We fabricate large weldments for off-road construction equipment. What is the thickness or mass limitation for powder coating steel parts? For example, could a weldment that is made of 1.5-inch thick steel plate weighing 8,000 lb be powder coated? Thanks for your help. S.E.
The limitations for powder coating large and massive products are more of an existing equipment issue than a process issue. For instance, your existing cure oven may not have enough Btu/hr to heat an 8,000-lb mass to 375F in a reasonable period of time compared to a new oven. However, that doesn’t mean that your parts cannot be powder coated if you use the right equipment.
There are several off-road construction equipment companies that use powder coating on their products with great success. The process you will need should be designed to coat and cure your products at a given production rate (parts per hour). It may involve a low-temperature or UV cure powder to reduce the amount of energy necessary to cure your product. The oven may use a combination of IR and/or UV light energy heating and curing technologies in combination with, or in place of, a gas-fired convection oven.
The point is that powder coatings are successfully applied to all sorts of products (heavy or not). There are a variety of equipment designs that can be configured to coat and cure just about anything. Working with a reputable equipment company that has a diverse selection of technologies will offer you the best solutions for your unique process issues. Remember to always test your process design before purchasing the equipment. This is the only way you can ensure success.