Frequently Asked Questions
We answer some common questions about powder coating.
Use these quick links to scroll to a specific question and answer about powder coating.
- How does the powder coating process work?
- How long does powder coating take?
- How much does powder coating cost?
- What’s the difference between powder coating and high-heat ceramic coating?
- Is powder coating better than paint or other coatings?
How does the powder coating process work?
Metallic objects are most conducive to powder coating, non-metallic objects are not usually powder coated.
The first step in powder coating an object is preparing the surface. This means stripping the surface of any existing coatings, rust, or corrosion, usually via abrasive blasting. An etch pattern is created on the substrate, so the coating can have proper adhesion. Depending on the type of metal, the object may also be chemically treated or cleaned to neutralize the surface of the metal before powder coating is applied.
The objects to be powder coated are hung on portable racks, so the coating can be applied uniformly from all angles. This is normally done inside a powder coating booth, so there is no cross-contamination from dust or different colored powder coating being applied in an adjacent area.
Next, the objects to be coated are electrically grounded. The powder coating is applied via a special spray gun which adds a small electrical charge to the powder coating particles. Because the powder coating particles and the sprayed object have different charges, the powder is electrostatically attracted to the coated object. This also means several passes can be made and the coating will be evenly distributed without runs.
In the curing phase, the powder coating rack is moved into a special curing oven. Here, the powder coating melts into a gel state, and forms long-chain chemical bonds which give the coating its strength and unique look. Once the coated objects have spent the appropriate amount of time in the curing oven, and the cross-linking chemical bonds are fully formed, the rack with powder coated parts is removed from the oven. The rank cools at room temperature, and the powder coated objects are ready for use.
How long does powder coating take?
Once the parts are media blasted, prepped, and the powder coating is applied, the curing process usually takes about 30 minutes. This may vary, depending on the manufacturers recommendations.
Some objects may take longer to blast and prep, depending on what the factory coating is. To find out how long it will be until your order is in the queue, give us a call at (916) 635-8720.
How much does powder coating cost?
The final price on your powder coating job will depend on the surface area to be coated, and your selection of a specific powder coating. For an estimate, fill out our contact form, or give us a call at (916) 635-8720.
What’s the difference between powder coating and high-heat ceramic coating?
The biggest difference between powder coating and ceramic coating is that ceramic coatings are designed to withstand higher temperatures. While powder coating is normally used for wheels, rims, or even auto bodies, ceramic coatings are used for headers, exhaust manifolds, intake manifolds, or mufflers.
Ceramic coatings have a different chemical makeup than powder coatings. While powder coating can usually withstand temperatures up to 500°F, ceramic coatings can withstand temperatures between 1250°F and 1800°F, depending on the specific coating formulation.
Is powder coating better than paint or other coatings?
Powder coating has some advantages over solvent-based coatings like paint.
Because powder coating is applied electrostacially, the coating is more even and uniform. Paint may have runs, since it is applied in liquid form. Powder coating is also harder and more durable than regular paint. This is due to the cross-linking polymer bonds that are formed during the powder coating curing process.
Lastly, powder coating can have different textures as well as colors. Special visual effects may be possible with certain product lines that are not possible with regular paint.