How Durable Is Powder Coating?
Manufacturers across multiple industries have come to rely on powder coating to provide reliable, durable finishes for their products. Powder coating is a highly effective method to seal components in order to protect them from the elements and regular wear and tear.
Yet, is powder coating durable enough for your specific applications? It depends a great deal on the type of coatings you select, as well as the conditions under which your product will be used. Read on to learn how well various powder coatings can stand up to abuse.
What is Powder Coating?
Before discussing powder coating durability, it’s important to understand what powder coating is and how to apply it. Unlike liquid paints, this surface protector begins as a dry mixture of powdered polymers, pigments and other additives. It is applied to a product using a spray gun, which gives each particle an electrostatic charge to ensure that it adheres to every nook and cranny of the component.
After the part is completely covered, it enters a curing oven. There, intense heat melts the polymers and causes them to form the finished coat. Not only does this process involve less waste than traditional liquid spraying operations, but the lack of solvents also means it is friendlier to the environment.
The primary benefit of powder coating is how well it safeguards the product. For example, marine companies often treat equipment with these finishes to shield against saltwater contamination. For defense contractors, powder coating brings another important quality to the table — protection against chemical agents. Under certain conditions, powder coating’s corrosion resistance can last thousands of hours. Vehicles and weapons covered in this manner tend to be much better at repelling chemical attacks, keeping personnel and gear safer.
Another advantage of powder coating over standard paints is how well it resists chipping, cracking and fading. Although it is not indestructible, when applied properly, the finish can absorb occasional dings and scratches more successfully and without exposing the metal underneath it.
Choosing the Right Type for You
Not all powder coatings are alike; they can be made with different materials, each of which offers various benefits for certain applications. Here are the most common types of powder coatings and their typical uses:
- Epoxy — Although this variety provides excellent performance against most environmental conditions and chemicals, it does have some significant limitations. Most importantly, prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause it to fade and weaken, making it best suited for indoor use.
- Polyesters — Alternatively, polyester powder coatings offer strength and exceptional resistance for indoor or outdoor applications.
- Fluoropolymers — A good choice for outdoor usage, powder coatings made with fluoropolymers can retain their color and gloss levels for an extremely long time when compared to other finishes.
- Urethanes — These coatings have a similar composition to most polyester blends, but with a slightly harder finish. This makes urethanes more expensive than other options, snice they provide the highest degree of durability.
Count on Rhinehart Finishing
As recognized experts in the field, Rhinehart Finishing is your go-to source for virtually any type of powder coating services. We have extensive experience with the most common materials, as well as with more advanced formulas. We are proud to be certified as a TACOM-approved applicator of military-grade finishes, demonstrating the depth and quality of our capabilities.
If you want to learn more about our services, or if you have any questions about these coatings, get in touch with us today. Our representatives are ready and able to help you with your next project.