Powder Coating Plastic Substrates

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing, from Powder Coating Consultants, Div. of Ninan, Inc.

Posted on: 8/1/2003

Question: Are there any successful powder coating on plastic substrate projects?


Are there any successful powder coating on plastic substrate projects? If so, which plastic materials have been successfully powder coated and where could I get reference material related to this topic? C. B.


There are not many powder coating projects that coat plastics. That’s because there are limited applications where powder coatings add value to plastics. Let’s talk about why there aren’t many systems that powder coat plastic substrates.

The plastic substrate material must withstand at least 250F to allow the powder coating to melt and flow onto the surface. Final curing is accomplished under heat (³ 250F) or using UV methods after the material has melted and flowed, depending upon the type of powder formulation used. This heat requirement limits the number of plastic substrates that can be powder coated, and therefore limits the number of cases where powder coatings can be used on plastics.

Since plastics can be formulated to be durable, are inherently corrosion resistant and delivered in almost any color, one must ask: “What purpose will the powder coating serve?” This problem of not adding value to the plastic product is the primary reason most plastics are not powder coated. Occasionally, powder coatings are used where plastic materials are part of an assembly that contains metal components, which require the benefits of powder coatings. This is where powder coating of plastics has gained acceptance.

Since there are some technical problems in powder coating plastics and powder coating doesn’t readily add value to the plastic substrate, it is no wonder why there are limited powder on plastic applications. Until this situation changes, I don't expect that we will see a lot of powder coating systems being delivered to plastic manufacturers.


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