Top 10 Questions that Arise During the Powder Coating Process
To achieve that professional grade finish on powder coating to most people may seem out of reach or not possible without thousands of dollars in equipment and tons of knowledge. Eastwood takes care of the money side by offering affordable powder coating systems at a very reasonable price. However, no matter if you are a beginner or an advanced powder coater, there is sometimes a learning curve that keeps people from taking their powder coating game to the next level. In this article we will be discussing the top 10 frequently asked powder coating questions and explain each of them to help you get the absolute best results!
#1: What is Powder Coating/What are the Benefits?
Powder coating is a process where you take very fine particles of plastic and apply them to a part using an electrical charge to attract the powder to the piece. Once the powder is applied, you then bake it in an oven at 400 degrees or greater (depending on the powder), until it flows out on the part completely. Even though some of this process is like paint, powder coating has substantially more benefits than paint. One is that it has an extremely durable finish for objects that are more prone to chipping, second is that the clean up is no where near as tedious as the painting process. Making it so easy that you can do it pretty much anywhere!
#2: How does the powder stick?
When powder coating an object you need to attach a ground wire to the piece, then apply the powder using our charging button with our gun. What this does is it creates opposite charges from the powder to the piece you are coating. Therefore attracting the two opposite charges to one another when spraying the powder.
#3: Does the piece I’m powder coating need to be taken down to raw metal?
Yes, we recommend that in order to get the proper finish and layout of the powder that you like that you should most definitely have the piece that you are doing taken down to raw metal.
#4: Can I powder coat non-metal pieces?
Yes, you are able to powder coat anything that is able to withstand the 400+ degrees that the powder needs in order to be layed out. This process is often affiliated with a term called Hot Flocking.
#5: How should I spray the powder?
We recommend that you always start with the hard to reach areas when powder coating such as edges and corners where the Faraday Cage effect comes into play. Which are the areas where the powder is more prone to not adhere on the first coat. Then work your way around the part covering all the main areas. This way, you get best, and most uniform layout.
#6: Can too much powder be applied?
Yes, you can put too much powder on a part when powder coating therefore discoloring the part and possibly not getting the exact color you would like. In order to prevent this, we recommend that you always start with your edges and try to cover your part with as little powder as possible, therefore you get the most even and absolute best results!
#7: What type of abrasive should I use in my blaster?
We recommend that if you are using a blasting cabinet to clean your parts using a glass bead media. Glass bead is a very good medium aggressive media that you can use to clean your parts and is not too aggressive where it could potentially take away structure or warp the material.
#8: Do I need to blast parts when powder coating to get the proper finish?
Even though blasting is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to clean a part if you are powder coating, it is not required, nor will it be the only way to get you a nice finish. There are multiple ways that you can clean up a part before powder coating. A couple ways could be to use a paint stripper to clean the paint and other coatings off before coating. This process is often messy, but is a great alternative if you do not have a blaster. Another way is to sand the material completely off the part with either a sander or wire wheel. This way also works, but is often very time consuming and tedious.
#9: What is the Faraday Cage effect?
Faraday Cage effect happens in areas where there are tight bends or deep contours. In order to prevent this what you typically need to do is lower you voltage to make the powder stick. We recommend doing this by using our dual voltage powder coating gun.
#10: What is the UV protection of powder coating?
With powder coating, much like paint, there are multiple variations of powders. These powders have all different types of bases such as urethane’s, epoxies, and polyester’s. Each one of these has a different tolerances when being exposed to UV lighting for long periods of time, but for the most part they all hold up for a very long time!
Looking to purchase your first powder coat gun? Here’s a link to our dual voltage gun!
Never powder coated before? No issue! Here’s a video going over everything you need to know: