Powder Coating - Overview
Powder coating is the process where a dry powder is electrostatically charged and applied to a grounded part. After the application of the dry powder, the parts enter a curing oven where the powder melts, flows, and chemically reacts with heat to produce long molecular chains, resulting in high cross-link density. These long, dense, molecular chains create a coating that is extremely high in impact resistance, flexibility, and corrosion resistance - usually far surpassing the characteristics of liquid paints. Powder coating can be used as a protective or decorative surface coating, and is available in wide range of colors, glosses, and textures.
Powder coating is an "environmentally friendly" coating. Powder does not contain solvents or VOCs, eliminating a major cause of air pollution, and the powder coating process does not create "hazardous waste" like the wet painting process. Powder coating can usually duplicate the appearance of quality liquid paint - but with significantly more durability.
A powder coated finish is environmentally friendly, cost effective, and tough!
Powder Coating – Our Process
A quality powder coating finish requires quality surface preparation. To obtain maximum durability the surface must be properly conditioned , cleaned, and chemically treated before powder coating.
Chemical removal of any previous coating is our preferred step before the part is media blasted. This avoids aggressive blasting with coarse media at high pressures, which can damage the material and leave a rough texture that can't be covered with a normal application of powder.
Media Blasting, commonly referred to as "Sand Blasting", is an important step in the powder coating process. When done properly, media blasting provides an optimum surface profile on the metal for maximum adhesion of the powder coat.
Read more about Media Blasting on our Media Blasting page
After media blasting and a thorough 5-step cleaning process, a chemical pretreatment is applied to the bare surface. The pretreatment reacts with the metal and a micro-thin protective layer is created. This layer gives the surface additional corrosion protection and increases adhesion of the coating. Apex Custom Coating always performs this important final step before applying the coating - but many do not.
Metal Finishing is the process of shaping, grinding, forming, or repairing metal.
Our extensive metal finishing experience often means an expensive or rare damaged part can be repaired before being powder coated instead of being replaced. Typically, metal finishing involves application and shaping of special high-temperature filler, removal of dents, grinding of welds, and repairing of scratches or gouges to prepare for powder coating.
Read more about Metal Finishing on our Metal Finishing page
Masking for powder coating involves the use of special high temperature tapes and plugs. Areas that don't require coating need to be completely covered to avoid powder adhering to the surface. Cured powder is extremely difficult to remove, so precise masking is important. All critical holes are plugged before coating, and there’s never a need to grind surfaces or re-tap threaded holes before reassembly.
The correct application of quality powder coating material is critical to obtaining a superior powder coated finish. Apex Custom Coating uses only top-quality materials from premiere global powder manufacturers and professional application equipment.
Curing is the final - and extremely critical - step in the powder coating process.
Apex Custom Coating uses industrial convection ovens to provide even curing while constantly monitoring the part's temperature to ensure the coating is completely cross-linked and fully cured for maximum durability.
Structural components, and heat-treated parts like wheels, are never exposed to extreme temperatures that can alter their heat-treating and compromise their strength.