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Architectural Digest has a story on its website that should put a smile on the face of anyone in the powder coating business. Titled “You Should Be Powder Coating Everything,” it emphasizes the benefits of powder over conventional liquid spray coatings.

“I love the uniform thick coating—it feels professional, I don’t have to worry about nicks and scratches, and I love how easy it is to keep clean. And the intense, shiny color is just so beautiful to me,” says Angela Chrusciaki Blehm, who owns many furnishings that are powder coated.

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In the surface finishing industry, a lot of the action occurs below the surface. However, with chemical coatings such as chrome or anodized varnishes, the proof of the process is sometimes visible in the end product.

As a result, visual appearance and aesthetics play a major role in the quality requirements for a finished part.

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Hohman Plating is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The shop was founded in 1918 in Springfield, Ohio, by William Hohman, who moved it to Dayton in the 1930s. The company saw a growth spurt in the 1950s with manufacturing of dry film lubricants. Hohman was also one of the first shops to offer a physical vapor deposition coating in the 1970s.

Named several times to the Products Finishing Top Shops list, Hohman Plating specializes in  electroplating, electroless plating, anodizing, chemical conversion coatings, spray coatings, vacuum coating and combination coatings. The company also formulates and manufactures the Surf-Kote line of dry film lubricants.

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The Society of Vacuum Coaters Foundation will award several scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 each for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Any student currently enrolled or entering an accredited academic program related to the vacuum coating technology field is potentially eligible for a scholarship, including those studying chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, electrical engineering, physics and related subjects. Preference is given to students who are expressly interested in vacuum coating technology and are currently engaged in studies and research relating to vacuum coatings, however.

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Henry Ford is reported to have said, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Whether he really said this is up for debate, but one thing’s certain: Cars now certainly come in more colors than just black. Today, there’s an increasing demand for metallic, pearlescent, matte and other paint types, all in a vast array of colors and all more durable than ever. Advancements in paint technology have been made possible through the use of microscopy, both in development and quality control.

As the quality of automotive paint finishes improves, so does the customer’s expectation for a flawless finish, especially on high-end vehicles. Though the eye of a paint shop quality control engineer is hard to rival, it’s also nearly impossible to quantify. Fortunately, digital microscopes help engineers actually measure the quality of a paint finish.

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