Electrostatic powder coating is already one of the most popular finishing solutions in modern engineering works. This process, also known as sintering, holds an array of advantages of its close counterpart, painting. Over the years, stainless steel sheet metal fabrication has gradually embraced the advantages of electrostatic powder coating. While the process itself, remains arduous and obsesses with high accuracy, the finish surface quality achievable with this technology makes it worth every cent of the dollar.
In this article, we take a look at powder coating of stainless steel part and the many benefits of the process. Stainless steel parts are often deployed in applications where strength and durability is important, and powder coating delivers many advantages when chosen for sheet metal fabrication finishes.
What is the Powder coating process?
The powder coating process uses electrostatically charged powder-based paint to coat a part. The process begins with cleaning and degreasing of the part, and proceeds with the spraying of the paint itself onto the part. The part is then oven baked at around 160 to 200 degrees to cure and settle in permanently.
The Benefits of Powder Coating
1. Quality Finish
Powder coating has varied colors and appearance features that guarantees an excellent quality finish on your part. Powder coating also avails texturing and patterning through variations in the spray technique to create a decorative surface. This allows the coating to deliver on its cosmetic expectations and improve functional properties like grip and grab on the surface area. Unlike painting, there is very little risk of uneven coating as the electrostatically-charged powder melts and flows uniformly. Powder coating will also not require additional finishing like sanding or refinishing as may be the case in painting.
2. Surface Durability
By default, powder coating your steel sheet metal fabrications will deliver a coat two times as thick as paint. This is a much desirable feature for steel parts that will be deployed where strength and durability is important or steel fabrications that will be used in outdoor conditions. The powder coating finish also enhances the performance of your part’s surface, improving key characteristics like UV, corrosion, scratch and weather-resistance in your part. Finally, powder coating is more flexible than painting, and allows for small movement, bending and expansion of your steel parts during everyday use.
Unlike paint and other liquid finishing solutions that may contain volatile organic compounds (VOGs), powder coating is very eco-friendly and less likely to result in injuries. Powder coating also releases no pollutants during its usage as the process takes place in a close chamber. The environmental pollution agency (EPA) has generally warned against the use of solvents that contain VOGs because of their risk of cancer. Paints and other liquid finishing solutions have also been shown to cause dizziness, nausea and headaches in people. Opting for powder coating hence protects you and the environment.
When compared process for process, powder coating is a more cost-efficient and reliable finishing for stainless steel sheet metals than paint. During powder coating, next to zero waste is incurred thanks to the electromagnetic charge that holds the powder to the part. The general cycle time for each process is also lower for powder coating as no extra drying time is required. From a raw material perspective, powder coat itself is less expensive than paint, while the high level of accuracy involved in powder coating also means that it is less likely to require do-overs.