About protecting metal parts and pieces, it’s difficult to beat the reliability of powder coating. What started as a trend regular with industrial materials during the 1940s. It was immediately transformed into a 15% market share of the pie of the preferred procedure of industrial finishing across the world now. Be that as it may, what effect does powder coating has on the present automotive market. Which includes protecting the wheels and aftermarket auto parts on our daily drivers? How great is it at ensuring a top coat on wheels, or making them simpler to clean? Is it similarly comparable to automotive paint with a ceramic coating? These are the questions we will be answering about powder coating.
What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating was first used in the 1940s, where polymers or volatile organic compounds (also called macromolecule) were spayed down in its powder form on a metallic surface. In the 1960s the industry grew huge due to the increasing ecological movement. It leads to the introduction of the electrostatic spray powder coating procedure, which electrically charged powder particles that would infuse onto a metal surface.
The powder sticks to the metal surface due to electrostatic attraction. Once the particles are fused onto metal, the metal is then placed into an oven. The fact that paint could now be sprayed onto metallic surfaces without polyurethane or VOC’s. It not only makes it an environmentally friendly option to traditional liquid paints and clear coat protection but provides extra strength.
Benefits of Powder Coating?
You might be wondering why powder coating and not polyurethane or ceramic coating. Since we are talking about powder coating in the automotive industry so we will be talking from this perspective. Below are some of its benefits of in the automotive industry.
While some off-road or performance vehicles use powder coating to use exposed metal suspension or move confines, it’s uncommon to discover bodyboards covered because of the unnecessary expense and weight of powder-covered materials. Numerous auto applications use powder coats on wheels, engine parts, and suspension segments.
Resistance to Containment
At the point when automotive parts are coated through this technique, they become substantially more impervious to harm because of exposure to moisture, UV light, synthetic compounds, and impact. This is a significant motivation behind why you’ll discover most performance wheels (particularly those utilized in off-road applications) powder coated.
Minimize Risk of Wear and Tear
Powder coating additionally lessens the risk of scratches, chipping, blurring, and other regular mileage issues found with wet paint. Producers of aftermarket parts additionally love utilizing this technique because of the absence of chemical waste – dissimilar to spray paints that utilization chemicals (thinners and VOCs) that require expensive waste disposal methods that must comply with US EPA guidelines.
How does the procedure work?
The procedure of powder coating in the automotive industry consists of the following four-general steps.
Specific powder coating for each material
One of the common assumptions about the powder coat is that it’s a one-size-fits-all sort of process. But the reality is – each material has a particular powder coating definition that is utilized for ideal outcomes. Be that as it may, there are two general kinds, a thermoplastic or thermoset polymer. The main contrast between these two is the ability to reverse or eliminate the coating. Thermoplastic coatings can be removed or melted again, while thermoset is a permanent application.
Preparing the Product Surface for Powder Coating
When the right powder m\terial has been chosen, the following stage is prep work. Like some other coating, the nature of prep work can significantly affect the general application results. Proficient powder coaters normally complete three stages of preparing metal or plastic materials.
Bead or Abrasive Blasting
The initial step is to remove any containment on the material being coated. On metals, disposing of rust, mill debris, and jetsam, or other external materials is finished by completed by bead or abrasive sandblasting. In this cycle, small particles of silica or sand are impacted at high gaseous tension until the pollutants are completely removed.
Grinning of Sharp Edges
The second stage of prep work (particularly with wheels and rims) is to manually eliminate any sharp edges or burrs on the item being coated. During the electrolysis stage of coating, the powder now and again gathers or expands upon sharp or articulated edges. To guarantee a smooth and even coating, the powder coater will utilize a polishing or cutting wheel to smooth the product.
Soaking the Product in Acetone
When the item is stripped to bare metal, the next stage in the prep work is to eliminate any excess gunk or grime. This is normally refined by absorbing the item in acetone or other chemical showers. The last cleaning in a steam shower eliminates the compound cleaner.
Applying the Coating
Applying the coating includes the utilization of specialized equipment, beginning with the splash gun or a compacted air sprayer that will electro-statically charge the powder which will be infused into a grounded metallic part.
Curing the Coated Product
The process of curing powder coating includes the utilization of an enormous, mechanical furnace or oven. Much of the time, the product is heated to 350° to 375° F (175° to 190° C) for10-15 minutes. Once the initial process is complete, the product is allowed to cool for a few hours at room temperature.
Pros and Cons of Powder Coating – Analysis
Like any other coating, powder coating has also its pros and cons. While powder coating rims or wheels of your car, keep all the points and then decide.
When the powder coating is completed, it’s perhaps the hardest material out there. It’s an extraordinary item for shielding the material from scratches, dings, and dents. However, it’s not generally the longest-enduring items, nor is it impenetrable.
Since powder coating is sans chemical fluids, it’s an item that can be utilized and reused. This implies that there are next to no waste materials, there are no VOCs or toxic emissions upon application.
For the process to include almost no waste material, it’s one of the most financially savvy methods of ensuring mechanical parts. Notwithstanding, this is for industrial applications. DIY’ers may find it to be more costly than other DIY utilizations of paint protection items.
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It’s not Top Notch Quality Coating
At times, powders are cross-contaminated in the area of installation. At the point when this occurs, it can affect the quality of the coating, explicitly the shading or appearance. Because of this reality, it’s ideal to get your work done and work with a professional powder coating expert.
Thickness and Weight
Powder coating isn’t the most ideal alternative if weight conservation is significant for you. It’s comparatively heavy and applies thick. It likewise doesn’t make a difference easily. It’s typically a rough surface when finished.
It is Non-Hydrophobic
Some people assume that it is incredible to use powder coat on wheels since it makes it is easier to clean. That is another myth. Since it’s thick, it will in general permit things like brake residue and road grime to stick. It’s in a way that is better than non-protection products; however, there are better solutions if this is your objective.
Large Investment Capital
While it’s possible to figure out how to powder coat, the beginning up costs for extraordinary hardware, establishment areas, and appropriate ventilation, can surpass a large number of dollars. The nature of your equipment will affect the nature of the final result.
Ceramic Coating – Alternative of Powder Coating
A few people use powder coating to protect their car wheels and car rims, exhaust tips, or other exposed performance parts from introduction to salt, road grime, chemicals, dirt, and debris. On the off chance that this is your objective, you should consider utilizing a high-quality and simpler to apply procedure like a DIY ceramic coating.
It’s often assumed that ceramic coatings must be utilized on clear coated paint. Be that as it may, similar to the supposition about powder coating just utilized on metal, this is another myth. Ceramic coatings like Armor Shield IX can be utilized on alloy wheels, magnesium, steel, and ceramic wheels. They can likewise be utilized on chrome and vinyl wrapped surfaces.
Powder coating has made considerable progress since its initial applications during the 1940s. While powder coatings are outstanding for securing modern hardware, the acquaintance of simple with introducing DIY ceramic coatings has acquainted a superior option with powder coating on performance items like custom wheels for instance.
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