Powder coating traces its roots back to 1940s Germany when a fluid bed process was created to apply thermostatic resins. Modern electrostatic processing of powder coating, however, didn’t make its debut until the 1960s. Today, powder coating is preferred over wet painting for its many benefits. Contract metal manufacturers that offer in-house powder coating provide even more significant benefits to their customers.
What Is Powder Coating?
Powder coatings contain a mixture of polymer resins, pigments, curative additives, leveling agents, and flow modifiers that are melted together, cooled, and then ground into a powder that will be used to coat the part. To ensure proper adhesion, the process requires the bare metal component to be pretreated so it is clean and dry before coating. A spray gun electrostatically charges the powder so the powder is attracted to the clean grounded metal part when applied. After the powder is applied, the parts are cured in an oven where the high heat causes the coating components to chemically react and form long molecular chains that are resistant to break down.
Powder coating provides metal products with a high-quality, durable colored finish that resists scratches, abrasions, fading, and chips from impacts, moisture, chemicals, UV light, and extreme weather conditions. When applied correctly, powder coating provides a uniform coating with no streaking or running, like can happen with wet paint. Powder can usually be applied in greater thickness than paint, which tends to build more heavily on the edges of components, resulting in blunt and better-protected corners and ends.
Another benefit of powder coating over paint is its reduced environmental impact. Powder coating doesn’t use volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or toxic heavy metals that can be found in paints. Because of the electrostatic nature of the process, there is high utilization of material, and what little overspray there may be can often be collected and recycled.
Benefits To In-House Powder Coating
The two main benefits to partnering with a contract metal manufacturer that can powder coat in-house comes down to quality and time savings, both of which can impact costs. In addition, if sending parts to a third party incurs shipping charges, these costs are likely being passed on to you.
In-house powder coating gives the manufacturer quality consistency. If the manufacturer has a robust quality system in place, whether they are manufacturing or powder coating, you will receive the same level of quality. If the parts are outsourced, the level of quality may be lesser, resulting in irregular thickness, adhesion problems, surface defects, color mismatch, or damage.
Having an in-house powder coating process also saves time and helps to ensure project deadlines are met. Manufacturers can schedule the powder coating to occur immediately after fabrication, which can be particularly important if a rush job is needed. However, if the parts are sent to a third-party finisher, the fabricator has no control over the powder coater’s schedule and may face additional delays beyond those created by shipping products back and forth.
If consistent quality and on-time delivery are important to you, stick with a metal fabricator that has in-house powder coating capabilities.
Choose Tusco Manufacturing For Your Metal Fabrication And Powder Coating Needs
At Tusco Manufacturing, we pride ourselves on finding a better way to solve complex sheet metal fabrication challenges. As a one-stop-shop, we can take your project from design through shipment, resulting in lower total costs, less handling, and fewer vendors to manage.
We are an ISO 9001:2015 certified manufacturer with a 96.3 percent on-time delivery record (2020), so you know your project will stay on schedule and adhere to your quality standards at every step of the process.
We offer durable, environmentally compliant finishes with in-house powder coating. Our system relies on an 800 ft overhead monorail conveyor to provide continuous cleaning and coating of products. Pretreatment consists of a three-stage iron phosphate spray washer and a gas-fired dry-off oven. Each finish is electrostatically applied and baked in a gas-fired curing oven.
We offer powder coatings in a large variety of colors, metallics, and textures.
If you are interested in learning more about our capabilities or have a sheet metal project you’d like to discuss, we’d love to talk. Connect with one of our experts today ar 716-250-7813.