and baking processes. There are only a couple of powder coating services in Montgomery County for example that have curing ovens that can handle assembled parts larger than a patio table for 4 people.

What Goes Into The Powder Coating Process

To have a better grasp of how challenging it can be to powder coat big items, you have to understand first the basics of the powder coating process. 

Surface preparation. To secure the durable adhesion of the powder, the surface of any item that needs to be coated should be thoroughly prepared. It should be free of oils, residues and contaminants for the final finish to be long-lasting. During this stage, several techniques can be employed, including rinsing, blasting, and chemical washing. 

Coating application. There are two ways that the powder coating can be applied. The electrostatic spray deposition (ESD), method involves the use of an electrostatic spray gun, a powder feeder, a low voltage power unit, and a powder spray booth. The other method is the fluidized bed powder coating technique which involves dipping preheated items to be coated into a fluidized bed that contains the powder material. 

Heat curing. If something was powder coated through ESD, it needs to be cured inside specially designed ovens. For those coated in fluidized beds, the heat curing actually takes place as the powder material melts and coats the preheated item upon contact. In cases when the item is immersed, not preheated, the same heat curing technique used in ESD will be done. 

Powder Coating Big, Bulky, and Heavy Items

Intuitively speaking, you need a bigger oven to coat and cure bigger, heavier, and bulkier components or items. Additionally, a longer period of time is needed to complete the whole process. 

Despite these scale-related concerns, powder coating for large parts is still the better coating solution for larger items compared to traditional painting. One of the biggest reasons is because powder coatings tend to be more durable than liquid paints and coatings. When it comes to the powder coating process, whether you need a big or a small amount of powder, you can finish the coating application and curing in one application of the powder media. 

Powder coating also minimizes waste and the potential negative impact to the environment. Take note that unlike paints, powder coatings do not contain volatile organic compounds which can be dangerous to the technicians and to the environment. 

Most powder coaters in Philadelphia operate from heated facilities. The big ovens used in the curing process are manufactured with welded steel frames and have sealed doors. Spray booths typically are equipped with air curtains and other features that prevent cool air from seeping into the spray booth. It is rare to find a powder coating company with ovens larger than 6’ x 6’ x 6’ deep because the equipment costs so much. CoatingTech in Montgomeryville PA can handle powder coating for large parts because they have the larger spray booths and curing ovens. 

Tags: , ,

No comments yet.

Add your response