Reactive metals such as carbon steel and ductile iron require a form of coating to be effective in their various applications. If these metals are left unprotected, they usually react with oxygen to form rust. Therefore, colorful powder coating and paint finishes are not just for decorative purposes, but they are also functional barriers against corrosion.
There are two types of finishes applied to metal parts; these are powder coating and wet paint. While they both serve the same function, each type of coating has its advantages and disadvantages. Here is a look at how these two types of coatings compare:
Powder coating versus paint
Both of these coatings contain additives, resins and pigments. The only major distinction between them is that the paint contains a solvent, while the powder does not. The solvent is what keeps the components of paint suspended in liquid form. On the other hand, powder coating is simply applied in its dry form. The chemical composition of these two types of coatings is what differentiates their application process, their texture and color matching techniques.
The powder coating process involves the use of an electrostatic gun, which shoots dry powder onto a metal's exterior. The gun negatively charges the powder, forcing an attraction to the grounded metal. The result is a fast and even application. When the application has reached a desired level of thickness, the coated metal is put in a curing oven, where it is heated, resulting in a hard and smooth finish. On the other hand, a fine spray is used to dispense liquid paint. The paint can be air dried or placed in a curing oven.
Various applications require different finished textures. There are textures that can be obtained perfectly through powder coating, while others can only be attained through the use of wet paint. For instance, textured finishes are easily attained through the use of powder coats. On the other hand, high-gloss finishes are more easily attained through the use of wet paint.
When it comes to color matching, liquid paints are the unequivocal winner. This is because these types of coating can be easily mixed on site to get a desired color. For instance, red and blue pigments are usually mixed to get a purple shade. On the other hand, powder coats require a special production run to get a desired color. For instance, if you were to mix blue and red powder, you would only get a red and blue speckle pattern.