What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating protects materials from atmospheric influence. It provides an even surface and a uniform finish. Thermoset or thermoplastic is used and granulated into a powder form. The powder is then sprayed onto the surface of a metal object using an electric charge and then this surface needs to be cured.
Ovens are required for curing a powder coating. Powder coating ovens must be able to sustain temperatures of 450°F and the oven will need to be large enough to fit all the powder-coated objects inside. Powder coating ovens do not require the use of solvents, meaning curing can be compliant with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations regarding the emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
How do Powder Coating Ovens Work?
When the substrate is coated, a powder coating oven is used to cause the powder to adhere to the metal extremely firmly meaning it will be extremely long-lasting. The powder then becomes a smooth substance which looks as if it has been painted on.
Powder coating ovens apply heat to the coating at a determined temperature, meaning that the final objective of the powder coating method will be met. Specialist ovens are needed for this reason, the coating should not be subject to direct heating and heating elements should not come into direct contact with the powder coating or it would burn the coating.
The coating oven must contain heating coils which can direct infrared heat to the entire coated object in a process called convection heating. Convection heating allows heat to move towards a substance without needing direct contact, the heating coils do not touch the coated object and therefore will not impact the coating.
In a coating oven, the oven is set to a defined temperature and a timer should be employed to control the time of curing. Using the right amount of time and temperature will ensure that the powder will form a solid film of plastic wrap around the metal.
The most important element of a powder coating oven is its volumetric capacity. Powder coating ovens are frequently used in the automotive industry to coat critical components to ensure they do not degrade or warp throughout their use.
This means that powder coating ovens need to be big enough to use with larger components or structures whilst having high levels of control to guarantee uniform conditions inside the curing chamber.
Integrated controls for powder coating ovens are valuable for process monitoring and data acquisition. These systems contain air flow rotation and sensitive temperature controls for manufacturers to simply monitor and alter the curing chamber’s conditions in real-time, to ensure optimal powder coating.