What Types of Powder Coating Exist?

Different piles of powder coatingAs with different types of paint, or ink, not all powders are the same. Nor are they created equal. Some powders outperform others when placed in specific environmental settings. Coatings require different application processes and pretreatments, as well. With technology improving since powder coating’s original creation, its durability and high-quality performance make it a popular choice when coating everything from industrial materials to home decor.

Epoxy

If you’ve ever looked closely at an office filing cabinet, you’ve likely seen the outcome of an epoxy powder coat finish. Epoxy finishes are smooth and provide a uniform appearance. As this type of coating provides a strong resistance to chemicals and general corrosion, it’s an excellent option for items that will be in touch with harsh cleaning chemicals. However, epoxy’s strength does not extend to its ability to last after UV exposure. In fact, long term exposure to UV rays can lead to a dulled look in the object. Even minimal exposure can leave an object glossless and chalky.

  • Pros to Epoxy:
    • Smooth finish.
    • Vibrant color options.
    • Glossy look.
    • Uniformity.
    • Good for interior items.
  • Cons to Epoxy:
    • Over-exposure to UV rays results in a dull, chalky item.

Polyester

Like epoxy, polyester coating leaves a uniform finish and a bold look. This type of powder has strong adhesion properties. Because of this, polyester retains its glossy look even after exposure to UV elements. Although polyester doesn’t withstand chemicals as strongly, it does well up against natural elements. With a diverse choice in colors, polyester is often used in exposed automobile parts, and on exterior fixtures of buildings. Color takes years to fade, making a popular choice with outdoor items.

  • Pros to Polyester:
    • Gloss retention under UV rays
    • Weather resistance.
    • Great for outdoor furniture (i.e. garden and lawn furniture).
    • Commonly used on fencing.
    • Vibrant color options.
    • Glossy look.
  • Cons to Polyester:
    • Lower tolerance for chemical elements.

Industrial and Medical Grade

Although the next two types of powder coating can and are used for non-industrial and medical grade objects, they are more commonly used in larger equipment or building materials.

Nylon

Not commonly used for decorative purposes, nylon is perfect for protective coating. If the item or furniture will be in close contact with various solvents and oils, nylon can keep it in pristine condition. It’s also great for objects that have a higher exposure to damage caused by impacts. This protective coating often requires an initial primer before the actual nylon is placed, for high-performance objects. Nylon a popular coating with medical equipment.

  • Pros to Nylon:
    • Lower environmental impact.
    • Stands up against abrasions and impacts.
    • Consumes less non-renewable resources
    • Used for high-performance items (i.e. automobiles and appliances).
    • Oil and fluid resistant.
    • Chemical resistance.
  • Cons to Nylon:
    • Difficult to achieve thinner layers of coating.
    • Breakdown if exposed to UV rays.

Polyurethane

Generally used functional products that are likely to see outdoor exposure, polyurethane powders work well for decorative items as well. With its ability to take a beating in all weather conditions, and its anti-corrosion characteristics, it’s commonly used to coat steel, concrete, and various building materials.

  • Pros to Polyurethane:
    • Waterproof.
    • Weather resistance.
    • Flexible material.
    • Scratch resistance.
    • Chemical resistance.
  • Cons to Polyurethane:
    • Higher price.

Hybrids

Most hybrid powders contain a mixture of polyester and epoxy resins. Having a formulation of the two allows for further chemical and corrosion resistance. Smooth, glossy, and relatively flexible, the hybrid works well for items living indoors. Although you can use this hybrid on exterior items, it’s best to stir clear from this application if the object will potentially meet heavy weather damage.

  • Pros to the Hybrid:
    • Highly resistant to chemicals.
    • High corrosion resistance.
    • Great for interior items.
  • Cons to the Hybrid:
    • Not suitable for outdoor elements.

Metallic

The metallic coating is a great way to add vibrancy or flair to various types of powder coating materials, such as epoxies, polyesters, and hybrids. Mainly used for decorative and aesthetic purposes, the metallic particles are added into the formulation to add to the visual appeal of the powder coating.

  • Pros to Metallics:
    • Added visual component.
    • The strength of the epoxy, polyester, or hybrid.

What Type is Right for You?

Before you decide to powder coat an object, it’s best to let us know what it’ll be used for and where it will ultimately be placed. It’ll help us in selecting the right powder application for you. Full Blown Coatings offers powder coating for:

  • Industrial and Commercial equipment
  • Residential items
  • Restoration of antiques
  • Automotive materials

With a variety of coating options, finishes, and custom formulations, Full Blown Coatings will work with you to create the powder coated look you’re after. If you’re curious to see what different coating options look like on materials, check out our gallery to see our previous projects. If you have any questions about the process or would like to receive a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us today.