The key to any successful powder coating job is in the preparation. If you try and cut corners or use the wrong equipment, you will not get a high quality finished product. Following the right procedure before powder coating will eliminate many of the common issues with a finished coating. Attention to detail when disassembling, cleaning and powder coat masking ensures a successful coating that looks professional and lasts longer. Follow our guide on how to prepare for a powder coating job.
What is powder coating?
Powder coating is a technique used in a wide range of industries and applications. It is a common process in the manufacturing of motor vehicles. Applying a powder coat involves several key steps. Firstly, it is important that the metal is completely cleaned and ready for the application of a powder coating. Powder coating is then applied, usually from a specialist gun. This gun uses compressed air to give an even finish. A powder coating gun will also give the powder an electrical charge which allows it to bind to the metal. This is why the right powder coat masking and cleaning is so important. Once applied to the bare metal, the powder coat is then hardened by heat curing.
Disassembling an item
Before you begin the cleaning process, you must first disassemble the item you intend to powder coat. You may only need to powder coat a piece of metal that has only one part, in which case you can skip this step. Any item that contains rubber, plastic or wiring required disassembly before coating. If any non-metal components remain, they will likely melt during the heat curing process.
Now you have isolated the part you wish to powder coat; you can begin work on cleaning it. The main aim of this step is to remove any dirt, grime, or grease. For now, do not worry about removing any rust or paint as this will come later. If there is any dirt left on the metal, you will find it difficult to apply masking products for powder coating like powder coating masking tape. Use a degreaser that is safe to use with your metal of choice. For smaller metal parts a handheld brush will work just fine. To save time on larger components use an electric pressure washer.
Stripping and sandblasting
If your metal component has already had a coating applied or has started to rust, then you will need to strip it down to the bare metal. Sandblasting is excellent for removing old coats of paint or powder coats. The sandblasting process also creates a textured surface which makes it easier for the powder coat to bind to the metal. Just like with powder coating itself, it is important that you use the correct masking products for powder coating before sandblasting. Make sure you mask off areas that should stay intact using powder coating plugs and tape.
Masking products for powder coating
There are a variety of masking products for powder coating that will help you achieve a high-quality finish when powder coating. Powder coating masking tape is a flexible product that conforms to the shape and surface of a metal. Remember to choose a tape that will withstand the temperatures of the heat curing process. Silicone plugs and silicone caps for powder coating are commonly used masking products. The benefit of silicone plugs is that they withstand high temperatures and are reusable.
At Hi-Tek products, we stock a wide range of masking products for powder coating. For more information about our powder coat masking products, get in contact with us today. Give us a call on 01202 661300 or fill out our contact form.