Products and components that will be subject to exterior conditions require a high-quality and durable finish that can be applied via powder coating. The process can be either manual or automated, depending on the volume of production, the size of the item, and any special considerations for applications. Finding an experienced company to customize colors, textures, and gloss levels will ensure a strong finish that will not fade or crack. Most high-quality powders are polyester due to the exterior durability and color retention properties of that particular material.
State-of-the-art equipment is available in automatic reciprocators manufactured by Gema. The system can accommodate components of up to six meters in length. Large quantities can be coated simultaneously, or in rapid succession. That reduces the time required to finish projects and is perfect for large volume runs. Manual powder coaters offer a more economical approach to covering smaller components, single items, complicated assemblies, and short production runs. The result is still a durable and high-quality finish. Since all over-spray is recycled, powder coating provides an environmentally friendly way to place a superior finish on any exterior product.
The most common items finished by powder coaters include frames for motorcycles and bicycles, wheels of all types, railings, garden furniture, radiators, and car parts. Architectural reclamation items, such as bed frames, fireplaces, and sinks are also typical items that benefit from the coating process. Custom projects, single items, and prototypes of new products during development stages can also be powder coated at competitive rates. Although it is the coating that provides the color or glossy finish to products, it is actually the middle step in the complete finishing process. Pre-treatment is the first step. There are three options designed to remove oil, grease, oxide dirt, and mill scale from surfaces. It also adds a thin layer of zinc phosphate onto surfaces for better coating adhesion.
The third step is curing, which dries the coating onto surfaces so they will not peel, crack, or bubble up while exposed to the elements. There are a few different type of ovens used for curing. The one selected for each production depends on the size of the items, the number of colors used, and the weight of components. In addition to preparing, finishing, and drying products, a variety of treatments are available to restore and clean items, prepare certain items for coating, and mask them once coated. Custom designed jigs are also created to hold items in place during the entire coating process. The most cost-effective methods are used for jigs to help keep overall costs low.