Switching from Liquid to Powder

How are colors, surface texture and luster handled from a standards standpoint? How would I change one of our liquid paint colors (let’s say beige) with a light textured finish to a powder coating? Our paint spec now calls out Sherwin Williams F63HX ... TEXTURED. How would I change this over to Powder Coating?


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Q.I am a Mechanical Engineer and wish to switch over from traditional liquid paint to powder coating. I have a few questions, which I hope you can help answer. How are colors, surface texture and luster handled from a standards standpoint? How would I change one of our liquid paint colors (let’s say beige) with a light textured finish to a powder coating? Our paint spec now calls out Sherwin Williams F63HX ... TEXTURED. How would I change this over to Powder Coating? D.D.

 

A. Congratulations on your career choice. As you, I am also a Mechanical Engineer. I heard a joke recently that I think you would like. “What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers? Mechanical Engineers build weapons and Civil Engineers build targets.”

Another joke that may seem to apply here is: “Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet”

Enough jokes already!

First you should contact Sherwin Williams for a powder coating substitute, since they also make powder. Secondly, you should use the following standards to answer your specific questions for this coating:

  1. Colors can be specified to RAL standards. These European standards are available through the Internet.
  2. Surface texture standards are available from the Powder Coating Institute.
  3. Luster is known as gloss. This is tested using the ASTMD523 test method.

However, don’t forget the mechanical and environmental performance standards as well as the appearance standards. Otherwise you may end up with a powder coating that looks the same as your liquid coating, but doesn’t withstand the same physical conditions as the liquid coating. For a more complete listing of coating standards used in the powder coating industry buy the PCI handbook “Powder Coating The Complete Finisher’s Handbook.”

You can never go wrong with a completely defined powder coating specification that details all your appearance, mechanical and environmental properties for your coating. Don’t forget to include listing any manufacturing steps taken after coating, like post-forming or post machining that the coating will be subjected to.

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