EVS Metal is known for precision metal fabrication, and it’s a point of pride that we are one of the most trusted manufacturers in the industry. However, fabrication of aluminum and steel is only part of what our highly-trained staff does in a given day. While laser cutting systems and press brakes make up a large part of our projects, finishing processes are also incredibly important to what we do, especially for items that aren’t simply pieces of a larger product. When we fabricate an end product, whether for an industrial/commercial setting or for use by consumers, it must look truly finished in order for it to ship. One of the ways in which we ensure this via powder coating.
How does powder coating work?
Powder coating was first introduced to North America in the 1960s and it completely changed the way products are finished in a revolutionary way; in fact, when you break it down, it’s truly a scientific marvel. Gone were the days of spray painting (and re-painting and re-painting again) metal products. It works via a process called electrostatic spray deposition (ESD), which allows colored coatings (usually a combination of powdered polymer resins, pigments, curatives and leveling agents) to be applied via a spray gun. Essentially, an electrostatic charge is supplied by the gun which is then applied to the colored powder which allows it to bond to the grounded metal item being coated. The item is then transferred to a curing oven, which uses very high heat to harden the powder into a molecularly-dense protective top layer. While there are other types of powder coating, such as fluidized bed application, ESD is still by far the most common process.
How is powder coating used?
Powder coating is used in two ways — decoratively and protectively. Because the molecular structure produced from powder coating is so strong and durable, it’s not uncommon to see products that may never see the light of day powder coated for protection, whether from the elements, like rain or extreme heat or from friction or other forms of wear and tear resulting from use. But it’s also incredibly popular for decorative use, too. Products such as bicycle frames, self-service kiosks, snowmobiles, fire extinguishers and vending machines are all powder coated to enhance both the look and the durability of the items. But it’s not just large items that are powder coated. Very small items like thumbtacks and mechanical pencils are also powder coated because it just makes financial sense. Powder coating is generally an economical process when done on a large scale, while hand-painting is not. That makes small products that are mass produced prime candidates.
Regardless of the type of item being finished and why a manufacturer chooses to use powder coating over other available options, what’s universal is that the process is a relatively uncomplicated, unbelievably durable, extremely cost-effective choice that lacks many of the environmental concerns that other finishing processes hold.
EVS Metal provides a range of precision fabrication and finishing services to a diverse customer base, from ITAR-compliant, quick-turn prototypes to high-volume production runs. Discover how our top-of-the-line powder coating lines can add value to your manufacturing supply chain today; simply request a quote online, or give us a call at (973) 839-4432.