Power coating is an exceptional alternative to traditional liquid paint since it offers an abundance of advantages over paint: 1) unsurpassed durability 2) superior gloss retention and color vibrancy 3) unparalleled resistance to corrosion 4) far-less waste 5) much-lower energy costs 6) lack of solvents and VOCs 7) significantly more environmentally friendly and 8) an unlimited range of not only colors but finishes, designs, and textures. As a side note: Powder coating can be used on springs without cracking – try that with paint!
Everything from patio furniture to hand-guns to dentures can be beautifully finished with powder coating. Not only that, but aside from metal and iron products, some items made from wood, MDF – medium-density fiber board, MDO – medium-density overlay, ceramic, glass and even some paper products are viable candidates for the powder coating process.
With all that being said, however, there are some exceptions regarding certain materials that simply cannot tolerate the heat involved in the powder coating procedure – here are a few to be aware of:
Some plastics can be powder coated under the right circumstances, meaning temperatures during the powder coating process must remain low enough and the plastic must be durable enough. But generally speaking, most plastics would melt once the 400 degree Fahrenheit mark is reached, or shortly, thereafter.
Other challenges with plastics arise, including the fact that plastics are not, inherently, good conductors of electric charge. This would become problematic since the coating process involves an electrostatic function. However, as powder-coating equipment evolves and becomes more sophisticated, items that were previously incapable of being powder coated are becoming viable candidates for the process.
Glass can be powder-coated, depending on the type of glass. Just like different types of plastic cannot tolerate high heat, neither can every type of glass material withstand the heat used in a powder coating oven. Your best bet is to consult with a powder coating professional who can determine if a certain glass object would survive the heat involved.
All fabrics have a low tolerance for extreme heat; and the oven temperatures used for powder-coating would annihilate this type of material. Other procedures, however, can be utilized to achieve dramatic looks for fabrics, such as dye sublimation. This, typically, involves a computer printer that utilizes heat to transfer dye onto the fabric to create endless prints, designs, and photographic images.
Items that Lack a Charge
As mentioned with certain plastics, in order for any item to be effectively powder coated, it must possess an electrical charge. If no charge is present, the powder spray will, simply, not adhere. A way around this, however, would be to preheat the non-charged item and apply the powder coat while the item is still hot which would allow the powder to melt. This unorthodox method, however, is not always effective since an overabundance of powder coating can be, inadvertently, applied.
After it’s all said and done, new curing processes for powder as well as new types of powders are being developed that will allow an increasing number of materials to be powder-coated, without complications.