Is Powder Coating More Durable Than Paint – A Guide
A lot of times customers will be evaluating whether they should be powder or liquid coating for their particular project’s needs. Both powder and liquid coating have positives and negatives about them. One of the most frequent reasons the customers consider powder coating over liquid coating is the durability that it provides.
Is Powder Coating More Durable Than Paint
The short answer the question is that yes powder coating is more durable than liquid coating. The reason powder coating is more durable, is due to two primary facts. First, powder coating applied in a very thick film which provides significant protection against oxidation and damage. Second powder coating is applied at high temperatures which can create a harder cure in the coating helping to add additional protection. However, even though powder coating is more durable there are drawbacks to its use which must be properly evaluated to determine if it is right for your product finish needs.
What are the drawbacks of powder coating?
- Powder coating is applied in thick mil builds – the thick mil builds that powder coating is applied in can mean a finish that may not have quite the fine appearance of a liquid coating finish
- Powder coating requires a higher initial expense-to be able to effectively powder coat you need more equipment than you do when liquid coating. Equipment that you need includes a batch oven for curing the product, a powder coating booth (recovery or non recovery), and a powder coating application gun. Comparatively, liquid coating requires a spray gun and spray booth which are typically much more affordable then the powder coating equipment mentioned above.
- Powder coating does not allow for easy touchup work-since powder is applied electrostatically and when cured often forms a thick smooth surface, it cannot be easily touched up if the surface is damaged. It is possible to re powder coat the product or touch up with liquid paint but not with the same results that you can achieve touching up a liquid paint finish.
- Not suitable for all substrates-to be able to use the powder coating, your product must be able to tolerate a relatively high temperature of at least 250° as most powder coatings are cured at 250 degrees or higher.
What are the benefits of powder coating?
- Durability of finish-without a doubt powder coating is significantly superior at resisting the effects of weather as well abrasion.
- Potentially lower coating costs – depending on the style of powder coating booth you choose and the number of colors you use in production, you can reuse powder and therefore not waste hardly any powder. Unlike liquid coating, which in the best cases you still waste approximately 10% of your paint. Additionally, powder as a product is often cheaper than liquid paints.
- Pollutes less – since powder. Is not expelled through an exhaust duct, it creates very little VOCs. This can be important especially in higher production facilities that would potentially need to use water bourn coatings or invest in equipment to help keep VOC’s to an acceptable level.
Common powder coating applications
- patio furniture
- construction equipment
- motorcycle and automobile parts
- Gym equipment
To sum it all up, powder coating does provide a more durable finish than liquid coating. However, it is not easy to spot repair damage that may occur to the finish, the initial expense of starting up a powder coating process is often higher, and there can be substrate limitations. If durability, lower variable cost, and environmental emissions are key focus areas and your substrate is well suited for powder coating it might be the perfect solution or your coating needs. Have additional questions contact us for a free consultation.