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.
Steel Alloys Benefit From an Extra Layer of Protection
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. The powder coating acts as an extra buffer between the alloy and any conditions that might cause rust.
However, stainless steel and galvanized steel already have anti-corrosion properties due to the manufacturing process. All of these metals readily take powder coating as an extra layer of protection that enhances the durability of the steel from both the elements and constant wear.
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Powder Coating Easily Adheres to Aluminum
Aluminum is one of the most common metals to receive powder coating. It is lighter in weight than steel and can be just as sturdy. You’ll commonly find aluminum in 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. Powder coating is applied using an electrostatic charge and then heated in a curing oven. The extra pours on the surface help with this process.\
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 and allow for easing binding in the pours. Aluminum oxide can impede the coating process if the coating has a difficult time binding to the surface.
Powder Coating Can Replace a Chrome Finish, But Keeps the Shine
Chrome can be powder coated, but it needs a bit of extra work to keep visual consistency as powder coating doesn’t typically shine. 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.
The shine of the chrome comes from a thin layer over the top. Applying a powder coating directly to this layer won’t provide an effective coat, so what is typically done in these cases is to remove the chrome layer to reveal the aluminum or alloy below. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the most common is to chemically remove it.
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Coating Systems Offers Powder Coating Services
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. Coating Systems, based in Harrison, Ohio, and Greater Cincinnati, offers powder coatings that protect your equipment and extend the life of your machines.
Call us today at 1-800-593-7754 or contact us online.