We all know that metal fabrication is the process of converting metal into useable products, ranging from handrails to machinery and household appliances. Left untreated, however, metals have a high tendency to corrode and degrade. Therefore, experts often use powder coating on metal fabrication to combat corrugation and degradation.
What is metal powder coating?
Powder coating is the process of applying a finish to the surface of metals using a dry apply, electrostatic process.
The steps involved in powder coating include:
- Preparation (Pre-treatment): This includes cleaning the metal surface using a variety of techniques ranging from chemicals to the use of mechanical abrasion such as sandblasting.
- Powder application: Applying the coating layer is most commonly done so by using an electrostatic (corona) spray gun. Other methods include using a tribo gun or using a fluidized bed.
- Curing: Heat is used to ensure the sprayed powder coat is permanently baked on. The heat range varies between materials. The use of UV for more sensitive coatings is also available.
How does powder coating work?
The actual powder itself is applied to the metal using the spray gun. An electrode in the gun gives the colour powder a positive charge, which is attracted via a strong electrostatic bond to the metal surface.
Why is it important to powder coat metals?
Metals, hard as they may be, are impacted upon by nature and are subject to corrosion and tarnish. In particular the exposure to the sun, rain and salt (either just one of these or all of these) can wreak havoc on metal fabricated items.
Developed primarily for the purpose of increasing metal lifespan, powder coating gives metals durability and protection. Furthermore, powder coating adds an element of aesthetic appeal to the metal product, making it more attractive to the end user.
Some of the benefits of powder coating for metal fabrication
- Durability – reduced direct metal exposure to the elements
- Aesthetics (appearance) – colours, textures, patterns – all easily achieved through powder coating
- Tactile feel – powder coating can add a nice ‘tactile hand feel’ to metals, making them more attractive to customers
- Variety – the colour options are limitless with powder coating
- Environmental and health benefits – compared to paint, powder coating is a more eco and health alternative
- Cost – powder coating is less expensive than paint
Powder Coating at Aussie Sheet Metal
With many years powder coating experience, we have the right skills and the right equipment (such as our huge 6.1m curing oven!) to tackle your powder coating jobs! Contact us today for a chat.