Can you Powder Coat in a Liquid Paint Booth
Why Customers want to Powder Coat in a Liquid Paint Booth
Occasionally customers want to know whether you can do powder coating in a liquid paint booth. There are two common reasons customers ask about this being possible. First is that the customer has a liquid paint booth but is starting to have needs for powder coating. The second situation is when they are considering a new paint process and looking to save money by keeping equipment investment costs to the minimum needed to effectively meet their paint process needs. The short answer is that you can powder coat in a liquid paint booth, however there are a few variables to consider before powder coating in a liquid paint booth.
Things to Consider about Powder Coating in a Liquid Paint Paint Booth
Booth Cleanliness Challenges
- Powder coating is a messy process due to the coating being in powder form – If you require a clean paint booth so that your liquid finishing can have a high quality finish or you need a clean booth environment due to your coating application specification you may not want to use your liquid paint booth for powder coating.
You Need a Way to Cure the Powder Coating
- Powder coating is initially applied using a powder coating outfit that uses differences in electric charges to have the coating adhere to the products surface. After the powder is loosely bound to the surface the product must be cured in elevated temperature to cause the powder to flow into a uniform finish. Powder curing typically requires higher temperatures than most paint booths can provide. Powder coatings typically require atleast 200 degrees but usually even higher temperatures to cure. A typical cure temperature that a paint booth will use is a maximum of 160 degrees. So while you can apply powder in a liquid paint booth you will typically need a batch or infrared oven to cure the powder coating, the benefits of each type of oven are discussed in this article.
You will not Be Able to Recover Your Powder Coating while
- If you plan on higher production in your powder coating operation you will often times want to recover your powder coating, as the ability to recover powder coatings is one of the greatest benefits of powder coating compared to liquid coating which you can read more about Powder Coatings Pros and Cons here.
- If you convert your liquid paint booth to a powder coating booth you will spray the powder into a modified filter rack which will collect the excess powder and depending on the modification made may allow for air to be recirculated into your shop. To allow for air to be recirculated a permanent change to your paint booth would be required with appropriates changes to the booth including air flow changes and other factors which you should consult with a paint booth provider like us or Global Finishing Solutions to determine if it is feasible. When you are finished powder coating the powder left over will be wasted.
You will reduce your overall production ability
- Changing between powder and liquid finishing will require changing out equipment and properly cleaning equipment for storage. Additionally since powder coating uses electrostatic application equipment you will have additional steps that are needed to prep the booth to coat your product.
If you use liquid as well as Powder Coatings in the Same Booth You will Use Filters Rapidly
- If you combine liquid and powder coating in the same paint booth and using filters to collect over spray the powder and liquid combining together will often result in the filters having a shorter useful life which will cause increased coating costs as well as reduced production due to needing frequent filter changes.
How You Can Powder Coat in a Spray Booth
If after considering all the potential concerns about converting a liquid paint booth to accommodate powder coating, you will need to consider the following to be able to convert your paint booth to a powder coating capable paint booth.