Powder coating represents a different application than painting a surface. Instead of sticking to metal because of petrochemicals, powder coating works due to electrostatic charges applied to the metal followed by curing through high heat. As such, only metals that maintain a steady electric charge benefit from a coating of fine powder. Coating Systems discusses what metals work best with this process.
Most steel alloys work very well with powder coating. Ordinary carbon steel doesn’t have a lot of corrosion resistance compared to other types of steel, which is part of the reason why powders offer critical protection from the elements. Stainless steel and galvanized steel already have anti-corrosion properties due to the manufacturing process. However, these metals readily take powder coating as an extra layer of protection that enhances the durability of the steel.
Aluminum is one of the most common metals to receive powder coating. It is lighter weight than steel and just as sturdy. Think of outdoor furniture, color-coded conduits, wheels for cars, and decorative pieces such as handrails or doorknobs. The surface of aluminum is more porous compared to steel, so it readily takes powder coating. However, aluminum may require pretreatment with washes and rinses to achieve the optimum environment needed to receive a powder coating. Aluminum has a tendency to have aluminum oxide on its surface, which requires an extra cleaning step to remove any impurities. Aluminum oxide can impede the coating process.
Chrome can take powder coatings, but it needs an extra flourish. Chrome is already shiny, and powder coverings should follow suit. Chrome needs some polishing after coatings go on to differentiate it from other metals because consumers expect chrome to have a polished finish, even if it’s not silver like the natural metal.
Copper, brass, bronze, silver, and gold all maintain electrical charges very effectively. However, they aren’t popular metals used in the construction of heavy-duty parts. These metals are more decorative when it comes to powder coating, but coatings are possible on these nonstandard metals.
Powder Coatings from Coating Systems
Coating Systems has plenty of options when it comes to powder coatings. Our team can coat a wide variety of products, from bolts and screws to outdoor furniture and heavy-duty metal parts. Contact us online or give us a call at 1-800-593-7754 to discuss your options.