Powder-coated parts often suffer exposure to harsh outdoor environments, where moisture and sunlight cause damage over time. You can do several things to keep powder-coated components in better condition for longer. First, you must understand the factors that can cause rusting with a powder coat, then take measures to lower the chances that it will occur.
Will a Powder Coat Rust?
While a powder coating doesn’t rust, the metal under it does, making the finish appear rusted as well. The metal underneath a powder coat rusts when water seeps under the protective layer or when excessive sunlight damages it. You might see rust streaks, which aren’t necessarily dangerous to the metal, or rust spots, which can damage a piece’s structural integrity.
Why Is My Powder Coat Rusting?
Your powder coat might rust for several reasons. If the part begins to deteriorate in less than five years, it could be a result of poor powder application. The metal may have had dust and oils that weren’t entirely removed during pretreatment, causing the powder coat to adhere less firmly. As the protective layer breaks down in those areas, it leaves room for water to enter and degrade the metal. Sometimes, a coating has invisible gaps that are impossible to detect until water enters them and causes rust.
A powder coat can also rust due to exposure to harsh environments like rain, snow and beating sun. These environmental factors can break down the weakest parts of a coating, like corners or bends that typically receive less coverage. As the coating flakes away, water and corrosive elements like salt directly touch the metal.
How to Protect or Fix a Rusting Powder Coat
Protecting a powder coat begins with the application process. The more thorough the application, the fewer imperfections a piece will have. With fewer imperfections, the part will be less exposed to environmental factors. You can also protect against dings and use a gentle cleaning agent to avoid breaking down the coating after it has been applied.
When a powder coating begins to break and allows the metal underneath to rust, the best way to fix it is to remove the rust and recoat the metal. This process involves blasting the rust off, smoothing the edges around the rusted areas, then pretreating and coating the piece as normal.
Keystone Koating Provides Powder Coating Services
At Keystone Koating, we use a comprehensive coating process to achieve an ideal finish for your piece. We even have optional upgrades to provide better protection against weather and ultraviolet light. Contact us for a quote on your powder coating needs.