Powder Coating Materials

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Thanks to continually improving technologies, there are more types of powder coating materials than ever before. To the layman, powder coating involves only one material: paint. This paint can be mixed with other hues to create gradations of every imaginable stripe in between. As elegant as this picture may sound, it's more than a little misleading.

The truth about powder coating is this: not only are there thousands of colors from which to choose, but there are literally dozens of types of finishes as well. Customers may want a "matte" look for their parts, or they may prefer something shiny and reflective. Some folks appreciate a "pearl-like" quality to their jobs, while others go for hammertones and veins, which create a deliberately "distressed" effect.

The Materials Involved

Each of these finishes is made possible through the use of highly specialized materials. There are clearcoat powders for use on cars and certain types of furniture, high-gloss applications for extra shine, photoluminescent powders for things such as street signs, and endless other materials. Only a veteran powder coater can tell you how best to combine these ingredients for the look or finish you're after.

Additionally, the process of "thermosetting" requires other types of materials beyond paint. The technique involves the use of lightweight resins derived from a multitude of sources. Epoxy, acrylic, and polyester are just a few such resins that may then be adapted for spray use or other application methods.

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