If your industrial project calls for a resilient, long-lasting and visually appealing finish, powder coating is a cost-effective and durable solution. Read on to learn more about industrial powder coating benefits, typical applications and how it’s different from standard, nonindustrial coatings.
What Is Industrial Powder Coating?
Industrial powder coating is a large-scale, high-volume coating for commercial needs. The powder coating process involves applying a layer substance made of fine, pigmented particles and polymer resin to specific types of plastic or metal. Unlike paint, there are no liquid solvents present. The item then cures in a high-heat oven, resulting in a nearly impenetrable film or coating, which is thick or thin, depending on the application process.
Two types of powder coating processes include:
- Electrostatic spray deposition, which involves a spray gun, booth, curing oven, power unit and feeder. (This is the coating method that we use here at Keystone Koating)
- Fluidized bed application, where professionals dip powdered materials into preheated fluid.
Both processes require high temperatures and may take anywhere from several minutes to several hours.
If an item has a lot of rust, scaling or dirt, you may need to blast it with a highly pressurized liquid or compressed air inside a blasting room to clean it thoroughly and promote even application. Once the item has finished curing and cooling — you know it’s ready to go if it has set enough that it will no longer remelt if heated again — it’s ready for further processing, packaging or shipping.
Applications for Industrial Powder Coating
Typical industrial powder coating applications include:
- Large appliances
- Machinery and equipment
- Roadway signs
- Outdoor venues
- Seating and furniture
- Building materials and facades
- Automotive parts
- Electrical enclosures
- Architectural pieces
- Steel tanks
- Aerospace parts
- Marine parts
- Electrical cabinets
- HVAC equipment
Industrial Powder Coating Benefits
Powder coating is a durable, flexible and long-lasting way to meet industry standards and specific powder coating project requirements without sacrificing cost efficiency or environmental and operational safety.
Durability and Longevity
Powder-coated items can withstand daily use and years of wear and tear without touch-ups or replacements, ideal for high-traffic placement and applications. Compared to paint, professional powder coating offers far more durability and added resistance to:
- General wear
- UV damage
- Color dulling
Because powder coating provides such a durable finish, you’re ensuring a high-quality finished product and, ultimately, an investment that pays for itself.
Style and Appearance
Powder coating affords endless color options, finishes, textures, patterns and styles, whether you’re working toward a uniform look for multiple automotive parts or creating a one-of-a-kind piece for your architectural project. Colors range across the spectrum, including matte, glossy, high-gloss, pearlized, neon or sparkling finishes. Skilled applicators can even use stenciling techniques to create designs and artwork on your metal piece.
This level of customization and flexibility makes industrial powder coating the best option for projects that must meet highly specific standards or legal requirements, like road signage.
Simple and Cost-Efficient
Up to 98% of powder-coated items are ready for completion after only one coat, making it ideal for quick turnaround projects and simplified production processes. The fewer required applications, the faster you can create the final product and use it for your project or ship it to your client. It also means the curing oven is on for less time, resulting in lower heating and production costs.
Though professional industrial powder coating does require training and supervision, it’s reasonably straightforward to learn and apply for the appropriate permits. If your specifications for the final product change, you can adjust quickly and with minimal wasted resources.
Safety and Environmental
Powder coating contains no volatile organic compounds, which the EPA defines as emitted gases containing various chemicals that can have adverse health effects on humans and animals. Possible side effects from prolonged VOC exposure may include:
- Organ damage
- Nervous system damage
- Irritation to the eyes, nose and throat
Since VOCs contribute to air pollution, the EPA has strict regulations in place for their use outdoors. Because powder coating doesn’t emit these harmful toxins, it’s far safer for you and the environment, and it’s easier to dispose of leftover materials once you finish your project. The single-coat application process also conserves resources, minimizes oven use and saves time, which can help contribute to a more sustainable building or project plan. In some situations, you even catch and reuse powder coating overspray and put it back into the hopper for recirculation.
Industrial vs. Decorative Powder Coating
Powder coating services aren’t exclusively for industrial projects. It’s also a common way to coat, style and protect residential and decorative projects, such as:
- Patio furniture
- Bed frames
- Small appliances
- Car parts
- Hand tools
- Custom rims
- Hinges, knobs and other small parts
The most significant difference in decorative or residential projects over industrial is that appearance and style are the most influential factors, followed by protection. Films are typically less than 5 mils thick and are usually more cost-efficient and quick to produce as a result. Decorative pieces for nonindustrial and noncommercial clients have fewer restrictions and guidelines to adhere to and may allow for more creativity and bold designs. They are also more small-scale and usually only a one-off project or a small batch, while industrial orders are often large and uniform.
Learn More About Industrial Powder Coating Services From Keystone Koating
The professionals at Keystone Koating have more than 30 years of powder coating experience and multiple certifications — including systems that meet AAMA 2604 and AAMA 2605 standards and PCI 3000 certification for our processes — and we specialize in offering top-quality, high-volume production with quick turnaround times.
Here’s how the process works.
- Blasting: Our blasting process removes previous powder coating, rust, corrosion, buildup and other residues that could prohibit an even finish.
- Pretreatment: Our eight-part pretreatment process prepares your items for high-volume coating and makes it easier for the pigmented powder to form a sturdy, lasting bond.
- Priming: Most outdoor items require a priming base before powder coating to withstand the elements and more abrasive wear and tear.
- Masking: We’ll manually mask any item with holes, delicate areas or parts that require covering to keep it safe and operational.
- Coating: Our epoxy, polyester and fluoropolymer powder coating options are available in dozens of different colors, finishes and textures.
- Upgrading: Upgrade to super durable polyester coating for a glossier, more durable finish that can withstand prolonged sunlight and UV exposure.
- Curing: Curing time varies, depending on the item type, number of layers, powder type, item size and thickness, item material and other factors.
- Testing: We test all orders after curing to verify quality and ensure we have met all client specifications.
Our services go even further with optional value add-ons, like assembly, packaging and shipping. Contact us to learn more about our powder coating capabilities and request a quote for your upcoming industrial project today!