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Powder coating is considered one of the most effective and advanced ways of providing a finished look to the products irrespective of whether it’s made of metal, wood, or plastic. But if you want to have a smooth and even finish, then you must work on the preparation part of the powder coating procedure. The preparation will ensure that there are no flaws in the powder coating work, and you would be able to eliminate almost all the irregularities during the process. You will be able to achieve the best powder coat layer possible. You must follow this step-by-step procedure. It will help you in understanding the level of preparation work that is required for a successful powder coating finish.
As you know that there are multiple steps in the powder coating process — mainly the preparation stage and the application stage. Let’s get to know about the preparation stage, which is quite essential to follow before you start applying the powder coat.
You cannot directly apply the powder coat to the surface of an object, as it is possible that the surface may not be clean. This can lead to uneven application of the powder coat. So during the preparation stage, the surface of the object is to be cleaned and treated with a chemical solution to ensure that all the debris, dust, and dirt is removed. If the surface of the object is not thoroughly cleaned, then the leftover residue may damage the powder coating. It will also have a huge implication on the adhesion imparted by the powder. Besides, you would notice these issues even after the final touch, which will diminish the quality of the powder coat in the long run.
Although there are some common steps that are applicable for all the objects, such as cleaning, rinsing, etching, blasting, and drying. You need to ensure that the processes are followed in the same sequence to get the best result. The technicians make use of a mixture of chemical substances such as grease, oil along with weak alkali, and detergents. With this mixture, you can remove all the dirt and dust that is stuck on the surface or any other impurities. Besides this, the surface is sprayed with hot water and steam to rinse off the residue completely. This process is also considered as a pretreatment for the objects that are being powder coated.
#2 The Process Of Stripping: To Remove The Debris — Rust/Scales/Chipped Paint:
The aforementioned process is applicable only when you need to clean the surface from all sorts of dust and stubborn dirt. But what if the object being powder coated has a layer of rust or chipped paint? To get rid of the rust and chipped paint or scaling, you need to follow the process of sandblasting. During the process of sandblasting, pressurized fluid or compressed air is used to propel the abrasive materials. It helps remove the debris — rust and chipped paint. It imparts a surface texture that is smooth to touch and ready for the application of powder coating.
This process was dry stripping, which helps in removing the rust and other debris. You can also employ the method of wet stripping. This is an alternative to the dry stripping technique. In the process of wet stripping, you can dip the objects in the chemical liquids for a certain period. This method is preferred when the surface debris is extremely hard to remove and cannot be prepared properly with the techniques of cleaning and dry stripping. The chemical solution used in wet stripping weakens the strength of the debris and forces it to get stripped out.
Besides cleaning and rinsing off the surface of the material, you need to focus on the materials or components that are required to remain uncoated (these are the design elements of the surface that don’t need to be covered with the powder coat). So for such material surfaces, it is essential to make use of the masking materials before the application process starts.
The preparation of the surface of the object is also dependent on the material that is being coated with the powder coat. So you need to be extra cautious while choosing the right procedure to clean the surface of the object that is being powder coated. In this way, you would be able to ensure that the layer of the powder coat applied on the surface would be uniform.