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The Marvellous World of Manufacturing

Not many people give much thought to the fact that almost every object you touch as you go about your day had to be manufactured by someone. When you stop to consider the impact that the processing and manufacturing industry has had on the modern world, it can blow your mind. My mind was blown when my son arrived home from his new job at a local processing and manufacturing plant and told me about the industry he was now working in. Since then, I have learnt all kinds of cool things which I would love to be able to share with the rest of the world.

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The Marvellous World of Manufacturing

A fast track guide of powder coating process works

by Anthony Harvey

Powder coating is the application of paint on surfaces, except that the paint is in powder form. This process is now a very common finishing for industrial and domestic purposes. Most people currently prefer powder coated surfaces owing to the many benefits that it provides, such as eco-friendliness, the absence of Volatile Organic Compounds (pollutants), its durability, the cost, its flexibility, and its ability to be reused.

You may be wondering how the powder is prepared, how it is applied and how it is dried to perfection. If you are curious about the whole process, here's a quick guide.

Prepare the Powder Coating

Powder coating contains two main components; the pigment (that is the colour that you want) and binders (usually polymer resin systems and levelling agents). These substances are thereafter prepared by melting them and mixed while melted before they are cooled. After that, the mixture is ground and the powder is formed.

Prepare the Surface

Before you can powder coat any surface (substrate), you need to make sure that it is adequately prepared so that the powder can efficiently adhere to it. If had a previous coating, it is removed, any oils, grease, grime is equally removed. This is done using an alkaline solution, although the solution has to be substrate specific. Afterwards, the surface/substrate is sandblasted so that it creates the desired texture.

Apply the Powder on the Substrate/Surface

Powder coating is done in two ways, either through electrostatic spraying or fluidised bed. With electrostatic spraying, the powder is simply a specialized spray gun is used to electrostatically charge the powder. Because the powder is charged, it becomes attracted to the surface. On the other hand, the substrate is dipped into a fluidized powder and it automatically becomes coated.

Dry and Cure

In this final process, the powder is baked in a specialized oven called a convection oven. The powder has to melt (while on the substrate) so that it can flow and form a liquid that will evenly cover the substrate. If this process is not done, you are likely to have a substrate that is not evenly coated or evenly layered.

If you are up for a DIY project, you will skip the first stage because the powder coating can be obtained from shops. Otherwise, you will have to follow the other steps for a well-done job. You can also rely on powder coating services to supply and apply this application.

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