Powders



Powder is one of the most difficult parts of the whole process, choosing one that is. There are literally thousands of different kinds of powders in different colors, textures, and gloss levels. Then add in the fact that you can mix powders(Beginners, don't do this yet!) and do multiple coatings to achieve even more looks. It is baffling, I spend a huge amount of time selecting colors.  If you would like to know some reputable websites to purchase powder from, check out my recommendations.




Lets get in to the different types of powders, below refers to how or what the powder is actually made out of:

1. EPOXY - These types of powders are very impact resistant and are used when corrosion prevention and adhesion is needed the most. But, they can not be exposed to sunlight as they are not uv stable. They are best left indoors, under the car, or on factory equipment. In the sun, the epoxy coatings develop a whitish haze and eventually look like crap.




2. POLYESTER(Urethane and TGIC)- These are the most common powders, chances are, your powder will be polyester or a blend of polyester. They hold up great outdoors in the elements and have good all-around characteristics.


3. ACRYLIC - This is mainly used for clear coats. An acrylic clear powder coat will be very smooth and more clear than a clearcoat made of a different type of powder. Also has very good chemical resistance.

4. FLUOROPOLYMER - These have the best outdoor characteristics of all the powders, mainly used for outdoor industrial coatings, most of the powders you will be able to order in small amounts will not be a fluoropolymer.


Types of powders from a visual standpoint:

-Regular Solid Colors (covers all of the regular colors in all of their different gloss levels)


-Chromes(the most reflective types of powder, but the name can be misleading, while it shares the same characteristics as Chrome of being silver and very shiny, it will not actually look like real chrome plating. To me, this is not a bad thing, if you want the chrome look, either polish it(if your on a budget) or have it chromed. The chrome powder coat still has a beautiful and unique look. The downside to chrome powders is they all have to be clear coated. They are made up of actual aluminum flakes to give them that metallic shine. After they are cured, they will oxidize very fast leaving a terrible looking finish similar to bare aluminum if left unprotected. Clear coating the chrome prevents the oxidation from happening. Clear coating adds an extra step and it takes away the amazing look of the chrome powder coat but it is a necessary evil. The reason this happens is the clear top coat affects the way the light shines off of the chrome, instead of seeing the chrome reflection, you are seeing the clear reflection. Acrylic clear coat is best for minimizing this effect but no clear is invisible.

Chrome can also be used as a base coat for other colors, especially candy colors.

Here is an example of Black Chrome on a set of brake lines done by me:

black chrome powder coat brake lines


- Candy colors: These come in many colors and they get their effect from being translucent.To achieve the candy look, the part must have either a chrome or silver powder coat base coat or have an actual chrome plated or polished finish .


Here is a wheel coated with a candy powder coat called Shocker Yellow from Prismatic Powders.  The base coat used was Super Chrome Powder Coat:






- Veins & Wrinkles: These powder coats actually provide a physical texture that you can see and feel. These textures can only be done using powder coating. They come in many colors and many types of textures. Besides adding the unique textured look, they can offer functionality where grip is needed. The texture actually can provide traction.


Here is an example of a Black wrinkle powder coat on an BMW M3 valve cover done by Renewed Finishes in Pennsylvania

powder coated bmw valve cover black texture

- Clears: Clear powder coat can provide a 2nd layer of protection to your powder coated pieces. You can also enhance the look using a clear powder coat. It gives some colors more depth, especially gloss black when top-coating it with a high gloss clear. Clears are available in different gloss levels and some have added metallic flakes, this allows you to make very unique colors that wouldn't normally be available. For example, black chrome looks great as is when it is glossy, but adding a flat or semi-gloss clear gives it a more subtle modern look.


An example of black chrome and semi-gloss clear courtesy of Bonehead Performance in PA

black chrome powder coat flat clear

This company has an amazing color sample wall, you can see almost every powder coat color that exists on their metal bottles, check out the pictures on their site.

93 comments:

  1. Great info in all of your articles. I had one question about the candy powders. Since you would use a Crome/silver base then candy color. Do you still shoot a clear after the candy coat has cured? if so what is a better clear to go with a flat or high gloss clear?

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    1. Thanks for the compliments. You do not need to do another clear coat over a candy color. The candy colors are basically tinted clears so they will act to protect the chrome powder coat. If you are wanting that extra layer of protection, clear is never a bad idea. It is up to you if you want to go flat, semi, or full gloss with the clear. Each one will give your part a different look. I will say that adding a flat clear to a candy or metallic color can give some amazing results that you don't see everyday.

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  2. When spraying a wheel in 2 stages does that mean it'll be required to cure in the oven after each stage/spray?

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    1. Yes, for a 2-stage job, it would need to be cured in the oven twice, once after each coat.

      After you shoot your 1st coat, you will put the part in the oven but you will only cure it about 60 to 75%. Meaning if the bake schedule calls for 10 minutes @ 400 degrees you would only bake the part for 6 to 7 minutes. You then remove the part from the oven and let it cool completely. You can then spray the 2nd coat and put it in the oven for the 2nd coats full bake schedule. Lets say the 2nd coat is a clear coat that also bakes for 10 minutes @ 400 degrees. You would put the part in for the full 10 minutes. This method allows the 2 coats to interlock and chemically adhere to each other. This will give a much stronger bond between the 2 coats and will lessen the changes of delamination (where the 2nd coat peels off of the 1st coat).

      If you are shooting a chrome powder, it is very simple. Spray the chrome powder, cure it according to chrome's instructions. Let it cool completely to room temp. Then spray the 2nd powder and cure according to the powders instructions. Then you are done. Chrome powders tend to distort if they are top-coated without being 100% cured so you do sacrifice some intercoat adhesion when using chrome powders but I have not had an issue with it yet.

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    2. Thanks Sean. I have another question in regards to prepping a wheel for powder coat but keeping lip polished. Should I A.) mask up all areas that are being polished prior to powdering or B.) powder entire wheel then polish lip?

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    3. I would mask the polished lip, then powder coat. You could even remove the masking after that and coat the entire wheel (including lip) in clear powder coat to protect the polished finish, you'll loose some of the reflectivity though. If the lip is not yet polished, make sure you througholy clean off any polishing rogue on the wheel before coating. I have found MEK to be a good chemical to completely clean the polish off and it doesn't harm the polished finish.

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    4. Excellent! Thank you very much Sean.

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    5. Sean, so I've been cleaning and polishing these lips, but I am having a difficult time removing the hard water stains. I've tried sanding from 600-2000 grit sand paper soaked in dishwasher soap, white vinegar & water. Any tips on removing water stains?

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    6. I have not had this issue yet, in every case of polishing, all water stains are removed completely after the sanding and polishing stages. Just curious, what are you using to polish? If you are just using some polishing cream on a towel, definitely try machine polishing with a buffer and buffing compounds(black, red, white). When I get water spots on my polished aluminum, this always does the trick without doing any sanding at all. However, it is possible that the water spots are very deeply etched into the aluminum, which unfortunately, is only cured by sanding deeper.

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    7. I'm using compound bars [black, brown & white] with a power drill. The guy I bought the wheels from said it's been sitting for over 10 years. I chose these wheels because it would allow me to learn how to clean, sand and polish. I guess I will need to sand deeper! What do you think of hitting it with fine steel wool?

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    8. Actually hard sanding with 800 grit did the trick in removing the hard water stains. Trial and tribulation.

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  3. Just happened by your site when looking at at hotrodders.com and so far very impressed. I have an 80 camaro that I am going to restore and very glad you have this site because I was going to have my parts done by somebody else but now I think I will do it myself. My question is if I purchase 1 pound of powder how many 15" rims will it do say just the faces of them if they were solid (no holes through the face, well bolt holes lol)?

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    1. That is a good reason to start coating yourself, it is exactly why I got into it. Not only is it a bunch of money saved, but knowing you did it all yourself definitely adds something to the restoration. Its hard to answer your question because I haven't coated just the faces of a solid rim, but I will tell you that you could coat 4 15" wheels completely and still have a little powder left over. The powder really lasts awhile, especially when you are coating smaller parts. I would say you get about 8 times more coverage from a pound of powder than a can of spray paint. Thanks for reading, I'm glad you found the site.

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    2. A friend of mine wants to get transparent gold rims I just want to know the clear coat I have to put it after we finish painting it gold and put it in the oven and then put clear coat??

      Because he wants it extreme shine like a mirror I seen it but I've never done it before

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  4. Sean I want to thank you for the knowledge you share with the rest of us. I have two questions I'm hoping you could help me with. 1st, I was looking at coating the chrome pieces of my 2014 HD Street Glide to a black chrome, but have considered maybe doing them myself (the jury is still out). Is there a specific brand or type of black chrome powder that you'd recommend using? 2nd, I have read and heard different arguments about to best prep chrome for painting. I've hear that the nature of chrome is to prevent anything from adhering to it and so even if the powder does stick to it that it won't last very long. I've also heard and read that chrome is a plating and the metal itself will still hold a charge therefore not affecting the final outcome of the coating. Does chrome need to be etched (sandblasted) to allow the powder to adhere to it, or will the powder have a lasting durability to the clean bare chrome piece? Any info or help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Marshall

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    1. Powder coating chrome is very common, you are sacrificing some durability if you don't etch the chrome first or remove it completely, but for some powders that are meant to go over a polished base(like chrome) there are not a whole lot of options so people take a chance with how long it will last. The condition of the chrome also plays a big role in how long it will last. If the chrome is peeling at all, it is best to have it stripped completely of all chrome before powder coating. The metal underneath will most likely be steel or aluminum. If the chrome is in good shape, you can powder coat it as is after a thorough cleaning, or you can lightly etch it with a sandblaster. Remember, you are just trying to etch the chrome, not blast it off, so lower the pressure and use the blaster at a 45 degree angle to the part. The chrome is completely metallic so it will conduct the charge just fine.

      As far as black chrome goes, there are 2 main types, one is a bonded black chrome which is what I use often, the alternator at the top of this site is bonded black chrome, same with the brake lines on this page. This powder is a solid color, and will look like this no matter what you spray it on. If you are using a bonded black chrome like this, you should definitely consider etching the chrome with a sandblaster or removing it completely as the bonded black chrome will look the same regardless on whether you spray it on chrome or blasted metal. I buy my bonded black chrome from Powder 365 and it is a very nice color, although it has more a grey titanium look than actual black chrome. It also needs a clear top coat to protect it from oxidation.

      The other black chrome is meant to be sprayed over a shiny surface such as chrome, polished aluminum, or powder coat chrome. If you opt for this color, all you want to do to the chrome is thoroughly clean it. Do not etch the chrome if you use this. All it is is basically a black tinted clear. The chrome will still shine through the black tint and this is where the black chrome effect comes from. However, most of these powders tend to show a slight hue of brown or green in them even though they are supposed to just be black. Surprisingly, Eastwood seems to have the best black chrome in this department.

      I hope that answers your questions, feel free to ask more questions as you go along. Thanks for reading!

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  5. Hi Sean, I can see you've been very helpful answering all the questions you've been asked.. I hope you don't mind a few more lol I have recently brought into powdercoating for alloy wheel refurbishment! I have tried a few sets of my own wheels with a clear coat that never seems to sit flat.... Is ther a specific type of clear I should be using to
    Get an even flat finish??
    Hope you can help 😊

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    1. I like xl clear from All Powder Paints, its a full gloss clear and always looks really good. I assume you mean your getting orange peel. If you spray the powder too thin, you'll end up with a tight grainy looking orange peel. If it's too heavy, you'll have a heavy wavy looking orange peel. Depending on what type you are experiencing, try adjusting the amount of powder your spraying on the wheels. Another thing that helps is letting the flow out stage take a little longer in the oven. You can do this by ramping up the oven temperature gradually to the full curing temp. For example, 10 minutes at 200 degrees, 10 minutes at 300 degrees and then do a full cure. Just be cautious as the clearcoat can turn yellow if you accidently over cure it. Definitely do some testing on some scrap metal until you get the finish you want. Let me know how it goes. Thanks for reading.

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  6. Hi Sean I would like to powder my car from top to botton but I don't have those expensive Heat curing lamps any recommendations of how to accomplish the job with little money? Thanks

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    1. Unfortunately, this is a job that can not feasibly be done cheaply. The only right way to do this would be an oven large enough for your entire car to fit into, which is not cheap by any means and if you paid a shop to do it that had a large enough oven, your looking at several thousand dollars. I have, seen a blog somewhere on the web where a guy did coat the frame of his car using propane heaters in one section at a time. However, I do not believe that the powder coat technique he used was controlled enough or consistent enough for the powder coating to be as durable as it would normally be. Even though I love powder coating, I think the best option for you is paint.

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  7. Sean, Thanks for the good information. I have a question about clear coat.

    I too have coverage that is sparatic and ends up in orange peel sometimes. I coat 3 times. I coat,(cool) then put a piece of high temp masking tape to cover a small area I dont want exposed. I then use another color to go over the entire item.

    I seem to have good luck by doing this with the item preheated. If I dont preheat I use alot of the powder.

    So my problem is when I clear coat.

    I clear coat because there are ruff areas where the high temp tape was between the areas where they meet. When I clear coat it becomes smooth. However The items I am coating dont always cooperate and end up with orange peel and areas are missed. I have tried preheating with more success, but not a given.

    So do you think the xl clear would work better for me. I have used a high gloss from the powder coat store.

    Sorry for being winded.
    Todd

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    1. The XL clear definitely lays out very flat with minimal orange peel as long as you aren't shooting it too light or too heavy. However, if you have areas that aren't coated, then the XL clear won't help in this case. Make sure that throughout all of your coats that you ground is touching bare metal on the part. You may have to file off a small area to achieve this ground connection in between each coat. Also if you are not already, grounding with a grounding rod makes multiple coats far easier. Check out my article on "How properly ground your parts" if you are not currently using this setup. It should eliminate the need for preheating, however you are doing 3 coats which is the limit for cheaper guns so it is not guaranteed. If you are spraying your parts hot, especially with clearcoat, is very easy to use too much powder which will result in thick wavy looking orange peel. Avoid this if at all possible. If I ever face problem areas where I can't get the powder to stick on a cool part, then I will take a heat gun just to that area of the part and heat it up to about 200 degrees. Then coat that area, let it all cool back down and coat the rest. It is best to spray these problem areas first before the rest of the part.

      If I were you, I would order some XL clear (it is the only full gloss clear I use), make sure your grounding setup is correct(ground rod to a bare metal spot on your part) and try the process again. A proper ground will help with powder adhesion to the part as well so you will not be wasting as much powder on the floor. Hope that helps. Let me know how it goes and report back. Thanks!

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  8. is it possible to clear coat with powder coat for long lasting coverage for an outside chair to be able to keep the colour it is now but protect it from wear with this powder coat process?

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    1. Yes, clear coat will aid in both protection and preventing wear. For outdoor furniture, the best method is to also shoot a primer before your color. If they are steel or iron, a zinc-rich primer is best. This will give you another layer of protection against rust. What seems to be pretty common when coating patio furniture, is not getting complete coverage and then the patio furniture starts to rust because moisture has a chance to seep in. If you primer first, then shoot a color, and then a clear, you are just about guaranteed that the furniture is completely sealed from any moisture.

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  9. I have a powder coating that is epoxy based. I need the item to be placed outdoors but the UV light will cause the paint to chalk. Can I run a clearcoat over this to protect it from the UV and elements?

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    1. Yes, a UV stable clear coat will protect the epoxy coating.

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  10. anyone know what size scratches can be covered up by flat back uv stable powder i was thinking about scratching a piece of sheet metal sand a spot with every grit sandpaper i have and then coat it and see what sizes show through the solid color

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  11. Powder coating is very good at hiding sanding scratches. It should hide all but the coarsest scratches.

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    1. A trick I use is if you can feel it with your fingernail it will show up in the powder

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  12. What's up dude! Yo I have a problem no been trying to fully repair my Dayton rims but my spokes has so much dust.I've bought acetone, to help that out and to try to get back the mirror effect in it I bought a can of chrome paint and clear gloss paint but I don't know the steps. What should I add first ? Or am I missing something??

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    1. I met to say so much rust. My keyboard isn't acting right

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    2. Hey, I'm not sure what you mean by dust. Also I see you bought a can of chrome and clear paint. Are you referring to powder coating or liquid paid?

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  13. Hello Sean, I have a new art morrison chassis and I want to preserve the "recently machined, welded, scorched" look that it has. It currently has a film of light machine oil from manufacturing/shipping. I'd like to use a clear powder coat that is durable and won't discolor. South east Florida climate. Also if the chassis surface needs to be "roughed up a little" for better adhesion how will that affect the finish after powder coating?. Thanks for your help, Jack F.

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    1. This really depends on what how you will drive it when you finish. If it is going to be constantly garaged and only driven in nice weather, you can possibly get away with minimal prep and using clear powder coat. Otherwise, because of the abuse that chassis's are subjected to from everyday driving, I would recommend nothing less than a sandblasted and powder coated finish. However, sandblasting will completely remove all of the weld bluing and if you clear over it, it will just look grey.

      So, if this is a nice weather only car and you choose to clear it, it should be thoroughly cleaned of all oils. To properly remove them, it should be cleaned several times. The issue with this, is that you will need to dry entire chassis very quickly each time to prevent the chance of any flash rusting. This may not be possible though.

      Then you will have to choose a grit of sandpaper. The sandpaper is to provide some adhesion and also to remove any flash rusting that took place in the cleaning process. Any sandpaper you use is going to leave sanding scratches that are visible through the clear, but the courser they are, the more visible they will be, so do some tests and pick one that you can live with but still provides some adhesion. I'm thinking 600 grit and you can do a swirl pattern like with a DA or you can attempt to hand sand perfectly straight and have a brushed look. Unfortunately, too much sanding will remove the bluing in the metal so it will have too be minimal in those areas.

      Once your happy with the sanding, wipe it down several times with denatured alcohol and you can mask off whatever needs masked off. Then you are ready for powder. I would do 2 to 3 coats of clear to ensure that you have completely sealed the chassis and do partial oven cures for the 1st and 2nd coat so that each coat bonds together.

      Just remember though, a sanded finish will not be as durable as a sandblasted finish so the I would recommend really weighing the pros and cons and deciding from there.

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  14. Sean
    I just start out with powder coating ,I do that with my motor repair shop ,The question what I have can you mix flakes in your powder and shoot it on the part .
    By the way you have a great site love it.

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    1. Thank you, its good to hear that. You can definitely mix metal flakes into the powder. Powder365 even sells these flakes specifically. Here is the link (copy and paste into browser): http://powder365.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=28 . Unfortunately, I cannot say whether these metal flakes are any different than the metal flakes that you would mix into normal automotive paint. Because I don't specifically know, I would use the ones that Powder365 sells.

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    2. Sean
      Thanks so much for your replay ,And let you know how it turns out.
      Sincerely
      Guillaume

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  15. So here's the thing I'm wanting to shoot my motorcycle rims in a candy red, the only problem is that they are black rims and according to this I can't put candy red over black? If this is the case what kind of red could I put over black (if any) to get a candy red look?

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    1. If the wheels are already powder coated in black, then you can add candy red. However, you must first shoot a chrome/silver base coat (the candy color will usually specify) first. Then you can apply the candy on top of it. The candy powder itself will just be a translucent red and if you were to apply it by itself over black, it would appear to be a very very dark red. It may not even be distinguishable from black unless it was in the sun.

      If you wheels are painted black instead of powder coated, I recommend stripping them to bare metal and starting fresh. There are very few instances where you should apply powder coat over paint.

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  16. Very useful page, Sean.
    Have you ever used a brass effect powder coat? Is there such a thing? (I mean a powder coat that actually looks like shiny metal brass plate, rather than the sort of flat gold-ish coat I've seen.)
    Any recommendations?

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    1. Thanks Nigel,
      I have not personally used them but here are 2 that catch my eye (copy and paste links into browser):
      http://www.prismaticpowders.com/colors/P-5159S/TRANSPARENT-BRASS/

      http://www.prismaticpowders.com/colors/PPB-1591/GOLDEN-BRASS/

      The first one will need a chrome base coat or a polished finish on you part.

      Those are about as close as you can get to a brass finish but still won't quite look brass. Unfortunately, no powder coat can really imitate real metals well whether it be the chromes, golds, aluminum, coppers, etc.

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  17. Sean
    Maybe you can help me out I did a part for my bike Lollypop red over chrome so I put the chrome on cure it and shoot the red on , But the red did stick on the part all the way.
    Guillaume

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    1. Because powder coat is attracted to metal because the powder is charged and the part is grounded, the 2nd coats are always a little more difficult. The first coat of powder insulates the part making it harder for the powder particles to attract. The best way to overcome this is with a dedicated grounding rod to ground your parts. Also make sure that the ground is touching bare metal on the part. If you are hanging the part from a hook, file off a little tiny area of powder so that the hook can contact bare metal.

      These articles should help you: (copy and paste into browser)
      Grounding rod: http://www.powdercoatguide.com/2012/12/7-grounding.html#.VswQEdD4WI8

      Spraying Multiple Coats: http://www.powdercoatguide.com/2015/07/spraying-multiple-coats.html#.VswPu9D4WI9

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  18. HI, I am trying to get my motorcycle wheels powder-coated with corkey pink from prismatic colors. I was sent a sample from the company with alien silver base coat. I asked a local shop to do my wheels and they made a sample of the exact same color combo on thicker metal, and it turned out totally different. Meaning it has a darker orange colored hue (which corkey pink has in the sun). It also has what they called picture framing around the edge with a darker color and heavier buildup. They said candy colors are hard to avoid this. I know what I want and trying to achieve but when local shops try on thicker metal its not coming out right. Help

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    1. Some powders are more prone to picture framing and it can usually be corrected by spraying with lower KV.

      As far as the color variations, it can be attributed to a different cure times, different applications thicknesses, humidity, different batch of powder, etc. Differently shaped pieces can also have a drastic effect on how the color looks. The same thing is true if you are spraying a cast piece vs a machined piece.

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  19. hi i am pankaj i want to know tha if we do powder coat same colour in two coat one is matt finish & second is semi glossy so which equipment show the both layer or how we define their is one coat or two coat please replay me on my mail pankaj.abhang@paragempire.com

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  20. Hey Sean,
    Thanks for writing back and going through all these and providing guidance on how to effectively powder coat. I wanted to contribute to the question side, and hopefully you'll be able to direct me in a direction. I'm stripping my motorcycle tank and I wanted to lay a matte grey as the base color, and on top of that I wanted to do a stripe in a gloss.
    Would I need to shoot the gloss color first, mask the stripe off with high temp tape, do a half cure, and then shoot the matte grey over the top, pull the tape and complete the final cure?

    After writing this I don't think I would be able to put high temp down on a half cured coat. Is doing a stripe in gloss even possible with a matte base/everything else color.

    Thanks for your time

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  21. First off, THANK YOU for sharing your expertise with me and other novices. It makes a world of difference for us to connect with someone who has been there and done that. As I get into this, my questions list has grown. I expect to have some trial and error, although we'd prefer to have the error done by others. ;-) I'd like to think my many questions will help plenty who read this.

    • I bought the equipment, 10+ lbs. of paint, etc., although I am finding my first oven, a 55 gallon barrel, may soon be too small. How do you recommend I make one? Can I get something used at a junkyard that I can adapt? I'm thinking a truck bed would be a good source of flat metal. Should it be insulated with fiberglass?

    • I have a propane torch as my source of heat. Is having a 1.5" hole on the bottom near the flame sufficient to provide oxygen? What is the best way to heat the oven? I'm seeing a few people or instructions state that gas should not be used to heat a powder paint oven. I have already returned the heat gun that is supposed to get up to over 1200°. It didn't even get to 200° in the barrel. Do people/instructions recommend against gas because they don't want to be held liable in case someone is foolish?  Is monitoring the temperature on the outside of the barrel with an infrared thermometer a good indication of the temperature on the inside? I understand paints have a built-in protection against leaving them in the oven too long. How about being exposed to say 600° for a period of time?

    • Do I need an in-line evaporator for my air supply from my compressor? Can rust be left on a metal if there is no visible degradation on it, such as if it is stained?

    • What equipment would best be upgraded that will provide a better finish? You mentioned a $300 paint sprayer? For surfaces with a non-conductive surface, such as a ceramic sink, is it possible to increase the static charge to attract the paint more effectively? Will this work with other surfaces, such as plastic?

    • Do you know of a good acid etching agent? Is there anything that can be reused over and over again? I live in California and am severely limited regarding the chemicals used to clean and strip metal. Can't use MEK, xylene, etc. What do you recommend?

    • If I preheat the material, I suspect glass, PVC plumbing pipe, pottery, ceramic and porcelain would powder coat well, is that right? Is PVC static electricity conductive enough to not require preheating? Any interesting nonconductive materials you have tried? I have a porcelain covered metal sink. Can it be painted via standard static attraction or does it require preheating? Possibly a mixture of both techniques? How thick of a coating over metal will allow me to still do the static electricity attraction method, if any? Once the grounding clamp has been disconnected and the static electricity has left the item, is the paint more susceptible to falling off? I don't need to take off factory sprayed powder paint to change the color or add a clearcoat, do I?  It will work as long as it still conducts electricity?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my (our) questions!

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    1. You're welcome, I'm glad you are finding some useful info on the site. As far as your questions go:

      - There is an oven build guide on this site for building a very nice professional style powder coating oven. Scroll through the articles on the left hand side and you'll see "How to Build a Powder Coating Oven". If you are looking for something a little more readily made that can be adapted to an oven, then there are lots of choices. I have seen people uses fridges, freezers, steel cabinets, filing cabinets, multiple household ovens bolted together with their insides joined, etc. A truck bed could definitely be a possibility with some ingenuity. Whatever you use, you'll most likely still need to build an inner or outer shell so there are two layers of metal and fill the space between with either fiberglass or rock wool insulation. This is very important for maintaining constant temperatures inside the oven. Without it, you'll have huge swings in temps and it will require more heat than is needed to get the inside of the oven up to temp as a lot of the heat will be lost to the surrounding air.

      - I couldn't tell you what size hole is needed for a propane torch. That's something you'll most likely have to experiment with or search around for others experiences. One of the most common way to heat medium to large sized ovens is with electric heating elements like those found in a household oven. You you can wire them to a PID controller which is used to control the elements. Gas fired ovens are also fairly common and are safe as long as you avoid unsafe practices like spraying powder inside the oven as it is lit. Powder clouds in the air can be flammable but as long as your work area has some decent ventilation or space, you can spray powder in one area and then have your oven in another area safely. The reason why Eastwood and Craftsman powder coating systems say not to use gas ovens is most likely to avoid people being stupid and burning down their garage but it can be safe and when ovens get very large, gas is the only option. Reading the temp from the outside of the barrel is not an accurate way to measure the temp inside of the barrel. For best results, you should have either a thermometer or a thermocouple measuring the air temperature inside of the barrel and you should be taking your IR temp readings directly from the parts. Most powders are overbake stable but 600 degrees is way too much. If a powder cured at 400 degrees, I would not let it get over 425. At 600 degrees, the durability of the powder is likely compromised and the colors will most likely be tinted yellow or brown. Having a controllable accurate oven is very important for powder coating. I understand doing things on a budget, but I definitely recommend you get your oven dialed in a little better if you want to produce good results.

      - You will definitely need some form of moisture removal between the powder coating gun and the air compressor. Moisture will cause defects in the finish if it gets into gun. I highly recommend reading my article titled "How to Dry Compressed Air" for a full explanation of why this is important as well as several different methods of correcting it from very cheap to decently expensive. No rust of any type should be left on the metal before powder coating. Powder coating likes completely clean, dry, bare metal that has either been sandblasted or treated with a phosphate wash such as iron or zinc phosphate. I highly recommend sandblasting all of your parts before powder coating. It is a quick process and not too expensive to set up if you already have a decent size compressor.




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    2. - In your specific case, I would recommend spending some money on a more accurate oven and a sandblaster to thoroughly clean and etch your parts. A better gun transfers more powder to the part, adds adjustability to apply different types of powders, and will allow you to more easily spray powder in the hard to reach areas (faraday cage areas). The price you pay for the gun depends on your budget and what you plan on using it for. If you are doing some coating for yourself every once in awhile, you can get away with the Eastwood type guns. If you are coating a lot, you can step up to a Redline EZ50 or Hypersmooth powder coating gun. If you are planning to do work for others, a Hypersmooth would be the bare minimum but you should really go to a professional gun.

      As far as coating non-metallic objects, no amount of kilovolts will help the powder attract to the part as they will not conduct a charge. The way to apply powder to these items is by pre-heating the part first and then coating it warm. The powder will partially melt as it hits the part and there is what allows it to stick.

      -I would recommend mechanical etching such as sandblasting as my first choice. If you must use a chemical pre-treatment, then I would recommend the One-Step Iron Phosphate from Powder365.com found in the Chemical section. You must still thoroughly clean your parts and remove any rust, oxides, and existing coatings before using the Iron Phosphate though. That is another reason why I recommend sandblasting.


      - Pottery, ceramic, and porcelain would all powder coat well and they would all require pre-heating. PVC has a melting point of about 320 degrees F so it would not be suitable for powder coating. As for the sink, that is an interesting one, as long as the coating of porcelain is not too thick, it is possible it may attract the powder as long as you ground to the metal part of the sink. However, it is very likely that you will need to preheat it. In my experience the powder does not fall off any more easily once disconnected from ground.

      The powder really does not fall off at all unless you blow on it or physically touch it.

      It is highly recommended to strip any existing coatings off before you powder coat. If you powder coat over an existing coating, the powder coat will only be as durable as the coating is applied to.

      Powder coat will attract even through other layers of powder coat, but the ground must still touch a bare metal portion of the part. Usually this is done by filing the inside edge of a hole where it hangs on the hook to bare metal. Also with each layer of powder, the powder becomes more difficult to apply, especially with cheaper powder coating guns. Every layer of powder coat insulates the ground. I highly recommend grounding your parts with a grounding rod (there is an article for that on this site as well). However, the grounding rod can only do so much and you are limited to 2-3 coats with a hobby level gun.

      I hope that answers all of your questions. I definitely recommend that you do some more research on powder coating and don't be afraid to do some trial and error on junk pieces. Luckily powder is cheap and goes a long way so you can do plenty of testing. I also recommend you read through all of the articles on this site, as they cover everything I said but with a lot more detail. Good luck!

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  22. Sean,

    I had a question regarding polyester vs urethane powders. I plan to coat my rims with Forged Charcoal from Prismaticpowders, and then a top coat of Matte Tinted Clear (also from Prismatic). When looking at the tech sheets for both, I found that The Forged Charcoal is a Urethane powder, and the Matte Tinted Clear is a Polyester powder.

    Will there be any problem with using a Polyester top coat over a Urethane base? Or can I just do the normal 60-75% cure on the Urethane base and top it with the Polyester coat for the final cure?

    Thanks!
    JB

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately there can be comparability issues between polyester and urethane powders, usually resulting in a milky looking appearance. If you do decide to try the two powders, I would do a test piece and fully cure the Forged Charcoal before shooting the clear.

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. Hello. I am having a very hard time finding a Dark Grey Zinc Phosphate color. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Here are a few candidates but it's hard to say without seeing the exact color you're looking for.

      (Copy and paste link to browser)
      http://www.prismaticpowders.com/colors/PTB-2683/WROUGHT-IRON-II/

      http://www.prismaticpowders.com/colors/PSB-6515/LORGE-GREY/

      http://www.prismaticpowders.com/colors/PSS-2243/HARBOR-GREY/

      If thats not what you're looking for, try going Prismatic powders and searching grey.

      Hope that helps.

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    2. Thanks. I have a picture of the part color I'm trying to replicate, but I cannot paste it here.

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  25. hey sean. love your site, and appreciate you taking the time out of your day to answer questions. i shot candy for the first time last night. i was going for candy gold. it came out amber in areas. is that because of too much powder? i did a full cure on the chrome, and backed the kv down. this made it hard to stick, so i may have laid down too much trying to get it to stick.
    also, what do you say to people that swear you spray candies at 180 degrees?

    thank you, brad

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, its always good to hear. Generally any time you run into color issues with a candy powder coat, it is due to an incorrect coating thickness, either to thin or too thick. In your case, it is probably to thick if you felt that you were applying too much. Whenever you are doing more than one coat, the powder will be harder to apply as the grounded part is electrically insulated due to the layer of powder. That is why people sometimes preheat the parts to aid the powder in sticking. This can work as long as it is done carefully. Spraying powder while the part is hot can easily lead to too much thickness as well but sometimes it is necessary if you aren't using a mid-level to pro powder coating gun.

      I would recommend practicing on some scrap metal to find which method works best for you. Also, if you are not using a grounding rod, they help quite a bit with getting the powder to stick, especially when spraying multiple coats.

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    2. thank you, sir

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  26. Sean-do you do powder coating for customers?

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    Replies
    1. I occasionally do depending on my schedule at the time and what kind of job it is. If you are interested, you can use the "contact us" tab at the top of the page to send me the details. Not making any promises though as I usually don't have a whole lot of time left at the end of the week.

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  27. Curious about doing wheels and brake parts. I got some brake cleaner on some powder coated parts, it melted the powder coating. Not happy! Is there a powder available that will stand up to brake cleaner?

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    Replies
    1. Powder coating is resistant to a lot of chemicals but brake cleaner and a few others can ruin the appearance. Epoxy powders are the most chemical resistant but they are not UV stable. I would recommend avoiding brake cleaner on any powder coated parts in the future. The best mindset is to treat it just like the paint on your car. Soap and water to clean it, wax to protect it(not on brake parts). Hope that helps in the future.

      I also want to mention that if the powder is under cured, it would be much less resistant to chemicals than it should be.

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  28. Hi,
    It would be really helpful of you all to go through the following and reply.

    What percentage of Powder based coatings are used in the following products for automotive applications :

    1) Primer
    2) Electrocoat
    3) Basecoat
    4) Clearcoat

    What is the ratio for using powder coating on the following substrates in automotive applications:

    1) Metal
    2) Plastics

    A rough estimate would be really helpful.

    Thanks, Kunal Ahuja

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to this. I know that come automotive companies use clear powder coat on their wheels. I also know that e-coat is commonly used on body panels before painting. I could not tell you percentages though.

      As for metal vs plastics, I would say metal is powder coated about 100% more than plastic in a manufacturing application.

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  29. email sent, thanks Sean

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  30. Hey Sean I just wanted to know if it matters if you mix different brands of powder when doing multiple coats? If I use one brand for the first coat, will it matter if I use a different brand for the clear coat?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does not matter if you mix brands. Most powders are compatible with each other. However, one of the incompatible combinations is top coating super durable powders with anything as they tend not to adhere.

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  31. Just curious if chrome clear coated factory wheels can be easily powder coated? I spoke to a powder coating company over the phone quickly and he mentioned that these type of wheels maybe harder to powder coat or possibly non achievable...Any input regarding my shiny bright chrome clear coated rims will be much appreciated :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not heard of clear coating chrome wheels and I don't know what chrome plating process your wheels have undergone. However, traditionally, if the chrome is in good shape, you can clean it thoroughly with denatured alcohol and powder coat them. This would be the best way to do it if you were using a candy powder coat. The chrome would give the candy powder coat a very nice shine.

      If you are wanting to powder coat your wheels a solid color, then it would be best to either prep or have the chrome plating removed. If the chrome is in good condition and not chipping, you can lightly sandblast it to give it some profile for the powder coating to stick to. Not all chrome is the same though, if you start blasting the wheels and the chrome starts flaking, then it would be best to bring the wheels to a shop that does chrome plating and pay to have them strip the chrome.

      Either route you take, if you plan on powder coating the wheels, if there is clear coat on the wheels, it should be stripped prior to powder coating. Hope that helps!

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  32. Looking to paint my HD Lowrider with pre flattend low gloss black paint (Hot Rod Flatz). Can you duplicate in a powder for the frame. Thanks, Jim

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    Replies
    1. I could recommend some powders that would be a close match, but I don't know of a perfect match out there. These are 2 of matte blacks that I use frequently and they are very hard to distinguish from each other. I think both would be very close to Hod Rod Flatz from TCP Global. It might be best to order some small .5lb samples and spray some test panels to see which one you think matches the best.

      Black magic: http://powder365.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_19&products_id=215

      Tuscan Matte Black: http://powder365.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_19&products_id=216

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  33. hello, I have a customer that wants the large polyflake glitter with a clear over it. it is not recommended to use the spray gun because of the size of the polyflake. any ideas of how to apply the polyflake before I spray the clear?

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  34. Sean, thanks for educating me on Powder Coating! Great site!

    I have a number of folks that have expensive cookware that has Teflon surface, they keep asking if I could sandblast it off and coat the surface with something else that is non-stick. I don't know. Is there anything us coaters can do? I understand some coatings need special expensive flame equipment just to put it on.
    Merry Christmas
    Russ

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    Replies
    1. There are food grade powder coatings available that I have seen used on the exterior of pans, but as far as the interior, I only ever see bare, Teflon coated, or ceramic coated. I don't have any idea how they are applied but judging by the durability of the finish, I am assuming it is either a 2 part product or applied while heated.

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  35. Hi, I have question regarding "Eastwood Dual Voltage HotCoat Powder Coat Coating Gun"
    Generaly, there are two types of coating powder application - electrostatic application and tribostatic application. Could you please tell me which method use the Eastwood gun?

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  36. Hi Sean, I've poured through your site and others, and can't find a clear answer - I'm trying to figure out what type of powder coating paint is "food safe". Basically, I'll be powder coating tumblers so I want to make sure I'm using non-toxic/food safe paint/finish.
    Any info would be greatly appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are FDA approved powders that deemed to be food safe. They are all epoxy type powders. Powder by the Pound sells FDA approved powders in a couple different colors. If you would like a larger selection, you will likely have to contact the powder coat manufacturers and order a large quantity. These include PPG, Sherwin Williams, Tyger Drylac, etc.

      It is worth noting that many people use just standard powders to coat tumblers and I have yet to hear of any issues as the inside is always masked off. It is entirely up to you though if you want to take that extra precaution.


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  37. Has anyone ever considered using an old chest freezer as a curing oven? Obviously with modifications but am curious as to the viability

    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I haven't specifically seen anyone use a chest freezer but I have seen lots of people convert stand-up freezers and refrigerators into powder coating ovens. A chest freezer wouldn't be much different if it has the dimensions you are looking for. Google "fridge" or "freezer powder coating oven" and you will see lots builds out there.

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  38. Sean I have been using your powder paint to flock fishing jigs and the finish is outstanding. I'm thinking of using translucent powder with a chrome base coat, after I do the base coat and let it dry am I able to heat the jig again and flock the translucent paint? Will I get the same results?
    Thanks, Evan

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that is the correct method. One thing to keep in mind when spraying a top coat over chrome is to ensure that the chrome is fully cured and then let it cool back down to room temperature. I posted exact step-by-step instructions for this in my article titled "Spraying Multiple Coats". I highly recommend giving that read.

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  39. I need to powdercoat raw aluminum with a high gloss (90) black. I have seen examples from other coaters, and they look like glass throughout. I am certain there is a technique a beginner like me doesn't know, but I have an enormous opportunity requiring the end product to look like this. I sandblast, clean, rub with either acetone or alcohol, then gas it. The powder I use is PPG high gloss black. Mine comes out with a little "texture" to it that can only be removed by lightly sanding and re-coating. Help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my experience, getting gloss black to look like glass is all about getting the right amount of powder on the part. Too little powder and it will have a texture, too much powder and there will be larger waves. I have had good experience shooting a very light initial coat, curing it just until the powder starts to look wet, then immediately taking it out of the oven and applying another very very light coat, and then doing a full cure. Whenever I do this method, I end up with completely glass-smooth gloss black. It also helps to cover up any edgepull that seems to be common with gloss blacks. Super Durable Mirror Black is my go-to gloss black color but I would recommend trying this with your current PPG powder to see what type of results you get.

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  40. Mr Castle, We had a customer request we use a Polyurethane - Roman Gold base and apply a Polyester black smoke clear top coat. We did a sample plate and it turned out nice. We did an adhesion test and it passed. The customer approved and we proceeded with the order. The customer went to trim a panel during the installation and our topcoat peeled off like wrapping paper. We checked the other pieces and the base coat was fine but the top coat was delaminating and could easily be removed with a razor blade. We used a partial cure for the base and a full cure after the smoke transparent clear was applied. Do you have any suggestions on how we can correct the problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would ensure that the top coats are actually being fully cured, maybe even keep the parts in the oven for an extra 3-5 minutes after the recommended cure schedule to ensure they are fully cured. Do that and do another adhesion test. Also make sure that you are not contaminating the base coat with anything in between coats. Only handle with bare gloves, etc. If you still have problems, I would say that the powders are incompatible.

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  41. Hello,
    I'm trying to do a transparent gold powder coat on my steel bike frame. I have shined up the steel as much as I can. I'm hoping to not spray the chrome bass coat as the shop will charge me twice as much, and I like the idea of being able to potentially see some of the flaws in the frame. Will this work? Will it just be a touch less shiny?

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  42. Hi,
    I got few question about the powder coating color.
    1) Is black powder coating (without texture) cosmetic easier to control compare to white powder coating (with texture)? Why?
    2) Is white powder coating with texture cosmetic easier to control compare to white powder coating (without texture)? Why?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not exactly sure what you mean by easy to control but I'll answer the questions assuming you mean easiest to spray.

      Normal powders are easier to spray than textured powders. The textured powders need to be sprayed thicker than normal powders in order to achieve the texture. In general, black is easier than white, but only because white can yellow if you over bake. With all else being equal, there is not a huge difference.

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    2. Hi,
      Thanks for reply. What i mean is easy to control the cosmetic defect. Powder coating with texture VS powder coating without texture, which one will has less cosmetic defect?

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  43. Got here through Google. Beautiful guide! Been researching powder coating for several days now.

    I'm looking to powder coat a washing machine part called a spider arm. Can't upload a pic and not sure if posting a link is permitted, so i guess you will have to Google it. It's a die cast aluminum arm which holds and spins the drum on a front load washer. The drum is where you put your clothes. Both the drum and spider are housed in a sealed plastic tub that fills with water, soap, bleach, dirt...and anything else you decide to put in your laundry.

    The thing with these spider arms is that over time (very short period of time), they corrode and break. You can image Google "spider arm corrosion" to get an idea. Mine gave up in just 3 years. The theory is, soap, dirt (bio-film), alkaline conditions are what cause it to fail.

    I just got a new spider arm that i am about to install, But before i do, i would like to powder coat it. I initially wanted to paint it with a 2k epoxy, but then i heard powder coating is more superior - I am open to suggestions.
    Obviously, my goal is to form a lasting barrier between the spider and what is causing it to corrode (soap, bio-film...etc.) so i could get more life out of it.

    This is where i am confused. What kind of powder coating should i go with? I am learning there are many. Thermoset or thermoplastic? Fluidized bed method by heating the part, or electrostatic fluidized bed method? And if fluidized bed method instead of spraying, then what kind of powder...nylon? PCV? If using a gun, then again...what kind of powder?... Epoxy? polyester etc.?
    What about pre-treatment? I hear conversion coating is best...but what kind?... Phosphate? Chromate? Oxide?

    The conditions the spider will be in is basically aquatic - lots of soap and water, occasional bleach, and heat (100c/212f).

    Really appreciate any point in the right direction.

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  44. Great article. Definitely will be using some of your ideas in my build. Any thoughts on using 5/8 fire rated drywall to skin the outside? This would save some $.

    ReplyDelete