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The Powder Coating Zone is a library of all things powder coating—a dry finishing process that sprays electrostatically charged particles of pigment and resin onto electrically grounded parts. This site-within-a-site is your ultimate resource for powder coating and curing articles, suppliers and products.

 

 

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The latest from the Powder Coating Clinic

Powder Coating Clinic: Solving Problems with Color Variation

Q. We are noticing differences in the color of parts coming out of the oven. It seems to happen more on some days than others. It can happen with any of our brighter colors like orange and red but does not seem to happen with more neutral colors like tan or gray. We use some infrared heaters in the first 20 feet of the oven and the rest is convection heating. We worked on balancing the oven but it is hard to get it level all the way through. What can cause color variation from part to part? How can we balance the oven and stop this problem?

Ask an Expert Published: December 01, 2016

Powder Coating Clinic: Oil Seeping out of Large Welded Tubing

Q. We have a large part made out of tubing that is welded together. The tubing has a lot of oil seeping out of the welds when the part is heated and causes a defect in the cured film. We cannot get the oil out of the tubing in our washer. We tried cleaning up the defect and running it again, but oil still runs out. How can we get that oil out of the tubing?

Ask an Expert Published: December 01, 2016

Powder Coating Clinic: Touch-up Options for Powder Coated Parts

Q. I’ve been told that a powder coated part cannot be “touched-up.” I have some patio furniture that I had powder coated and the powder coating shop that did the work for me stripped the threads in holes used to rack the part. I can fix the threads by welding up the hole and re-taping the threads. The shop states the whole piece will need to be redone and they cannot address just the small area affected by the repair. Is this accurate? Is it true that powder coating cannot be touched up?

Ask an Expert Published: December 01, 2016

Powder Coating Clinic: Powder in Layers

Q. We are in the process of designing a new powder system for aluminum extrusions and building panels. Our current system uses a six-stage dip pretreatment process and a three-layer liquid paint process (prime, color coat, clear coat) that meets AAMA 2605 standards (American Architectural Manufacturers Association). What layers of coating should we use and can we can meet the AAMA 2605 standards with powder?

Ask an Expert Published: December 01, 2016

Powder Coating Clinic: Making Powder Lines More Profitable

Q. We run a job shop powder coating operation with a conveyor system that runs at around 4 to 6 fpm, depending on what product is hung. We are putting through a lot of work, but our profits are not great. Can you suggest how to improve the efficiency, or cut our cost for a better profit margin? We cannot speed up the line because we do not have enough time in the cure oven to go faster. Our powder material cost seems to be higher than what we expect based on our quotes. What are we missing?

Ask an Expert Published: December 01, 2016

Powder Coating Clinic: Avoiding Rust on Parts

Q. We apply lighter colors of powder to our ticket machines for parking lots. Some go into covered garages, but many of them are exposed to the outdoor elements. We have some problems with rust around the base of the machines and also on corners. We currently run the steel parts through a five-stage iron phosphate washer, then apply a coat of TGIC polyester powder to a thickness of around 3 or 4 mils. What else should we be doing to prevent rust?

Ask an Expert Published: November 01, 2016

Powder Coating Clinic: Masking for Logo Design

Q. We are powder coating stainless steel water bottles for our company. For our logo, we would like to use a vinyl sticker or decal before powder coating. After the coating is applied, we want to peel the vinyl off to achieve a stainless steel logo effect, so we need some kind of temperature-resistant vinyl. Any suggestions?

Ask an Expert Published: November 01, 2016

Powder Coating Clinic: Discoloration of Metal-Flake in Powder

Q. We have a metal-flake silver powder color that we use regularly. If the surface is abraded with a Taber wheel—or even a pencil eraser—it darkens significantly in the abraded area. We even have this problem when our parts scrape against cardboard packaging. Our supplier suggested we switch from an unbonded leafing aluminum to a more expensive bonded product. We tried the bonded leafing aluminum, but we still have the same problem. Certain types of friction create this effect, seemingly those that perhaps have a higher coefficient of friction. Do they remove the aluminum flake from the surface? Can you explain this problem and tell us why it happens with some abrasives and not with others? What can we do to stop this? 

Ask an Expert Published: November 01, 2016

Powder Coating Clinic: Measuring Film Thickness before Cure

Q. How can I tell if the powder film build is thick enough before I cure the powder coating? We coat a lot of square footage and we need to control our cost. We often put on too much powder to avoid light coating. I need to know what my uncured film thickness is.

Ask an Expert Published: November 01, 2016

Powder Coating Clinic: Sanding for Repair

Q. We sand aluminum die-cast parts that have minor defects in the powder coating before recoating them. The small areas of dirt, metal blemishes, fibers or similar particles are sanded using 120-grit sandpaper on an orbital sander. After recoating the parts, we often find more little specks and other defects and lines from the sanding disk in the coating. My question is, does this happen because of the sandpaper we are using, or because we sand all the way to the aluminum, exposing the surface and causing it to outgas?

Ask an Expert Published: November 01, 2016

Parts Cleaning Clinic: Brass Cleaning

Q. How do I clean brass to be powder coated? Expert David Peterson explains that, assuming you have some mill oil or metalworking lubricant on the surface of the brass, the minimum pretreatment needed is a degreasing of some type.

Ask an Expert Published: November 01, 2016

Parts Cleaning Clinic: Cleaning of Inconel

Q. What cleaning methods are recommended for finishing Inconel 718? Can this material be passivated or utilize the Summa process as 300 and 400 series stainless steel, or is there another way to remove the contaminants in regards to machining parts to size?

Ask an Expert Published: November 01, 2016

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