When operating a business that is involved in manufacturing products, applying color or paint can sometimes be overlooked in its importance. Some people may think that paint has no impact on the quality of effectiveness of a product. However, this is not the case. Paint can play a significant role, and it is vitally important to make sure the kind of paint chosen for the job is suitable.
Some products will benefit from traditional liquid paint, which can be applied in a variety of ways. This has its own benefits, but we wanted to look at an alternative. Powder coating is used in many industries and has numerous benefits which we will look into below. Before we do so, it’s essential to understand precisely how powder coating works.
This process uses a dry paint powder, as its name suggests, to coat metal. To do this, the paint powder is forced through an electrostatic gun using compressed air. Within the electrostatic gun is an electrode which gives the powder a positive charge. When you combine this with the target piece of metal being earthed, this creates a difference in magnetic charge which helps to attract the paint to the metal, along with it being forced onto the metal because of the compressed air. Once a piece of metal is entirely coated, it is baked in a curing oven to achieve the finished look.
So, what are the benefits of powder coating for businesses?
1. Durability and protection
When businesses paint a product, it is usually for aesthetic reasons. The way a product looks, even in industries where this is not the priority, is crucial. When using powder coating to paint a product, the finished coating is significantly stronger than liquid paint. This is due to the application process. Not only does creating a difference in charge between the paint and the metal help attract the paint, but also it helps bond the two together. This is further enhanced by baking the coated metal in an oven, where the chemical bonds between the paint and metal are strengthened.
The finished coating is durable and ideal for products which may be used in harsh environments. Furthermore, the metal below the coating is protected, which can increase the lifespan of the product.
Because powder coating is a more durable paint option, it requires far less maintenance than other paint. It is less likely to chip or crack, which is vital when considering the large scale some manufacturing companies operate on.
Another reason powder coating can reduce costs for a business is with waste paint. When using liquid paint, any spills or paint which drips off a product usually goes to waste. This is not the case with powder coating. Overspray, the name for paint powder which does not stick to the target piece of metal, can be collected and used again, therefore reducing physical and financial waste. To ensure this is possible, powder coating should take place in a designated sterile environment. Furthermore, paint powder colors should not be mixed, as this would remove the possibility of them being used again; future projects which may require only one color may end up with spots of another.
3. Environmental impact
Along with reducing costs, the fact that overspray can be reused also helps with the environmental impact of powder coating. This is combined with the fact that powder coating releases little to no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which are known to contribute to environmental damage as well as impact human health. If more manufacturing businesses were to switch over to powder coating when painting metals, then the improvement to the environmental impact of manufacturing businesses could be significant.
While powder coating in this form is used primarily for coating metals, there are various finishes available depending on a client’s needs or desires for a product. Powder coating can also be carried out in any color, and as mentioned, colors can be layered or mixed. If businesses invest in powder coating equipment and trained staff, or work with other specialist businesses, then they have access to a huge range of options when it comes to painting their products.
While powder coating may not be the most well-known industrial process, as highlighted above, there are many benefits to the process which can help businesses produce a better product while also helping in other areas.