What Is Powder Coatin?

Posted on: 23 January 2018

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There are all kinds of coatings that can be put on metal. The reason that metal is coated with those coatings is because it helps protect the metal from things like rust and other damage. One kind of coating that can be used is powder coating. But what is powder coating?

Powder Coating

A powder coating is one that when it is applied it is sprayed as a dry powder. It is applied electrostatically. That means that the powder has one kind of electrical charge and the piece that is being coated has another kind of charge. That means when the powder is sprayed, that powder is attracted to the metal and will go to it and stick to it. The bond that is formed between the metal and the powder then coats the material just like paint or is turned into a paint-like coating. Once the powder has stuck to the metal, it's time to fix it on there and that is usually done by curing it in an oven. There are different kinds of powder coating, including thermoplastics and thermosetting polymers. 

Thermoplastic

Thermoplastic coatings are interesting. When a thermoplastic powder coating is sprayed on a piece of metal, it has to be above a certain temperature. That's what lets the thermoplastic coating flow or be moldable to the metal. Once the coating hits the metal, it starts to cool down and solidify. There are all kinds of thermoplastics, including things like nylon, acrylics, Teflon, and PVC. All of those things can be turned into a powder and sprayed onto a piece of metal, as well as be used in other settings. For example, Teflon can be powdered so that it can be sprayed onto pots and pans so that they can be turned into non-stick pots and pans. 

Thermosetting Polymers

These industrial coatings are sprayed onto the metal and then the metal goes to be cured. Curing generally happens in an oven. Once the coating has set, then it is turned into a tough solid coating so that the metal is completely protected. Thermosetting coatings can also be used as adhesives if that's necessary. The coating will be stronger and more sturdy than paint would be. The coating can also be colored so that the finished piece can be any color that is required. 

Coating metal means that it is going to be protected and less likely to rust or degrade in any other way.