Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as a free flowing dry powder. The main difference between a conventional liquid paint and a powder coating is that the powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. The coating is typically applied electrostatically and is then cured in an oven, typically 200 degrees), to allow it to flow and form a "skin". Powder coating is usually used to create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint. Powder coating is mainly used for coating of metals, such as gates, railings, automobile and bicycle parts. Newer technologies allow other materials, such as MDF to be powder coated using different methods.
There are several advantages of powder coating over conventional liquid coatings:
- Powder coatings emit zero or near zero volatile organic compounds (VOC)
- Powder coatings can produce much thicker coatings than conventional liquid coatings without running or sagging.
- Powder coating over spray can be recycled and thus it is possible to achieve nearly 100% use of the coating Powder coating production lines produce less hazardous waste than conventional liquid coatings.
- Capital equipment and operating costs for a powder line are generally less than for conventional liquid lines.
- Powder coated items generally have fewer appearance differences between horizontally coated surfaces and vertically coated surfaces than liquid coated items.
- A wide range of speciality effects is easily accomplished which would be impossible to achieve with other coating processes.