Powdercoating is a paint technique. Instead of spraying the liquid paint on a surface, and let it cure. A powder is sprayed over a surface and baked the cure. Powdercoating is very popular for coating wheels with paint.
A powdercoat is different to the common way to spraypaint a surface when working with vehicles. Spraypaint consists out of coloring agents, carriers, polymers and some solvents if not waterbased. This requires the liquid paint to be sprayed over a surface, and left to cure. Sometimes under a heatsource. Powdercoating is often done to paint wheels, given the strength by powdercoating. It is also easier to cover small holes and tight corners to create a more evenly covered finish. Powdercoating also has certain downsides which makes it not very suitable for painted entire body panels.
How powdercoating is done
Powdercoating consists out of a thermoplastic or a thermoset polymer with a coloring agent, this powder is given an electric charge while spraying. The object is given a negative charge, causing the powdercoat to be attracted to the surface. After the object is covered, it is put inside an oven where an indirect heatsource causes the ceramic powder to melt and fuse together, bonding with the surface underneath. After cooling it turns into a very hard surface, covering the object.
Benefits of powdercoat
Apart from a different way of application, it has certain benefits that make it very suitable for specific goals.
- Powdercoats are very hard, harder then regular automotive paint
- Powdercoats can withstand various amounts of acidic and alkaline liquids
- It is easier to evenly cover an uneven surface, or and object with small crevices and sharp lines
- Powdercoats don’t require a transparent clear coat
- Oxidation and corrosion is much less an issue with powdercoat
- Powdercoating don’t contain any solvents (making it VOC compliant)
- Powdercoatings are generally thicker then normal paint
- Many different paint effect (like chromatic, fluorescent etc) are much easier to achieve then with regular paint
Downsides of powdercoat
Although powdercoating offers certain specific properties, it can also have certain downsides that make it not suitable for use on particular objects or in certain situations.
- Powdercoating is not easily fixed when it is chipped or severly damaged
- Powdercoats require more effort to correct, polishing wheels is often more labour intesive then body panels
- It requires an oven, which means the object needs to be able to withstand high temperatures for prolonged time
- Powdercoats suffer from more orange peel then regular paintwork
- It can be more expensive to do, depending on quantity, size and preperation
- Removing powdercoat requires a very labor intensive process, or a heavy chemically process