What Is Powder Coating

So you've heard of it, but, you're not quite sure what powder coating is. According to the Powder Coating Institute's web page, "Powder Coating is an advanced method of applying a decorative and protective finish to a wide range of materials and products that are used by both industries and consumers. The powder used for the process is a mixture of finely ground particles adhere to the electrically grounded surface until heated and fused into a smooth coating in a cure oven. The result is a uniform, durable, high-quality, and attractive finish." There, so now you know! Or do you?

Why Is Powder Coating Better?

Powder coating provides better performance than wet paint - it is more resistant to chipping, scratching, and other wear because of the thermal bonding it undergoes during curing, and because it can be applied in much thicker layers. This performance is especially important for outdoor products, like bollards and bike racks.

In addition to its physical toughness, powder coating provides superior color retention. Long term exposure to moisture, sunlight, and heat breaks down the resins found in both paint and powder coating. This process, known as chalking, causes resin and pigment particles to lose adhesion. Affected particles form a chalk-like layer on the coating surface.

The early stages of chalking merely give the coating a faded appearance, but severe chalking will eventually erode the coating enough to compromise surface protection. The rate of chalking depends on the resiliency of the resin. Polyester based powder coatings are frequently used as top coats due to their exceptional chalk resistance.