Powder coating is an increasingly popular option for finishing fabricated metal parts and products, offering quality results at cost-efficient prices. As a popular custom metal fabrication finishing option, powder coating is standard on most industrial equipment and suitable for many commercial projects. It uses a high-voltage electrical charge to fuse the dry powder to a variety of sheet metals, providing excellent adhesion and enhanced durability to many raw materials.
Below, we explore several questions to help you determine whether powder coating is the right choice for your project.
How does powder coating work?
Sheet metal is coated with dry powder and then zapped with electricity to achieve uniform coverage, Curing helps achieve optimal smoothness. Depending on the product’s purpose, this can enhance its appearance, functionality, and/or affordability. Powder coating creates a harder finish than traditional paint and provides a broader range of colors for branding and custom design. This manufacturing method is suitable for various metals, including cost-efficient options.
What metals are best for powder coating?
Powder coating creates a malleable finish, making it a durable option. Below are some of the most common metals treated with powder coating:
- Stainless steel
- Electroplated steel
- Mild steel
Some metals are not suitable for powder coating, and it should never be applied over rust or damaged materials. Talk to your fabrication team about the best finishing solution for your project. Be sure to check your industry’s ISO standards for design, material, and finish requirements.
Are there disadvantages to powder coating?
Powder coating is not ideal for all metal fabrication projects. This is because UV light can deteriorate coverage and durability, making it unstable when exposed to direct sunlight. This can necessitate challenging touch-ups, and thin coats can be difficult to apply.
How long does powder coating last on metal?
High quality powder coating for metal fabrication has a typical lifespan of about 20 years, depending on the processes selected. Unlike metal surfaces that are treated with conventional paint, powder-coated metals can maintain their integrity in the face of high temperatures and environmental exposure. Most powders are resistant to weathering, corrosion, and harsh industrial chemicals.
What metals cannot be powder coated?
Some metals aren’t conducive to powder coating during any stage of fabrication. Materials not suitable include non-conductive metals and those that are unresponsive to electrical charge. These metals contain fillers or other ingredients that can alter their chemical makeup.
Is powder coating less expensive than paint?
While powder coating metals involves higher initial costs, it can reduce overall costs in the long run by supporting short lead times, tight budgets, and high quality standards. Powder coating can help protect metal parts and create a smooth, even appearance.
Reach out to an industry expert to get more information on whether powder coating is the right choice for your design and discuss the pros and cons of this process. KRYTON has more than 40 years of experience fabricating metal parts. Learn more about our proven process, or subscribe to our blog for more insider tips.