What is powder coating and how does it compare to Wet spray painting?
Powder coating is the application of paint in the form of tiny dry particles. Unlike traditional wet spray painting methods, we simply use a clean and efficient electrostatic powder coating process. This process is generally less prone to mistakes than wet spray. Further, powder coating does not involve the use of harmful chemicals, so it is more environmentally friendly.
The parts to be painted are given an electrostatic charge that is opposite to the charge given the powder. As the paint powder is sprayed onto these charged parts, the powder particles are naturally drawn towards this opposite charge. This process yields parts that are uniformly coated with a minimum expenditure of powder, which translates to a superior coating for less money than traditional wet spray methods. After the powder is initially applied, the parts are baked at specific temperatures in our oven. Inside the oven, the paint powder instantly turns from its solid powdered phase to liquid phase and finally cures into a solid phase. At the end of the process, there will be a durable plastic sheet that is bonded directly to the metal.
Relative to wet spray, the paint dries very quickly. The parts can be prepared for delivery as soon as they come out of the oven and cool down.
Is powder coating versatile and durable?
Powder coating provides a durable and high-quality finish, with a wide range of performance properties including excellent resistance to impact, abrasion, heat, stains, extreme weather and fading from sunlight. Texture selections range from smooth surfaces to a wrinkled or matte finish. Rough textures are also available, designed specifically for hiding any surface imperfections. Color selection is virtually unlimited, including clearcoats.
What makes the powder stick?
Two factors are involved in making the powder stick. First, each part is cleaned in on our five stage pretreatment washer. This removes grease, dirt and anything else that might interfere with the painting process. During itsí travel through the system an iron phosphate coating is also applied to the part, which will enhance the adhesion process.
Once the part has been cleaned and has traveled through our dry off oven it moves to our environmental clean room where it will be painted. The powder is charged via an electrostatic process, while the part itself is attached to a grounding hook. This causes the powder to cling to the metal throughout the baking process.
What does baking the parts do?
After the parts are coated with powder, it is crucial to properly bake them within a proper temperature range. The heat in the oven will cause the powder to melt and form a plastic sheet around the part. At this point, the powder bonds not only to itself but to the part as well. This process gives the paint its increased durability and professional finish.
If the parts are not baked properly, the powder will not bond properly. This creates a weakness in the powder itself, which can make the parts vulnerable to chipping.
We ensure that every part receives the proper attention. The temperature of our oven is carefully regulated to keep the bonding process at its maximum level of efficiency.
Are all powders the same cost?
No. Some colors are more expensive due to their availability or simply because of the supplier. Stock colors are naturally less expensive than powder that must be special-ordered or powders that are hard to locate. Some other powders are higher-priced simply because of their properties, such as textured or luminescent powders.
Amazingly, the cost of the powder represents only a small part of the total cost of the powder coating process. Most of the cost can be attributed to the labor of setup and processing of the parts, which varies depending on the circumstances required to process each individual part.
Can you powder coat old parts?
Yes. But if there is an excessive build-up of paint, we will be unable to bring a static charge to the metal. Because of this, most parts require stripping or sandblasting to remove old paint. In order to ensure quality, we recommend that only freshly manufactured parts be sent in.
Can you leave certain areas of the part bare?
Frequently the parts we coat have critical surfaces that must not be contaminated with coating. We purchase and design mask materials that will ensure coatings are applied only where required.
Why should I use powder coat over wet spray?
Powder coating is justifiably superior to wet spray in so many ways. If your part is capable of being powder coated, there is really no reason why you would be compelled to choose otherwise. It's generally less expensive because the process is quicker.
Powder coating is not subject to the extra time it takes to set up and break down from a wet spray product. Further, the thermal bonding process makes for a much more durable finish than wet spray. Powder coating is also more environmentally friendly than wet spray because it does not involve the potentially harmful chemicals used in a wet spray product.
As mentioned above, wet spray involves the use of chemicals that can be potentially hazardous to people and the environment if not handled properly. Powder coating uses an air gun to blow away misapplied powder rather than resort to the chemical thinners that wet spray requires to clean up or fix application errors.
Powder offers a wider variety of colors and textures. The powder can be engineered to wrinkle or create veins of different colors throughout the paint coat when baked. Wet spray is more limited in what it can produce, while the possibilities with powder are endless.
And finally, powder is more durable and weather resistant than wet spray could ever be. When we bake out the parts, the powder melts, forming a seamless bond around the parts. This bonding process creates a virtually unbreakable sheet of plastic upon the surface of the parts.
Do you guarantee your Work?
We do, depending on the cause of the reject. If you receive the parts and reject them due to a paint issue that was caused by us, we will repaint. Parts that are too light, too heavy, chipped, scratched or damaged upon your receipt can be replaced at no charge. However, if a painted part is brought back months later to be reworked there will be a charge. Discrepant parts will only be repainted if we were notified immediately upon your receipt.
Rough handling, improper storage and poor condition of raw parts can cause rejects that we cannot be responsible for. The bottom line is if the error rests on our shoulders we will gladly repaint the parts and do whatever we can to address the problem to satisfy your needs. Discrepant parts detected upon delivery must be reported to us immediately. Schafer Powder Coating reserves the right to validate all claims, but we will not charge you to correct our own mistakes.
Do you get orders done on time?
We strive to deliver the service that you require when you want it; it's our policy. If it seems as though we won't be able to meet the deadline, we will contact you well ahead of time. Getting your parts done right and on time is always our top priority.
What if I donít have a way of getting you my parts?
We have our own pick-up and delivery truck that services Central Indiana and for a small fee we will get your parts where they need to be.
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