A powder coat is a kind of plastic finish that is applied to metal, which provides a strong, bonded covering that is not only smooth, even and beautiful, but ultimately exceptionally protective. It carries many benefits over traditional forms of coloring, such as paint or dyes. The process is very exacting and precise and requires a trained hand to perform, but the finished result is stunning. Learn the process of powder coating, how it works and why this method of coloring and protection is ideal for your ornamental iron fixtures.
The Process of Powder Coating
The process of powder coating involves separating all the parts you want to have coated, giving them a good and thorough cleaning, selecting the proper powder coat, applying the powder and baking it on. When you are finished, your part will have a gorgeous colored finish that is more even than paint can ever be, is environmentally friendly and will resist heavy use, damage and the elements without chipping or wearing off.
Preparing the Parts
The first thing you need to do, before applying the powder, is to prepare the parts you want to have coated. This means breaking them down to their component elements—any threaded pieces should be unscrewed as otherwise baking on the powder could fuse them together.
Next, thoroughly clean the parts to make sure there is no rust, paint, scale or any other foreign particulates or dirt on them. For the coating to take, every part must be completely clean and unsoiled. In some cases, light sanding and wire brushing does the trick. In others, you may need media blasting, chemical baths or even ultrasonic cleaning to take care of it.
Applying the Powder
A compressed air gun is used to apply the powder to the item you are coating. This powder is electrostatically charged so that it will stick to the base metal. This is even more exacting than cleaning, as you want an even coat of powder all over the item and you want to make sure you don’t rub or blow off any of the powder before baking.
Baking the Coat
Once the powder coat is applied, you will need to bake it on to cure it and create a permanent protective casing. There are many different methods for this—sometimes heat lamps are used; many professionals use specialized ovens. The overall heating process takes only a few minutes, after which the piece is set out to cool and cure. At this point, the process is complete and your metal part is gorgeously colored and protected from the heaviest use and the harshest elements!
If you think that powder coating is the right choice for your hand-crafted decorative iron artwork, furniture or fixtures, we can help. Check out our powder coating services, and get in touch with us for more information or to get started on your new wrought iron pieces today!