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Powder Coating 101: What Do I Need to Know?

No matter what industry you’re in, you’re likely to have heard of powder coating. A versatile, durable coating, it has a myriad of uses, and is popular in the architectural and industrial spaces alike.

If you are considering using powder coating for an upcoming job, it is important to understand the basic important facts about this finish, in order to make the right choices and get the best job possible out of your coating. 

What is powder coating and why is it a good coating?

Powder coating is a hardwearing coating made from finely-ground polyester, polyurethane or epoxy powders, which are electrostatically applied to the surface of a metal product. The product is then ‘cured’ to create a durable skin on the surface of the metal. Unlike wet paint finishes, powder coating creates a more even, seamless finish across the product, and the electrostatic application means it can effectively coat even complex shapes, as it fills in tight corners and bends. Powder coating also releases no harmful VOCs into the atmosphere. Because it is sustainable, durable and versatile, it can be used on parts of all shapes and sizes across a variety of industries.

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What finishes are available?

One of the most versatile coatings out there, powder coating comes in almost limitless colours, as well as a variety of textures and gloss levels. This means it is ideal for projects where customisation is required, such as architectural applications, or where colour coding of equipment is required. Some powders are also receptive to sublimation, a process in which photo images can be reproduced directly into the coating for signage, murals, placards and even timber-look building products.

Why do I need to pre-treat my parts?

Pre-treatment involves preparing the surface of metal parts to optimise the coating process. There are different ways to pre-treat components prior to powder coating, such as using acids and other chemicals, or mechanical processes such as abrasive blasting.  Pre-treatment ensures the metal is properly prepared to receive a coating, and will not degrade beneath it. 

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How do I know my powder coat finish will last?

With different brands of powders and different applicators out there, it is important to choose a coating that will withstand the test of time (and the elements). If you want a quality powder coater, look for one with the Qualicoat Specification. Qualicoat are an international accrediting body who assess the quality not just of an applicator’s coatings, but of their entire coating process. Choosing the right powders – such as Class 2 powders – will also ensure your powder coat finish can withstand salt spray, extreme sunlight and more. 

Find out more about DECO's powder coating services here or contact us to discuss your project. 

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