Powder coating, also known as electrocoating, is based on the idea that opposites attract. Intended for metal substrates only, the application occurs when positively charged particles are drawn to the negatively charged metal surface. Used in the automotive industry, the high-performance properties of powder coating result in a protective barrier that is resilient against corrosion, chemicals, marring, environmental impacts, and weathering.
The Process of Powder Coating
A key benefit to the powder coating process is the pretreatment. Pretreatment of the metal surface is critical to achieving superior bonding and adhesion of the final finish. The metal surface is passed through a multi-step process including a wash and zirconium rinse. Phosphate-free zirconium removes oils, carbonization, and contaminants to improve bonding of the powder coated finish. It also plays a key role in insulating metal from the formation of early onset rust. Zirconium is used at cool temperatures for an energy saving benefit.
In a temperature-controlled setting, the powder coating mechanisms deliver a precise film build with uniformity of color, less over-spray, and the ability to control powder thickness and pigmentation. High transfer efficiency minimizes waste and air emissions. It accepts a range of pigmented powder formulas in any color and is free of solvents and VOCs. A final cure at 400° for a specified time allows for crosslinking and thermal bonding between the powder coat and metal to form a rock-hard impermeable surface.
Key Performance Advantages of Powder Coating
Energy-efficient and cost-effective powder coating withstands up to 6,000-7,000 psi of pressure compared to approximately 1,000 psi with traditional wet paint. This translates to a finished product able to withstand a number of adverse conditions. In ADA detectable warning tiles, a powder coated finish stands up to high-volume pedestrian traffic, gravel, snow removal, and natural elements including powerful UV rays.
With superior bonding and extended adhesion, along with the zirconium coating, metals finished with powder coating retain their color without chipping, peeling, cracking, or fading. The benefit to customers is less maintenance or touch-ups with a visual appeal that lasts.
The electrostatic charge of powder coating results in less over spray, reducing material waste. Approximately 95% of powder coating material forms to the metal surface, while the remaining 5% is reclaimed and reused. The entire process is free of solvents and VOCs and provides a better breathing environment for employees.
At TufTile, we set out to think differently, with a focus on innovation, quality, and customer service. Our in-house powder coating system enables us to control every aspect of the process to ensure the quality, performance, and integrity of the final finish, while operating with energy efficiency in an environment that benefits our employees.
For more information about TufTile’s powder coating capabilities, contact sales and support at 888-960-8897.