Whether you choose powder coating or paint for a metal surface, both options have their pros and cons. Before deciding anything, however, it is essential to understand these pros and cons before you can make an informed decision. In this article, you will learn about not only the differences in the two processes but also what makes them good and bad options.
Why is a coat necessary at all?
The coating is essential to prevent corrosion by protecting the metal part from exposure to water and oxygen. By covering the metal surface with a thin layer of paint or powder coating, its vital properties are protected by a barrier.
The industrial application techniques used for both processes are similar despite the coats being quite different. In both processes, pre-treatment is needed.
Before applying any coating, clean the object or surface thoroughly to remove any dirt, oil or moisture. These substances can interfere with how the coating adheres to the surface.
After cleaning the surface, you can then follow either of these processes, depending on what you’re using.
Powder coating process
The method involves shooting the dry powder through an electrostatic gun on to the metal exterior. The dust picks up a negative charge from the gun, and that negatively charged powder is attracted to the grounded metal. As a result,the powder quickly adheres to the metal.
You can use sandblasting and powder coating techniques together for a better effect. Using both techniques is a common process for preparing various types and forms of metal. The sandblasting can smooth the surface.
After the coating reaches the desired thickness, the coated piece is placed in a curing oven where the heat creates thermal bonds between the powder particles, which gives a smooth and hard finish.
Liquid paint is distributed in a fine spray using specialist equipment. As with powder coating, the paint is also electrostatically charged but to a lesser degree.
Whereas, powder coating forms an even coat with ease, liquid paint can be more difficult to use. It should be applied by trained experts to avoid dripping.
Some wet paints can be air dried, but some need to put in a curing oven.
Pros and Cons
Now you understand how the paint is applied using both methods, you can understand the pros and cons for each. This will help you in selecting the best one for your needs.
Powder coating pros:
- More durable: It creates a thick and adhesive finish that lasts longer than the typical coat of spray paint. If you compare both of them, powder coating is superior.
- Eco-friendly: It is eco-friendly as there is a lack of toxins and less waste during application.
- Diverse: There are a range colors and you can mix powders beforehand.
- Fast: You can complete the process in a single application, so the process is quick and efficient.
- Good material utilization: Solvents are not used sono powder is lost to the atmosphere during the application process. Its material utilization rate is 100%.
Powder coating cons:
- It can be tough to match metallic paint colors.
- It can be difficulty to apply a thin coat.
- It can be expensive to keep the oven running.
- You can’t coat the rubber surfaces as the heat of the oven will melt the rubber.
- Final touches can be hard to make.
- Durable and superior protection: The best-selling point of a paint coating is its excellent durability and superior protection. It can increase the lifespan of the surface by protecting it from UV damage, bird droppings, hard water and other contaminants. It also tends to be more chemical resistant than other coatings. It stands up to environmental disasters as well.
- Greater usability: As the paint does not need to go into an oven to dry, you can paint surfaces that cannot be exposed to high heats.
- Color and texture: There are a wide variety of color options and it is useful for a wider assortment of products and signage. You can also make custom colors.
- Diversity: You can more easily choose the thickness of a coat. For instance, it is more suitable for a surface or object that only requires a thin coat.
- Economical: It is more straightforward process and more affordable for many consumers.This makes it more ideal for a range of projects.
- It lacks the durability of a powder coating finish and touch-ups will be required overtime.
- The paint leaves trace marks, so it can take multiple coats to achieve a smooth finish.
- It can be difficult to achieve an even thickness.
The choice between either method depends on the needs of the project and the material you are using. There is no argument that both are long lasting, durable and create an excellent finished product.