Are powder coatings considered environmentally friendly?

Everything is relative, and powder coatings are considered far more environmentally friendly than wet paints or anodising. Powder coatings use no solvents which are harmful to the environment. Over sprayed powder can be recovered, sieved and then reapplied to other products which helps reduce powder waste.

Whilst some municipal councils restrict the waste disposal sites for powder coatings, the products have no leaching effect in dry form and no leaching effect in the cured form. Given the very good durability of powder coatings, the need to recoat on site is less common, meaning fewer burdens on the environment into the future.

How are powder coatings manufactured?

Powder Coatings are produced by the dry blending of resins, pigments, additives and curing agents, which are then extruded at elevated temperatures to melt and mix the ingredients. The material then becomes thick and viscous like a honey mixture which is cooled using super chilled water, before the material is crushed progressively to a fine, well defined particle size. Specialised equipment including rotary sieves and particle size measuring equipment is used to monitor and control the particle size distribution.

How long do powder coatings last?

This is a very common question. From the perspective of adhesion and film integrity, correctly applied and pre-treated powder coated metal can and has lasted since it was first applied more than 40 years ago.

Is the quality of the aluminium important?

Powder coatings are more tolerant of variations in the aluminium alloy. Anodising is far less tolerant. This can be particularly important when it comes to Bright Finish Anodising.

Can I match a powder coating to a paint colour?

Yes, but unlike paints which can be tinted to thousands of shades and finishes, powder coatings are formulated and produced in a factory. Powder coatings cannot be tinted successful since the solid particles of each colour do not blend together, causing a mottled, speckled look when two different colours are mixed together. Having a custom colour made will incur longer lead times and higher costs compared to using a stock colour.

What is your stock colour range?

Please refer to our colour selector section.

How do I maintain and refurbish a powder coated surface?

The effects of pollution, dirt, grime and salt deposits can all accumulate on a powder coated surface over time. To extend the effective life of powder coatings and fulfil any warranty requirements that may exist, a simple regular maintenance program should be implemented for the removal of residues. As a general rule, all powder coated surfaces should be cleaned every six months. However, in areas where pollutants are more prevalent, especially in coastal or industrial regions, a cleaning program should be carried out on a more frequent basis. To clean a powder coated surface, customers should carefully remove any loose deposits with a wet sponge and then use a soft, non-abrasive brush or cloth in combination with a mild household detergent solution ( such as Melaleuca Tough and tender®) to remove dust, salt and other residues. Finally rinse all powder coated surfaces with clean water.

Can powder coatings be applied straight onto metal substrates?

Whilst powder coatings generally require no primers, it is important to provide a clean and pre-treated surface for the powder coating to adhere to. Metals that are planned for internal location can escape the need for pre-treatment; however it is advisable to provide some metal pre-treatment such as a phosphate finish to steel, or chromate finish to aluminium to ensure maximum performance of the finish.

Can powder coatings be applied on site?

On site application is not possible given the hot curing cycle required to fuse the coating.

How many coats are applied with powder coating?

Powder coatings are generally a one coat finish, applied to suitably cleaned and pre-treated substrates. Some coatings, such as metallics, require a clear coat to protect the metallic effect. These coatings are not normally used on external extrusions. There are now products on the market that are able to show a metallic effect without the need for a clear coating to be applied. Primers can also be used to extend the life of the coating in corrosive environments and also on perforated sheets to help cover the sharp edges.

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