No one likes to watch paint dry. The phrase is literally synonymous with boredom and tedium. Sure, paint looks great when it finally does dry, but if it’s applied incorrectly or dries too slowly, drip marks start to form and solidify. Alternatively, a painted product can look completely immaculate until one person bumps into it the wrong way. Then a single chip in the paint can make any product look dingy and secondhand, no matter how new and pristine the quality truly is. Paint can be a great finishing touch for a product, but in the case of hardware and industrial products like safety and security fencing, it’s better to look at a sturdier alternative: powder coating.
But what IS powder coating? Powder coating is a finishing process and an alternative to painting your products. Rather than painting each product upon its completion, the products will go through the powder coating process, which is very different from your standard paint job. The metal product is sprayed with a dry powder made up of a polymer resin, which is given an electrical charge. This causes it to adhere to the metal of the product. Once the powder is uniformly sprayed, the product is sent into an oven, where the heat turns the powder into one solid coat across the product, creating an even finish.
Watching a product go through the powder coating process is fascinating, a little bit like watching a donut go through a glazer (and much more interesting than watching paint dry!).
The product is hung up on the line in preparation for the process.
The product goes through a cleaning chamber where it is sprayed down with chemicals and water to prepare the surface for coating.
The product then goes through a drying chamber.
The product heads into the powder booth! Here it is sprayed with the designated color, before heading down the line for Step 5.
The product goes into the oven where it bakes at 460 degrees until the powder becomes a solid coat around it.
This process is not only interesting, but incredibly efficient. What starts off as a plain slab of metal can come out the other end of the powder coating line in any color you need in 45 minutes from start to finish.
Just because something is different and interesting doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option, however. What makes powder coating a better option than paint for industrial metal products?
The primary answer is durability. As stated before, from the first chip in the coat, any painted structure begins to look worn and dingy. Powder coating is markedly more durable than paint, and can be applied more uniformly to any shape or surface. This ensures that there are no gaps, even in more difficult pieces of hardware like woven wire or welded fencing. Powder coating is also far more environmentally friendly than paint, emitting next to no volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Because it doesn’t use harsh chemicals or solvents, it doesn’t release any chemical pollutants into the air.
At Folding Guard, we offer a variety of standard colors for our powder coating process (check them out here), but we can match any RAL color that you need.
Powder coating is durable, environmentally friendly, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing. It is the clear way forward for industrial finishing, and we’re proud to use this process on our products at Folding Guard!