Surface finishing is vital when using reactive metals such as ductile iron or carbon steel. If left without a protective surface coating, the iron in these metals can react with oxygen and form rust. Rust can have a huge negative impact on the safety and performance of a piece of machinery. This is especially the case when it comes to cars and other automobiles. Colourful exteriors are not just for decorative purposes, they serve as functional barriers against corrosion and can enhance the lifespan of a vehicle. Metal parts for the cars can be finished with either vehicle powder coating or wet paint, and whilst both types of paint have a similar function, each coating has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Although one is liquid and the other is solid, the industrial application for these automotive paints are similar. Pretreatments have the same processes in which the surface undergoes thorough cleaning to ensure that oils, dirt, and any other contaminants are removed so that they do not impact surface adhesion. However, applying the paints themselves is when the processes begin to differ.
The vehicle powder coating process involves shooting dry powder through an electrostatic gun onto the metal parts. The negative attraction from the gun and the powder creates a fast and even application. Once the coating has been applied to the desired thickness, the parts are placed in a curing oven. The curing process creates thermal bonds which as a result ensures a smooth and hard finish.
Liquid paint is applied through a fine spray which is also electrostatically charged. However, whilst powder coating can create uniform coverage with ease, the same standard of coverage is harder to achieve. This is because it relies on highly trained professionals to avoid drips and uneven coatings. Both powder and liquid coating often have a primer and a colour, however, liquid paint may also require multiple coats alongside a clear topcoat too.
Powder coating has many different advantages but when it comes to colour matching, liquid paint is often the winner. Custom colours can be mixed on-site by almost any point supplier. Powder coat colours require a specialist production run as the colours are determined by the plastics which have been ground down. As there is no solvent in powder coating, it’s harder to colour match. Therefore standard colours are usually produced in large batches.
The key to a good performance is a flawless finish on your metal surface, which is why when it comes to automotive coatings, powder coating is almost always the most effective. Powder coating provides much better performance to wet paint. This is because it is more resistant to chipping, scratching, and other general wear and tear. This happens because of the thermal bonding that takes place during the curing process, and the fact that powder coating can be applied in much thicker layers.
Overall powder coating is one of the most proactive finishes for a car. It provides an excellent finish and is highly durable, and in fact, can be most cost-effective. Here at RM, we can ensure that your automobile is provided with a consistent finish that can truly enhance the restoration of your vehicle.
Automotive Powder Coatings