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Pioneer : Total Manufacturing Solutions

Finishing

An introduction:

Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. The main difference between a conventional liquid paint and a powder coating is that the powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. The coating is typically applied electrostatically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a “skin.” The powder may be a thermoplastic or a thermoset polymer. It is usually used to create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint.

There are several advantages of powder coating over conventional liquid coatings:

  1. Powder coatings emit zero or near zero volatile organic compunds (VOC).
  2. Powder coatings can produce much thicker coatings than conventional liquid coatings without running or sagging.
  3. Powder coating overspray can be recycled and thus it is possible to achieve nearly 100% use of the coating.
  4. Powder coating production lines produce less hazardous waste than conventional liquid coatings.
  5. Powder coated items generally have fewer appearance differences between horizontally coated surfaces and vertically coated surfaces than liquid coated items.
  6. A wide range of effects or textures can easily be accomplished which would be impossible to achieve with other coating processes.

Powder Application Processes
The most common way of applying the powder coating to metal objects is to spray the powder using an electrostatic gun, or Corona gun. The gun imparts a positive electric charge on the powder, which is then sprayed towards the grounded object by mechanical or compressed air spraying and then accelerated toward the workpiece by the powerful electrostatic charge.

Curing

When a thermoset powder is exposed to elevated temperature, it begins to melt, flows out, and then chemically reacts to form a higher molecular weight polymer in a network-like structure. This cure process, called crosslinking, requires a certain degree of temperature for a certain length of time in order to reach full cure and establish the full film properties for which the material was designed. Normally the powders cure at 200°C (390°F) in 10 minutes. The curing schedule could vary according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

At Pioneer we have invested in the best equipment we can to ensure we meet the quality our customers expect. The latest addition to our facility is a Phoswash system -this not only cleans and degreases the workpiece, but it also adds a phosphate coating that provides better paint adhesion and corrosion resistance.

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