The modern manufacturing process involves many diverse steps, from roller burnishing to laser cutting to grinding off metal burrs. Many products also need to get materials coated onto them near the end of the manufacturing process, and this includes varnish or paint for wood, paint on metal, and liquid powder coating, too. The best powder coating offers a variety of important advantages over regular paint, and the use of liquid powder coating is becoming more and more popular among American manufacturers. So, why get a powder coating, such as for a motor vehicle or a home appliance, and what are powder coatings? For the sake of work efficiency, product quality, and the natural environment, liquid powder coating is becoming the industry standard in many sectors.
Liquid Powder Coating and Industry
Powder coating has not made paint entirely obsolete, but it is becoming popular, and is being used more than ever. Right now, powder coating is a dry finishing process that makes up just over 15% of the overall industrial finishing market, and statistics show that from 2016 to 2021, the coating industry’s demand will grow 3% per year in the United States. In fact, the global powder coating market is expected to reach a value of $12.48 billion sometime in 2020. Right now, general industrial coating (and automotive coating) dominate the industry for powder coating, but from 2014 to 2020 or so, the demand for powder coating for furniture is expected to grow 7.6%. And finally, take note that the appliance industry is the single biggest part of the powder coating market, representing one third of all industrial parts that get powder coating applied to them.
Using Liquid Powder Coating
Powder coating is a variation of applying paint to a product or component’s surface, and coating serves two overall purposes: decoration, and protection of that item’s surface (typically metal). These materials are environmentally friendly for workers and the natural world alike, since powder coatings do not even have solvents in them, and they have very low amounts of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in them. This is one reason why demand for liquid powder coating application has been growing regularly. Many industries are working hard to reduce pollution of all kinds, and liquid powder coating can help reduce air pollution.
Powder coatings are not runny liquids like paint or varnish; they are 100% solids, and do not need solvents to be applied. Instead, workers use pressurized, handheld spray devices to apply liquid powder to an object’s surface, and heat is then applied to bake that liquid powder into a hard, paint-like surface. The liquid powder, when applied with compressed air, is electrostatically charged to help keep it cohesive. When heated in an oven, powder coatings become a liquid, and then become a solid again, ready for use once the product cools off.
Liquid powder coatings can be highly appealing to the eye, especially since a liquid powder coat (such as on a car or motorcycle) will not flake and chip off like paint does. Meanwhile, the protective qualities of liquid powder coating means the object’s surface will not be exposed to harmful UV rays, scratches, or corrosive materials. For this reason, liquid powder coating is typically applied to objects that are used outdoors, to protect them from the elements.
Of course, liquid powder coating is not perfect; it works best when the material is cleaned thoroughly first, typically with the use of solvents. Once the (probably metal) surface is cleaned and treated with chemicals, the liquid powder coating layers will adhere to it better. The surface needs to be completely dry and cool before any powder coating is applied to it.