How does the powder stick to the part? Powder is applied by an electrostatic charge. Simply put, as the powder passes out of the nozzle of the gun it picks up a charge and is attracted to the grounded part. The thing with powder is if something goes wrong while coating a part, you can blow it off and start again. From there the part is put into the oven to cure. The items or parts to be powder coated can be dipped in powder or the powder can be sprayed onto the part manually with a powder coating spray gun.
It is important to assess your needs at this point. Rust protection, decorative or a combination of both. There are a few different ways to prepare the substrate to accept the coating.
Hot rolled steel has a mill scale which should be removed before coating. With older rusty material we sandblast to a clean grey finish. New parts are either degreased in a degreasing fluid or treated with phosphate to promote adhesion. Sometimes a combination of the two.
We have experienced problems with aluminum parts that are chromed. It is advisable to have the chrome removed at a plating shop. Steel chrome parts usually coat just fine. Although we have done many chromed parts, sometimes it comes off when we media blast it and sometimes it does not. Problems can occur when only half of it comes off. Because it has a thickness, it can be seen through the powder coating resulting in extra time spent on sanding and blending. It is recommended that you have the chrome removed before taking it in to a powder coating company to be painted. Use high temperature tape and plugs to protect threads and bearing surfaces. Some surfaces are obvious like bearing and machined areas but if you need something protected you can mark it with a felt pen or tape.
Here are a few advantages of powder coating over liquid coatings:
1. Powder coatings emit zero or near zero volatile organic compounds (VOC).
2. Powder coatings can produce much thicker coatings than conventional liquid coatings without running or sagging.
3. Powder coating over spray 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 specialty effects is easily accomplished which would be impossible to achieve with other coating processes.