by Max Bellamy
Powder Coating is the method of applying a protective and decorative finish to a wide range of materials. Powder coating was first used in Australia in 1967 and is one of the most popular surface finishing techniques in use today. It has become the coating technology of choice for consumable goods from bicycles to furniture.
Powder coating involves the use of very fine dry particles of resin with a color pigment. The resin is charged by means of electrostatic methods and applied onto a metal part, with a spray gun. The charged powder adheres itself to the metal. The metal is then placed in an industrial oven and baked at a temperature of 400 degrees or more. The melted resin then fuses to the metal and provides a uniform and durable finish. This finish is resistant to chemicals, wear and tear and chipping.
The bonding process of such resins creates a chemical reaction on the surface of the metal and thus insures durability and adherence. In some cases powder coating creates an alloy which is a few microns thick, changing the composition of the basic material being coated.
The impact resistance, flexibility and corrosion resistance of powder coating is far better than that of liquid paints. It is also a cost saving and effective alternative to liquid paints. Powder coatings are also compliant with environmental regulations and are free from pollutants, as compared to liquid paints.
Powder coating is used in the appliance industry, on the front and side panels of ranges and refrigerators, washer tops and lids, air-conditioner cabinets, water heaters, dishwasher racks and microwave ovens. The automotive industry uses powder coating on wheels, bumpers, hubcaps, door handles, radiators, filters and engine parts. Powder coating is also widely used for lighting fixtures, antennas, display racks and can also be found on items as varied as bicycles and golf clubs.
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