I am into my third month of study for a new powder coat system for our company. I have just completed reading your June article concerning various cleaning issues. My question is about equipment to clean, burn or plastic media blast our hooks. Can you help me with a list of equipment manufacturers for each method of stripping polyester powder? Also, if neutral strippers are a good possibility let me know of several sources. R.R.
All the above will work to strip paint from parts or hooks. You need to find out a little more about each in order to make the decision that is best for your circumstances. I will quickly outline just a couple features about each method.
Chemical stripping has the advantages that it generally does not remove or effect the base metal and will not distort parts due to mechanical force or high temperatures. It has the disadvantage of adding a new source of waste to your plant process.
Burn-off ovens are a very common method of paint stripping, especially for hooks. Usually the elevated temperature does not affect the function of the hook, and the only waste generated is the paint "dust" that is burned from the part. If you need to strip parts, sometimes the elevated temperature may warp or distort the part. Also, the dust remaining on the part will likely have to be wiped or rinsed off since it would not make a very good paint base.
The blasting methods are effective but can require more labor and could damage the base metal. This would be a consideration primarily when stripping parts, not hooks. The exception to this is plastic media blasting, which is much milder on a metal surface than traditional blasting media.
The 2001 Products Finishing Directory has a good article on paint stripping (pp.50-54). The directory can also help you locate equipment dealers. Starting on page 484, you will find suppliers of a number of different paint stripping methods including chemical, burn-off, high-pressure water spray, hot fluidized bed, molten salt bath and abrasive methods.