Metal Fabrication: Comparing Powder Coating to Conventional Paints

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Metal Fabrication: Comparing Powder Coating to Conventional Paints

Metal Fabrication: Comparing Powder Coating to Conventional Paints

7 December 2017
, Blog

If you are planning on ordering custom metal products from your fabricator, you should choose the right finishing coating. A suitable finishing layer will protect the metal from corrosion and general damage from the external adverse conditions. Also, the coating will enhance the appeal of the material, making it more appealing to the product users. There are two primary coating options to consider for your metal fabrications: powder coating and painting. While both are beneficial choices, powder coating has a distinct advantage. Here is a short comparison of powder coating and conventional coating in metal finishing.

Resilience of Coating

When choosing a finishing product for your metal fabrications, you should consider the durability of the coating. In simple terms, if the layer cannot withstand high stress, you will need to recoat the surfaces frequently. Powder coatings are formed on metal through the application of free-flowing polymeric powder. The particles are then cured under heat, allowing the formation of a tough skin. Powder coats are stable due to this method of application, and they will provide prolonged surfaces. A layer of paint is applied using a brush, so the bond with the metal is limited. Over time, the coating will peel from the product, especially if the usage is heavy. 

Uniformity of the Finishing

The uniformity of a finishing coat is essential for the visual appeal of a fabricated metal product. Discrepancies in the layer will be noticeable, and this can be a drawback for customers or users with stringent preferences. In general, liquid coated or painted surfaces are beautiful when viewed casually. However, in most cases, a close examination will show an appearance difference between the areas which were vertically painted and those which were horizontally painted. This might not be an issue for functional products manufactured for utility. However, the concern is significant for decorative items. In powder coating, the powder is applied electrostatically, and it adheres uniformly before curing. Therefore, there are minimal appearance issues.

Toxicity of the Products

There has been an increased interest in the toxicity of the products used in the industrial sector. Therefore, when choosing your manufacturing processes, it is essential to think about the potential harm that specific products will cause. For instance, finishing products often contain volatile organic compounds which can harm the atmosphere. Powder coats do not utilise solvents; their release of VOCs is minimal. On the other hand, industrial painting products have significant VOCs which need to be controlled using specialised equipment. Therefore, your costs of finishing will be higher. 

About Me
Insiders View: Best Practices In Processing And Manufacturing

Processing and manufacturing can be a costly and complex business. Hello there. My name is Ian, and I spent most of my working life as an accountant for processing and manufacturing companies. This definitely gave me an insider's view of the industry! I am recently retired and wish to share what I have learned about best practice and cost saving in the processing and manufacturing sector. I hope to cover topics such as sourcing manufacturers, quality assurance and budgeting. I sincerely hope that you find some of this information beneficial. Please stay for a while and browse through my posts. Thank you.