Powder Coating Shops

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Powder coating shops are as individualistic as the customers who come through their doors. Coaters handle a range of job sizes, work with a wide palette of materials, and apply them through highly specialized procedures. Anyone who takes a "one-size-fits-all" attitude when shopping around for a powder coater does himself (and his coater) a huge disservice.

The same rule applies in reverse--that is, to the powder coaters themselves. No single job shop can excel at all of powder coating's disparate techniques and processes. A coating shop that specializes in industrial jobs and heavy machinery isn't likely to be the best choice for art collectors looking to coat one-of-a-kind sculptures or frames, just to name two examples.

The Spectrum of Powder Coating Shops

There are lots of powder coating shops that claim to handle all sorts of jobs, irrespective of their size, weight, or material composition. The reality, however, is that some shops excel at, say, polyester urethane work while others specialize in high-temperature acrylic or epoxy. Each of these classifications requires a different ideal temperature and dry film thickness and works best on a select few materials, be they steel, aluminum, or other metals.

At the "big" end of the powder coating shops spectrum is the gargantuan warehouse that employs 600 or 700 workers, takes in 25 or 30 million dollars in revenue each year, and turns jobs around in several hours. At the "small" end are custom powder coaters who cannot rival their larger competitors when it comes to capacity but out-perform them on the customer-service level. The first thing for any consumer to do is figure out just how large and time-consuming his or her job looks to be. This in turn will determine what type of job shop offers the best fit.

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