What Materials Can Be Powder Coated?
Powder coating different types of materials can be a great way to apply a protective finish to your product. Still, some items are less compatible with this process. Plus, many products receive more benefits from alternative or no coatings.
As a general rule, anything that can hold an electrostatic charge and withstand the heat of the curing oven is a candidate for powder coating. Most curing ovens run at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit, so whatever goes into that oven needs to have a melting or burning point higher than that.
Can You Powder Coat Aluminum?
Like most metals, aluminum is a great candidate for powder coating. Aluminum begins to anneal — or soften — around 650 degrees Fahrenheit, so it can withstand the curing oven’s heat. Powder coats are beneficial to aluminum products because they provide added durability, corrosion resistance and various finishes.
Aluminum can be tricky to powder coat because the surface needs the correct preparations for successful, long-lasting adhesion. For example, the metal oxidizes quickly, and the aluminum oxide must be entirely removed for the powder coating to adhere correctly.
Can You Powder Coat Plastic?
Technically you can powder coat plastic, but it requires specific materials and techniques. Plus, this material and finish combination may not provide enough benefits to justify the extra cost. Except for high-temp plastics like polysulfone plastic, most plastics have melting points well below the temperature required for curing.
Some powder coating facilities offer ultraviolet (UV) curing or specific powder coatings that cure at much lower temperatures to work around the temperature issue.
Can You Powder Coat Stainless Steel?
Steel is one of the most common powder-coated materials because of its strength, high melting temperature and how well it conducts an electrostatic charge. We powder coat various steel materials, including stainless, mild, galvanized, electroplated and most steel alloys.
Can You Powder Coat Wood?
With recent advancements in powder coating technologies and processes, wood can be powder coated. Unlike metals, wood has some unique requirements before it can be powder coated. For example, the type of wood determines whether or not a powder coating can be effectively applied, with medium density fiberboard (MDF) being the industry standard for powder coated wood.
Additionally, since powder coating is an electrostatic application process, it requires the coated material to conduct electricity before the powder can adhere to the material surface. Wood isn’t a naturally conductive material, but the moisture in wood can have conductive properties. So, in order for powder coating to be effectively applied to a wood surface, the wood needs to have a moisture level of around 5-7%. Keystone Koating is in the process of learning best practices for powder coating wood, and will likely offer this option in the future.
Powder Coating From Keystone Koating
At Keystone Koating, we focus primarily on providing top-quality coatings for metal substrate materials like aluminum, iron, steel and zinc. These materials are the most affordable options for powder coating and often benefit the most from their protective coatings.
Our team has more than 30 years of experience providing start-to-finish professional powder coating services and exceptional customer care. We’ve developed a thorough, eight-stage pre-treatment process that allows us to achieve excellent adhesion, and ensure long-term success from our coatings. Contact Keystone Koating to find out more about our processes and services or request a quote for your next project.