Steel Fabrication Services by WS Fabrication: Powder Coating as Surface Finishing

11 August 2023

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Powder coating is a surface finishing technique often utilised in steel fabrication services to enhance the durability, appearance, and overall quality of steel products.

This technique involves the application of a dry powder coating onto a metal surface, followed by curing in an oven. The powder particles melt and fuse together to form a protective and decorative coating that can improve the properties of a wide range of steel parts and products.

A Breakdown of the Powder Coating Process

Many steps are involved in the powder coating process.

One of the steps in powder coating is powder preparation. The powder is often made from a mixture of resin, pigments, fillers, and additives. Their overall composition and percentage may vary depending on the desired coating properties. Some properties that may be altered are colour, durability, and texture.

After preparing the powder, the fabrication company must now prepare the surface of the metal object. It involves cleaning the surface to remove any dirt, oil, or contaminants that may interfere with the adhesion of the powder. Surface preparation may be done through sandblasting, chemical cleaning, or mechanical abrasion.

Using an electrostatic spray gun, the powder is subsequently applied to the metal surface. It imparts an electric charge to the powder articles so they can cover the grounded metal object efficiently and uniformly. Alternatively, the powder can be applied using a fluidised bed process, where the metal object is dipped into a bed of fluidised powder particles.

Curing follows the powder application. This step subjects a coated metal object to heat in a curing oven, making sure the powder particles will melt and flow together. Once the curing is complete, the coated metal object is allowed to cool down. Finally, the object should be inspected for quality and adherence.

Powder Coating in Steel Fabrication Services

Many aspects of steel fabrication services have significantly elevated and improved due to powder coating. These aspects are the following.

• Durability: Powder coating provides excellent durability and corrosion resistance to steel products. The cured powder coating creates a tough and resilient barrier that protects the underlying metal from rust, scratches, and chemical damage. This durability ensures that steel products have a longer lifespan and can withstand harsh environmental conditions.

• Uniformity: Powder coating can also ensure a uniform and consistent finish across the entire steel surface. The electrostatic application of the powder particles leads to an even coating thickness, eliminating issues like drips, runs, or sags.

• Appeal: Additionally, powder coating offers a wide range of colours, finishes, and textures, which allows for customisation and versatility in steel fabrication. The powder particles can be formulated to achieve smooth, glossy, matte, or textured finishes, depending on the desired aesthetic outcome. This versatility enables fabricators to create visually appealing steel products that meet the various design preferences of their customers.

• Efficiency: Powder coating is a highly efficient process. The powder coating application is quick and straightforward thanks to the use of automated electrostatic spray guns. The curing process is also relatively fast, enabling faster production turnaround times compared to liquid coatings. The efficiency of powder coating allows steel fabricators to meet tight project deadlines and optimise their production.

• Sustainability: Powder coating is considered an eco-friendly coating option compared to traditional liquid coatings. The powder coating process produces minimal to no volatile organic compounds and does not require solvents. The unused powder can be recycled, which reduces waste and minimises environmental impact.

Powder coating is a highly beneficial and versatile finishing technique that elevates steel fabrication services. With this technique, steel products can achieve a lasting impact, both in terms of visual appeal and performance.

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