Q: What is the difference between powder coating and liquid coating?
A: Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. The main difference between a conventional liquid paint and a powder coating is that the powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. The coating is typically applied electro-statically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a “skin.” The powder may be a thermoplastic or a thermoset polymer. It is usually used to create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint. Powder coating is mainly used for coating of metals, such as metal furniture, store fixtures, aluminum extrusions, and automobile and motorcycle parts. Newer technologies allow other materials, such as MDF (medium-density fiberboard), to be powder-coated using different methods.
Q: Are there different types of powders?
A: Yes. Not all powders are created equally. There are powders formulated specifically for certain applications and can come in many different formulations such as epoxy, hybrid, polyester and urethane, to name a few. Speak to one of the specialists at Colourfast to determine which powder best suits your application. Failure to indicate the application when selecting a powder can limit the performance of the coating.
Q: How long will a powder coat paint last?
A: Again, it is extremely important to select the right coating for your parts. One of the most important aspects of powder coating is the pre-treatment. Powder alone will not determine the quality of the coating – metal preparation will. The pre-treatment at Colourfast is carefully monitored to ensure proper balance of degreasing, removing contaminants, etching, rinsing and phosphate coating prior to the application of powder. Once this is done, and the proper powder has been selected, the results are quite impressive. It is reasonable to expect that a powder-coated finish can last from five to 15 years, depending on the application. That will apply not only to an indoor application, but also to outdoor applications such as fencing, patio furniture, railings, signage, etc.
Q: What types of parts can be powder-coated?
A: Virtually any metal component can be powder-coated. That would include metal furniture, home décor items, automotive parts, motorcycle parts, light fixtures, vases, railings, metal/aluminum fencing, wrought iron, and more. Technology is quickly developing to enable us to look at painting items outside of metallics, such as glass, ceramic, MDF wood and certain plastics.
Q. What colours are available in powder?
A: There are literally thousands of colours available. At Colourfast, our inventory includes 1,000 + colours, including metallics, transparent clear coats, textured finishes, Hammertones, Sandtex, low gloss, medium gloss and high gloss – from white to black and anything in between. Custom colour matching is also an option in the event that our inventory does not have the specific shade, colour or gloss level you are looking for. Contact a Colourfast Team Member for further details.
Q. What temperature is powder cured?
A: Powder is cured through large curing ovens in our facility which are set at 425 – 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Parts being coated spend anywhere from 18 – 25 minutes in the curing ovens, and once they are cooled down, they are packaged and ready to use.