The basic process of powder coating is a 5-part process. Here is a step-by-step guide to powder coating and protecting metal.
PART PREPARATION – Sandblasting/sand stripping is the best way to prep a metal surface in need of restoration. The point of blasting is to remove any mil-scale rust and rough up the surface prior to coating. It removes dirt, grime, rust, corrosion. It also removes existing painted or powder coated finishes. All types of metal can be blasted such as alloys, aluminum, steel, iron, etc. Sometimes coaters will use a chemical strip process prior to abrasive blasting to keep the blast time down to a minimum. If you have a new metal project you can sometimes by-pass this step. The powder coater will be able to make this determination. Each piece must be cleaned, etched, rinsed, and dried; being sent through a dryer conveyer system.
POWDER APPLICATION– When fully prepped, cleaned and dry your metal project will be ready for powder coating. The coating itself is done through an electrostatic process, whereby, the metal object is positively charged in order for the powder to be attracted to it and bond well during the next stage. There are many colors and brands of powder to choose from depending on the needs of the customer and the end use of the project.
CURING – The cure times for metal can range depending on how long it takes the oven to get to temp and the size of the oven. Typically degrees ranging from 340 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit are required for the powder to heat up enough to bond. During this time, the powder reaches its proper temperature and begins to chemically react, forming a molecular weight polymer in a network like structure. A coater’s oven should evenly displace the heat so that your part is heated throughout for the curing process to be done correctly.
INSPECTION– After the curing process, a careful inspection is done by operator to ensure its pristine condition.
PACKAGING– After careful inspection of each piece, each piece is ready to be packaged and shipped directly to customer.