Countless manufacturers around the world rely on powder-coating to achieve flawless, highly-durable finishes for the products they produce as well as to take, very seriously, the benefits of powder-coating over traditional, wet paint. Appliance and automotive industries, architectural and building markets, NASA, the military, and the medical field represent only a fraction of the manufacturing arenas where powder-coating is utilized.
There are some aspects concerning powder-coating that manufacturers should be aware of, however, since powder-coating has made tremendous advancements that were, previously, unheard of.
Manufacturers Need to Know About Powder-Coating Plastics
Plastics are, of course, non-conductive and heat-sensitive; but can, still, be easily powder-coated with decorative and protective colors, patterns, textures, and designs. In some cases, the plastic surface needs to be treated with a conductive material that will provide electrostatic attraction. Plastic applications of powder-coating can range from office furniture, to electronics, to traffic-light housings, kitchen appliances and countless other items. With that being said, different types of plastic have varying properties; and that means some plastics will coat, more effectively, than others.
When powder-coating plastics, the time used to melt the powder is short and the temperatures are low. Low-bake powder materials are formulated to cure between 250 and 325 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the particular chemistry of the plastic, using, either, infrared ovens or convection ovens. Another option for plastics deals with special UV-curable powder-coatings where the powder is melted at 200 degrees Fahrenheit and cured by exposure to the UV light, which takes place very quickly.
After it’s all said and done, regarding powder-coating plastics, there are three options:
*** Very-high-temperature plastics must be used, such as nylons and polyamides, with standard thermoset powders. These plastics may require a prep-coat or a pre-heat.
*** Lower-temperature plastics can be used with low-temperature thermoset powder.
*** Lower-temperature plastics can be used with a UV cure powder.
Manufacturers Need to Know the Importance of Powder-Coating Glass
Powder-coating procedures can be, beautifully, performed on another non-conductive material: glass. Powder-coating glass bottles is extremely important to help protect the ingredients from the damaging effects of ultraviolet light – its all about blocking UV wavelengths. Alcohol and spirits contained in non-powder-coated bottles can lose their original taste and aroma since UV light acts as a damaging factor. Additionally, cosmetics, medicines, perfumes, and other liquids can meet the same fate due to UV infiltration.
When glass containers are powder-coated, it means not only a preserved taste sensation and optimal aroma or performance, but a full range of colors, textures and glosses can be achieved; and that leads to enhanced package design which leads to more consumer attention. Powder-coating glass can generate a frosted, metallic or stoneware effect and produce a transparent, translucent, opaque, matte or high-gloss finish. If you have ever seen sparkling wine, champagne or wine bottles with a frosted appearance and velvety feel, be assured the glass bottle was powder-coated.
Manufacturers Need to Know About Anti-Microbial Powder Coatings
Anti-microbial powder-coatings are nothing short of astounding. For example, surfaces on house-hold appliances and medical equipment that have been powder-coated with anti-microbial ingredients actually prevent bacterial growth. The CDC tells us that household surfaces, such as computer keyboards and light-switch plates, are laden with up to 60X the microbial matter found on a toilet seat!
The effectiveness of anti-microbial powder-coating is maximized by inorganic silver that is evenly embedded through the coated film; and it can be processed at temperatures greater than 930 degrees Fahrenheit. Silver ion is a natural, inorganic antibacterial agent that is proven to be highly effective with fighting bacteria, fungi and molds, and can be used for indoor and outdoor applications.
The medical-devices arena is embracing a much-greater use of antimicrobial-powder-coated equipment, as well as industries that manufacture HVAC systems, food-service equipment, humidifiers, shopping carts, escalators and a vast array of other items that provide breeding grounds for bacteria. Anti-bacterial powder-coatings help to combat the spread of disease and infection by preventing the proliferation of not only bacteria but algae and mold fungi. The growth of multi-resistant pathogens are thwarted, as well. Through the use of anti-microbial powder-coating, up to 5 million germs/hour/square centimeter, are killed; and 1cm is equivalent to 0.3937 inches – quite astonishing!