If you are thinking about buying some kind of metal product such as a new fence, and you want to know if paying more money for powder coating is worth it, you first need to understand what this process is and how it may offer you value. So to help you out, here are the answers to some common questions people have about powder coating, including an explanation of the electrostatic process used to bond the coating to metal surfaces.
What is Powder Coating? -- Powder coating is a process in which a finish is applied to different kinds of material (mostly metals). The finish is composed of small particles that are often described as miniscule pieces of dry paint. This coating is applied to the material's surface and then baked in an oven that is set to a high temperature. The baking process melts the coating and fuses it to the top layer of the material, creating a finish that dries almost immediately when the material is removed from the oven. Once the baking is completed, there is no wait time for the finish, as it is ready for shipment.
What Is Meant By 'Electrostatic'? -- When manufacturers are applying the coating, they use a method known as electrostatic powder coating, in which a spray gun creates an electrostatic charge to the powder coating that generates an electrical 'attraction.' The metal surface that is going to be coated is grounded with a wire so that the instant the electrically charged powder touches the surface, the electrical attraction between the powder and the metal creates a powerful fusion. The power of this electrostatic attraction results in an application of powder coating that is more thorough than the standard method of applying wet finish to a surface.
Are There Design Options With Powder Coating? -- Yes. Many manufacturers are now offering buyers textured powder coating that has a rougher, more rustic appearance. There is also powder coating that contains different streaks of colour throughout the surface that offers you a more distinct appearance, and you can even custom-order powder that glows in the dark.
What Are the Benefits of Powder Coating? -- Powder coating is rust-resistant, weather-resistant and offers outstanding protection against scratches, wear and tear and fading. And because powder coating is baked into the material, it will last much longer than standard paint, and it won't flake off the way paint does, because of the electrostatic bonding process.
Remember that powder coating isn't available on all surfaces, because the baking process is so hot that many materials can't withstand it. Typically, powder coating is used on metal material, though manufacturers are having some success with thermo-plastic and wood surfaces.