When most people think of painting, they imagine a bucket and a brush. Or perhaps they think back to the time they donned a respirator, a Tyvek suit, and climbed a ladder with a paint sprayer strapped to their back to revitalize the old house. That type of painting is excellent for the home, but in the industrial world, something a little more robust is needed. The solution? Powder Coating.
That’s why powder coating methods of painting were developed. It first came to the United States back in the 1960s and quickly grew in popularity so that now it is used to protect and beautify everything from the last car you bought to the leg extension machine at your local gym. Schau-Vorhies, through our Paint-Line Inc. company, offers top-notch powder coating services for a wide variety of applications.
The powder coating process begins with a mixture of polymer base, the desired pigments, hardeners, and a variety of other additives that combine to ensure an even coat on the finished product. Once sufficiently mixed, it is run through an extruder and rolled into a large flat sheet. From there, it is broken back down into an ultra-fine powder, ready for application.
For powder coating to be effective, the metal that is getting coated has to be thoroughly cleaned. Any trace of dust, dirt, oil, or anything else has to be removed lest they interfere with the bonding process. There is a wide array of methods to clean and pre-treat the metal before powder coating. Which one is used has a lot to do with the size of the product and its specific application. These can include immersion in the chemical treatment of phosphates or sandblasting. No matter the method, the important thing is that the target metal is free of any contaminants that would interfere with the final powder coating.
Again, this isn’t your typical painting process; no brushes here. However, it would look a lot like spray painting. The fine powder is applied to the product using an electrostatic gun. The target product is grounded so that the negatively charged powder will electrostatically bond to it when sprayed through the gun. Once the powder has been applied, the product is then heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit or more for at least ten minutes. This produces a smooth, uniform, and extremely durable coating that can stand up to the elements, or a punishing industrial environment day in and day out.
The properties of powder coating make possible several different effects in the finished coat, such as one color fading into another, streamers of different colors running through the primary color, or any number of other options according to the demands of the client.
Paint-Line Inc. also does a nano-ceramic coating. Much like conventional powder coating, the ceramic coating can be sprayed on to provide an extremely durable protective coating. However, it is not typically applied independently. Instead, it is an extra coating over the powder coat the works to protect the surface even more.
The layman may object that ceramic is brittle. How can it be used to protect? On the macro scale, this is true. Drop that ceramic bowl on the hardwood floor, and it’s going to shatter. However, on the nanoscale, it can be used to make a coating so fine that it fills in the tiny imperfections than can exist in even the best powder coating.
The most visible application of the nano-ceramic coating is in the automotive world. Nano-ceramic coating has gained immense popularity in the high-performance car world thanks not only to its incredible durability but also to its smooth coating. It has so few imperfections that dirt, grease, and pretty much anything else doesn’t stick to it, making it very easy to keep the car clean.
Of course, nano-ceramic coating isn’t just for automotive use. It can be applied to any powder coat to provide an additional layer of protection. It can be useful in high traffic applications such as the front door of a business or hard to clean areas exposed to the elements such as the massive outdoor lights at a race track or football stadium.
Whatever it is you need to paint or protect, Paint-Line Inc will do it on time, under budget, and in whatever style you wish. Contact us today, and we can help you find the best possible solution for you and your customers.