Q. We have an aluminum casting from which we need to remove powder coat. We have investigated sanding and chemical, but the heat process may have a very negative impact on the part shape. What are your thoughts? L.M.
A. Heat stripping of organic and powder coatings is a well-established process. To minimize the potential for parts to distort, it would be important to use a relatively slow heating and cooling rate. Most suppliers of stripping ovens would be willing to perform tests with sample parts to demonstrate the capability of their process.
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Various types of media blasting methods are very effective for paint stripping as well. There is a wide assortment of media available depending on the material and geometry. Plastic media blasting will make use of media that is available in a wide variety of geometries (long/angular, shorter/rounder) and various hardness in order to effectively remove the coating without damaging the substrate. Bead blasting and wet blasting techniques are also successful at powder coating removal.