We are often asked about the big difference between powder coating and conventional liquid paint. Most folks are also very interested in learning more about the benefits of powder coating; many of which are not available with other finishes.
The coating is applied as a dry, free flowing powder. Liquid paint has fillers and binders that need a solvent in order to maintain its liquid form. Thus the main (and rather obvious) difference is that powder is not applied in liquid form.
While the big difference isn’t nearly as exciting as one would hope just stick with me because the advantages are a bit more interesting. So let’s get into the 7 main benefits of powder coating wood.
1. High Durability – One of the greatest benefits of powder coating is the added durability it gives to the coated part. A powder coat wood part will be resistant to most chemicals, moisture, heat, and minor scratches. It has outlasted its laminate, melamine, and liquid paint counterparts in both chemical and physical testing. Chemical tests found that alcohol, household detergents, ink, gas, and graphite have little to no effect on a powdered part.
Our sister company RedLine Garagegear produces powder coated wood garage cabinets. For nearly a decade now those garage storage systems have been installed in garages throughout the U.S. and Canada. The cabinets are designed and built to last a lifetime; and are fully capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, spills, and a little rough handling.
2. Versatile Design – In the How Do You Powder Coat Wood? blog post we discussed how the powder gels, bonds, and flows to the surface of the wood when heated. Because the powder flows it is easier to create an even finish on shaped and contoured parts. This gives product and display designers far more artistic freedom to create without worrying about coating limitations.
3. Environmentally Friendly Manufacturing – There are a number of things that make powder coating an environmentally friendly practice. First, we are able to reclaim up to ninety eight percent of the overspray. So any powder that does not make it on to the board can be saved and used for the next project. It is rare for powder to ever end up in a landfill. Second, there are no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), or heavy metals. You don’t have to worry about breathing in any harmful stuff because powder coated wood does not emit any of that pollution. Third, our catalytic infrared ovens are very energy efficient. Finally, the wood used for powder coating, medium density fiberboard (MDF), is made up of recycled wood fibers. A typical MDF board will not contain any formaldehyde resins bringing it in line with the California Air Research Board (CARB) regulations on formaldehyde in engineered wood.
4. Cost Effective Manufacturing – A couple of the factors that make our manufacturing process environmentally friendly also make it cost effective. Our ability to recycle so much of the overspray greatly benefits the bottom line for our clients. Using energy efficient ovens is also a cost saving benefit. The cost of capital investments in powder coat equipment is quite competitive. We’ve also developed a continuous, automatic, and streamlined single coat process that moves the parts seamlessly from one station to the next. Our process saves time while also significantly reducing human error.
5. Effects and Colors – GCC Coatings is able to offer a wide variety of textures and colors to our clients. We can apply several textures including hammer tones, a matte smooth finish, a glossy finish, or a micro texture. We have several colors that are popular; however, there are a nearly endless number of custom colors available as well. It is also important to note that a powder coated part will show less appearance difference between vertically and horizontally coated surfaces (though we use automated sprayers so that would not be an issue). Powder finishes can also provide a thicker coating without the sagging or runny effect produced when a thick coat of liquid paint is applied to a substrate.
6. Branding Powder Coated Wood – Something you will probably have considered even before deciding on a finish is how you will brand your product. There are several ways to effectively brand powder coated wood parts before packaging it for the end user. Ink transfers, digital printing, screen printing, vinyl printing, and domed tags are some of the branding options available.
7. Antimicrobial Coatings – GCC Coatings offers an antimicrobial additive that can be added to the powder when it is being made. The result is a surface that is capable of killing germs on contact. The additive that we are using is made of inorganic compounds which will also prevent any further bacterial growth. This is an especially ideal solution for schools, food preparation areas, and medical facitilites (i.e. hospitals, nursing homes, etc.).
With all the benefits one can get from powder coating wood it’s hard to believe any other option would even be considered. A powder finish is versatile, durable, environmentally friendly, and cost effective. In many ways the other coating options hardly put up a fight.
Are you ready to start using powder coating for your wood parts? Greenberg Casework Company Inc. and GCC Coatings can help you by manufacturing and powder coating your next job. Contact us today for free samples, answers to your questions, and to get a quote for your job: (815) 624-0288!