Powder Coating services are ubiquitous to heavy industry, but what is it? And how does it compare to regular paint? Read on for our answers.
CVS Group evolved from a wealth of knowledge and experience in the ventilation and roofing industry. As a result, we are unique in Australia for our expertise and understanding of Powder Coating services dating back to the 1960’s. Today CVS Group specialise in architectural louvres and ventilation solutions complete with in-house powder coating facilities in Minto, NSW. Along the way we have acquired powder coating accreditation from Dulux and Interpron (Akzo Nobel), and we are proud to be accredited applicators of their warrantied powders.
When companies and individuals come to us for architectural louvres and ventilation services, they are often curious to know how powder coating can enhance the finished product. In this blog we will explain what powder coating is, how it works, and how it compares to regular paint.
What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is a process used to add colour to metals that creates a durable, strong finish. The process can produce a wide variety of shades, which is partly what makes it so attractive to architects and specifiers.
Powder coating was invented in the 1940’s but its use was pioneered by German auto company Volkswagen. Thereafter, powder coating was adopted by nearly all car manufacturers world-wide and introduced to heavy industry workshops big and small. Powder coating works equally well for one-off constructions as it does in mass production.
Powder coating gives a uniform finish in a relatively short amount of time, with little to no mess or clean up.
Powder coating is also extremely long lasting, dramatically reducing the need for repairs and touch ups.
How does Powder Coating Work?
Powder coating is applied electrostatically using a gun to the metal surface, then ‘baked’ into the place to create a hard finish. The powder itself is coloured, so there is no need for additional paint.
The gun uses compressed air passed over an electrode to ensure the powder ‘sticks’ by giving it a positive charge that is attracted to metal. For this reason it is important that each metal piece is thoroughly cleaned prior to the powder coating process so that the powder sticks properly.
After the powder application, each metal part is placed in a high heat oven, which causes the powder to bond with the metal and form a high density surface that is hard, strong and smooth.
Techniques vary according to the kind of finish desired, but overall, powder coating is defined by its visually pleasing uniform appearance.
How Does Powder Coating Compare to Regular Paint?
As compared to wet paint, powder coating is markedly more durable, long lasting and chip-resistant due to the strengthened bonding to the metal that occurs in the oven.
Powder coating is also applied in much thicker uniform layer, so it is harder to scratch or wear down.
Unlike regular wet paint, powder coating can also handle the elements and tough conditions heavy with moisture and salt.
The striking colour of powder coating is also long-lasting with minimal fading, even in strong sunlight, although a great deal comes down to the quality of the powder and the expertise of the applicator.
Powder coating is also better for your health. Painting can be difficult and dangerous to apply, whereas many aspects of the powder coating process are hands free.
Often wet paint is flammable and uses hazardous substances, which can cause respiratory problems after long term exposure. Paint also is a major polluter.
In contrast, powder coating does not involve any evaporative liquids or volatile organic compounds.
Finally, powder coating is cost effective, because it is so long wearing and far less labour intensive than regular wet paint applications, which often require second coats and touch ups.
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