The Benefits of Powder Coating vs Painting for Your Material Handling Equipment

Nov 10, 2016

material-handling equipment with powder coating applied

The industrial material handling equipment market is filled with products highlighting that they are powder coated rather than painted, but is powder coating just another a bunch of hype? After all, paint is paint, right? As it turns out, there are many differences between powder coating vs painting. Powder coating actually lives up to its hype providing many advantages over the traditional wet paint process. Powder coating delivers exceptional value to you in the long run which is why it's the preferred finish of many material handling equipment manufacturers. Before we get into the specifics of why material handling equipment manufacturers prefer powder coating vs painting, let's talk about what powder coating actually is

What is Powder Coating?

To understand the advantages of powder coating vs painting, it is important to know how the powder coating process works. Powder coating is an electrostatic application of powder to metal parts. This organic powder is then cured in a baking process and gives a hard coating with exceptional coverage.

The process begins with preparing the metal surface of the item to be coated. This starts with a wash to remove any dirt or grease that might interfere with the application process. This ensures a good bond of the material as well as a complete surface coverage that will prevent rust and corrosion in the future. Rust and corrosion prevention is one of the biggest advantages of powder coating vs painting.

Following this cleaning step, a thorough drying process occurs. This can be accomplished with air drying or in a pass through an oven. Time is allowed in the process for this to be completed, all moisture removed, and the item to cool before any application of powder.

Powder application is applied by spray techniques; either automated or by hand. The item being coated is eclectically grounded to allow for powder attraction, as the powder itself is negatively charged. This electrostatic attraction is the key to providing complete and even coverage of the powder across all surfaces of the item. This attraction also aids in speeding the application process. The result is a uniform coating of powder on the part.

Finally, the curing process completed the application. The item is moved to an oven where once heated, the powder flows into a smooth, even finish. Also, the individual powder particles undergo a chemical reaction that links them together resulting in a permanent finish. Once cooled, the item is now ready to be used.

Why Does It Matter?

There are four main advantages you should be aware of when considering powder coating vs painting:

1. Performance

Superior durability is perhaps the biggest advantage of powder coating vs painting.  Powder coated surfaces resist scratches and chipping, and show less wear due to the bonding process. They are also more resistant to chemicals, moisture (weather) and corrosion than painted parts. The total result is durable material-handling equipment with the highest quality finish possible.

2. Attractiveness

Unlike paint, powder doesn’t run or drip – providing a more uniform coating and quality finish. The powder coating process also provides a finish that will keep a more vibrant color for longer than paint. This allows for a product that will look as good in years to come as it does when new.

3. Flexibility

Powder coating offers the opportunity to provide various textures as well as virtually any color imaginable. Gloss, matte, and textured finishes allow parts to be customized for the application. Powder coated colors and finishes can be mixed on the same product to provide unique looks and functionality. And because of powder coating’s bonding process, textures won’t wear off like other texturing applications.

4. Environmental

When it comes to powder coating vs painting, there is no comparison regarding environmental impact. Traditional wet paint is flammable and is full of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can not only be hazardous to those using them, but to the environment as well. Because powders used in powder coating contain no solvents they are much more environmentally friendly than paint processes. The powder coating process also it a more clean process as any overspray of material can be retrieved and reused resulting in negligible waste. Any powder coating materials that do happen to end up in a landfill are non-hazardous materials and the material meets all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements for water and air pollution standards.

powder coating being applied to material-handling equipment
Powder Coated Seal

How Can I Diffentiate Powder Coating vs Painting?

Most material handling equipment manufacturers will clearly list in the product’s attributes that it is finished using a powder coated process when it’s being used. If you don’t see it called out, ASK. It does make a difference in the overall performance and value of the material handling equipment you are buying. Akro-Mils not only lists this as an attribute in its catalog and web pages, but in addition, highlights these products with a powder coated logo. Seeing this symbol is an assurance of quality and durability in the purchase you are making for years to come.

For More Information on Powder Coating vs Painting

For more information about the benefits of powder coating vs painting, or the Akro-mils material handling equipment that utilizes a powder coated finish, contact us or your local Akro-Mils distributor.
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Posted: Nov 10, 2016 by Global Administrator | with 0 Comments

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