A Beginner’s Guide to Powder Coating Equipment and Techniques
Powder coating is on the rise in countless industries. This is due to its many uses, like protecting metal from rust and rain and being able to coat items in a vast range of colours. If you are looking to use powder coating in your business and reap the various benefits that it brings, then you must use the right technique to ensure a high-quality finish.
In this beginner’s guide, we’ll show you how to perfect your powder coating process and give you some hidden techniques that only the professionals know how to use.
A Beginner’s Guide to Powder Coating
The key to success when powder coating is to use the proper technique and the right equipment. Otherwise, your freshly-sprayed product can look lumpy, uneven and will be left unprotected from the environment.
The first step in the powder coating process is to clean the metal that you want to coat. The best way to do this is to sandblast the metal or give it a good rub with a degreaser.
Once clean, you begin the application stage. The application stage is where you use a powder coating gun to apply dry powder to the metal’s surface. Ensure that you apply an even spread across the metal, or you’ll get an uneven finish, as we mentioned earlier. If you can, then use a powder spray booth. Powder spray booths give you better control over the coating process and minimise overspray.
Once your powder is applied, it must go through a curing process. This is where the powder is melted and fused to create a durable coating. This typically takes between 10-30 minutes and can be done using a curing oven.
Going back to using the right equipment, you’ll need a high-quality spray gun and a well-maintained curing oven if you want to achieve the best results. Inferior equipment might do the same job, but it could shorten the lifespan of your metal products and leave them vulnerable to corrosion.
A Beginner’s Guide to Powder Coating Equipment
To get started, you’ll need the following as essentials. It’s worth noting that this isn’t an exhaustive list and professional powder coaters often have entire workshops dedicated to the practice.
Powder coating spray gun
Powder spray booth
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Although each piece of equipment outlined above has its own role to play in the powder coating process, the most important piece is the powder coating gun. Without a spray gun, you can’t spray any dry powder onto your metal, so the rest of the process becomes redundant!
This is why it’s so important to pick the right powder spray gun that fits your needs and budget. You will also need a supply of compressed air to power your powder gun. Powder coating booths are also worth the investment, as these minimise overspray and help to create a more efficient powder coating process.
Once the dry powder is applied, it must go through the curing process to melt and fuse the dry powder into a durable coating. For this, you’ll need a curing oven, which can be either electric or gas-powered and must be sized appropriately for the items you’re coating.
The reason that we recommend sandblasting equipment is to give your metal the best finish before coating it. Sandblasting evens out metal surfaces, removing any adhesions, rust or grime. PPE is another essential, and that speaks for itself. It’s important that you keep yourself and your workers safe when powder coating. Gloves, eye protection and aprons are all necessary. You will also need a respirator to keep yourself protected from powder and fumes.
A Beginners Guide to Powder Coating Techniques
Electrostatic spraying is an important technique for achieving a high-quality powder coating finish. To get electrostatic spray, you need to use the right dry powder and change the voltage on your powder coating spray gun. You will also need to adjust the powder flow rate to the right setting.
Once your gun has been set up for electrostatic spraying, sandblast the surface of your metal and get to work. The best practice is to maintain a consistent distance between the gun and the metal. Also, ensure that you use a consistent speed when moving your gun. For example, don’t quickly move it over one part of the metal and then slowly coat the rest. If you do, then you’ll get an uneven coating.
If you’re chopping a tree, then make sure to sharpen your axe first! This is the same with surface preparation before powder coating. Ensure that you thoroughly sandblast your metal before applying a dry powder coat or electrostatic spray.
When it comes to curing, it’s important to maintain the right temperature. If the curing oven is too hot or too cold, then the whole process will be wasted. The temperature and curing time depend on which powder you are using.
Experts in Powder Coating
As you can see, a lot of time and financial investment goes into powder coating materials. It’s an easy process to get wrong, ruining your metal and leaving it unprotected from rust and environmental damage.
We at NSP Coatings are experts in the powder coating process and have worked with hundreds of clients to protect their metals. We can take care of the whole process on your behalf professionally and for a cost-effective rate. Arrange a free quote for our work, or discover more about the powder coating process, by speaking with a member of our expert team here.