Metal Finishes: Comparing Powder Coatings and Surface Painting

Posted on: 21 December 2017

Surface coating is essential for products manufactured using reactive metals such as carbon steel and iron. In general, if these materials are left unprotected, the surface will react with moisture and oxygen. As a result, the metal will rust or become corroded. Finishing coatings are critical because they serve as functional barriers for the pertinent products. They prevent interaction between the vulnerable metal structure and the external corroding factors.

In addition, you should remember that the application of a finishing coat will enhance the appeal of the fabricated item. If you are planning on using a surface finish for the first time on your metal products, you should think about using powder coating or paint. Both options will form a protective layer over the reactive metal, preventing rust and corrosion. If you are torn between the two choices, consider the short comparison below before making your decision.

Coating Performance

Surface finishes are intended for protecting the metal from environmental damage. Therefore, you should compare the performance properties of the different coatings as barrier before selection. Typically, powder coatings perform better as protective layers than wet paint. The powder coating is applied by applying free flowing particulate plastics on metal and then curing with heat. Therefore, the coating is not susceptible to chipping and scratching because of the strong bond. Painting is also a reliable choice, but the layer is vulnerable to damage when exposed to adverse conditions.

Colour Matching

If the visual appeal of your fabricated metal products is important, you must be careful when choosing your finishing process. For instance, you should be diligent in your selection if you want to use a specific hue or shade to match your company's image. Both powder coats and painting products are available in diverse colours. However, the painting option is unrivalled in colour matching. Paint products are available in countless shades, and you can mix different paints to come up with unique colours. On the other hand, powder coatings are usually available in standard colours. Custom colours would require the production of fresh plastic powders through a special production run.

Financial Implications

You should think about the cost and price of choosing either wet paint or powder coating for your finishing processes. The outright purchase and application price of paint is lower than that of powder coatings. Therefore, if you immediate budget is limited, painting might be the best option. However, powder coating is cheaper if you consider the long-term cost implications. Unlike paint, you will not need to retouch for optimal performance. 

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Ian's Guide to the Industrial Sector

Hi! My name is Ian and this is my guide to the industrial sector. I do not work in the sector myself but ever since I was a boy, I have loved the idea of seeing heavy industry at work, manufacturing the goods and products our country needs. My passion started when I visited my dad's workplace when I was a boy. My dad worked in a large industrial plant on the outskirts of Perth. I was so impressed at the sound and the large machines and the energy of the place. Although I didn't get a job in the industrial sector, I still take a very keen interest in it.

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