Aluminum Powder Coating

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The market for aluminum powder coating is driven largely by the home furnishings sector, which finds endless applications for aluminum products. Chairs, deck furniture, umbrella poles, railings, and siding are just a few of the most common jobs powder coaters see that have aluminum substrates. It's safe to say that even more homeowners would opt for aluminum in their kitchens and living rooms if the material wasn't deemed so icy and metallic.

If aluminum leaves the aesthetically conscious feeling a bit chilly, keep in mind that the metal has its practical benefits to make up for its lack of warmth. For one thing, aluminum is strong, at least relative to other metals of its weight. At the same time, it's also malleable, which makes it an excellent material for window framing, one of its most popular applications.

Powder Coating Aluminum

There are a few measures a powder coater must take in advance of doing any type of aluminum work, lest the end result be compromised. The key to aluminum powder coating (and all types of powder coating, for that matter) is adequate preparation. Simply coating over old layers of coating is no way to ensure a smooth and even job. Thus, the first responsibility of any good powder coater is to clean his aluminum parts.

The process starts with a simple scrubbing, for which regular washing detergent suffices. This, however, isn't guaranteed to remove much of the heavier grease that can cling to and erode aluminum parts. Coaters therefore turn to "etching" to help strip away some of these more intractable layers of grime before dipping said parts into a phosphate solution to generate what's known as a conversion coat. It is to this coat that the sprayed paint will bond to form its lasting finish.

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