Powder coatings create protective and decorative finishes on metals. Due to its high quality and durability, powder coating is a popular choice for many different applications.
The colour selection is virtually unlimited with a variety of finishes available including fluorescent, glossy, iridescent, high gloss and glitter. Also, colours tend to remain vibrant for much longer than liquid paint finishes.
Even different textures can be created: smooth, wrinkled, matte or rough with the latter being ideal if the underlying substrate is less than perfect.
One of the advantages of powder coatings is the almost unlimited choice of colours which makes the surface treatment perfect for any project where colour is a design priority. Colour pigments can be blended flawlessly into an existing colour scheme or to meet specific brand requirements.
Powder coating sample panels can help demonstrate how a particular shade will look in practice while a colour matching service can ensure that newly treated surfaces match colour requirements.
Despite this versatility, powder coatings do have some colour limitations:
- Colours cannot be combined to produce a new colour
It is easy to combine colours when using liquid paint. Yellow and blue makes green, red and blue makes purple and so on but not when powder coating colours are being created. Powder colours are made by creating a polymer plastic block of the required colour in advance and then granulating it into a powdered pigment. Once the colour is fixed it cannot be changed. Combining a yellow and blue powder pigment will not make a green coating. For this, a green powder must be created from scratch.
- Colour changes will lengthen the turnaround time
Products with more than one colour may be eye-catching but changing colours will lengthen the time taken to complete the treatment. Between each colour application, the spray booth must be thoroughly cleaned and any overspray reclaimed for later applications. Failure to do so can lead to cross-contamination of the different materials used to make the colour formulations. Therefore, if you incorporate multiple colours into your design, allow for additional time for the powder coating to be applied.
How Application Affects Colour
Powder coating produces an impressively smooth finish that is free from distortions and flaws but only at a suitable thickness.
Thin layers, which are applied from a spray gun, are difficult to produce uniformly and small imperfections in the substrate are likely to be noticeable. This will affect the hue and quality of the colour.
Therefore, avoid attempting to cut costs by reducing the thickness of the powder coating, opting instead for a higher standard of surface finish that will be smooth, durable, and true to your selected colour.