Powder Coating Quality Control- How to Get the Best Finish for Your Products
Powder coating is a popular finishing process that is used in countless industries. Some of them you might be unaware off, like maritime, where powder coating is used as a finish for large yachts and boats. However, one industry that we all use regularly is the automobile industry, where industrial powder coating is used to paint cars whilst also protecting them from corrosion.
Powder coating is used in such a diverse range of industries because it offers a range of benefits over wet paint. For example, it’s more durable, flexible and eco-friendly. However, to get the most out of your powder coat and achieve the best results, you need a strong quality control system in place.
Here is everything you need to know about powder coating quality control, and how it is used to get the best finish for your products.
What is Powder Coating Quality Control?
Quality control is used in almost all industries. It’s a set of procedures followed to ensure that the finished product meets the required criteria. This can be both a quality criteria, making sure the product is aesthetically pleasing, and performance criteria, making sure the product works as it should. This is the same in powder coating, where a quality control process is put in place to ensure the work looks professional and performs as it should, i.e. protects metal from rust.
There are many different steps involved in the powder coating process. Therefore, powder coating quality control is often put in place at the end of each step, rather than waiting until the very end for the quality to be checked. This saves time and resources, because if something goes wrong at the very start, you don’t have to wait until the end to find out!
Why is Powder Coating Quality Control Important?
There are three main reasons why powder coating quality control is so important. These are:
Consistency ensures that all products have the same high-quality finish. This is important for maintaining a good reputation. Imagine if you walked into a car dealership and some of the cars were bumpy and miscoloured. Imagine if you bought a new car, just for it to turn a rusted orange colour in a few months. Consistency ensures high quality across the board.
On the other hand, compliance ensures that powder-coating businesses stay on the right side of the law. There are many different regulations and requirements when it comes to industrial powder coating, so each one must be met. For example, in the aerospace industry, you must hit strict safety criteria.
Finally, a good powder coating quality control process will help you identify issues early on. It is much more cost-effective to fix an issue as soon as it is spotted rather than waiting until the end of the process to make changes. If an error isn’t detected until it’s too late, then the entire workpiece might need to be redone, or worse, scrapped. This can be very costly, especially if you need to recoat an entire boat or plane!
What is The Powder Coating Quality Control Process?
The first step of the powder coating quality control process is pre-treatment. Here, quality control ensures that the surface of whatever is about to be powder coated is clean and does not have any adhesions. Shot blasting may be used to remove any adhesions and smooth out the surface.
Secondly, the powder coat is applied. This coat can either be sprayed on, or the product can be dipped in a bath of powder coat, also known as fluidized bed coating. Quality control checks the thickness and coverage of the powder coat to ensure the whole product has been coated.
The third phase of powder coating is the curing phase, during which the coated product is placed in an oven to melt the powder. Quality control measures the curing time, temperature, and gloss level of the product after the powder has melted to create a smooth, sheen finish.
The final stage is the inspection stage. This is where the powder-coated product is inspected to ensure it meets the desired criteria. In some cases, this might be an aesthetically pleasing finish in a particular colour. In other cases, quality control might be based entirely upon performance, ensuring that the powder coat protects against environmental damage.
This stage includes checking for any defects, like pinholes, bubbles, or colour variations.
Quality You Can Trust
At NSP Coatings, we have been coating for 23 years and have perfected what we do. Hot Zinc Spray is our preferred method of galvanising metal and we pride ourselves on giving great customer service and a quality end product.
Discover more about our powder coating process and arrange a free quote by clicking here to speak with a member of our friendly team.