What Is ‘A’ Class Powder Coating?

R&M Metal Finishings are a leading Tier 1 A Class Powder Coating Supplier in the West Midlands. We deliver a quality highly protective and versatile metal finishing solution. ‘A’ Class Powder coating refers to the aesthetic standard requirement, meeting the highest quality of coating possible. It is otherwise known as ‘eye level’ powder coating. These powder coat finishes are typically associated with the automotive trade. They are those surfaces that most likely meet the eye in the showroom. They are of critical importance because they give the first impression of quality to the potential customer. Therefore, they are instrumental in the decision making process of buying a car.

Categories Of Finishes

The standard of finishes are within three categories: ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’:

If a prospective customer approaches a car in a showroom in a normal standing position, are in the category ‘A’, A Class or eye level. The surfaces are closest to the face and are of the highest visibility.

Then those surfaces which are not in direct line of sight, but you can easily see, would be in class ‘B’. The customer is in what would you consider a normal posture, but a more unusual position (ie at an angle or distance).

Furthermore, surfaces only seen if the person takes a more unusual position, would be in class ‘C’ finish. The customer is in this position in order to specifically examine the surface more closely. Or to access the a remote in a usually inaccessible spot.

Furthermore, a good example which easily explains these classifications is the roof rail. The roof rail is eye level and is therefore of critical importance in respect of aesthetic quality. However, it has three basic surfaces. The outer edge which meets the eye immediately. Then there is the inside edge, which you can see at a distance, ie across the car. After that, there is the underside. You can only see this usually, if you are bending down and looking up at the same time.

These are classed as ‘A’, ‘B’, & ‘C’ respectively. It is usual to define defect sizes and numbers for each of these categorised surfaces with the ‘A’ being the most stringent. These visual quality standards are set by the industry and are combined with physical and chemical standards. These are achieved with the powder formulations, and specified pre-treatments.

What Is The ‘Gloss Level’ Of A Powder Coat.

Whilst powder coating can be split into 3 basic classifications; Matt, Satin, & Gloss. There is a cross over from one to another and can be down to the eye of the beholder. For instance the most common powder coat finish is Ford Matt Black. You could consider it to be a more of a Satin finish. So, many often refer it to a Satin Matt or Semi-Gloss (the latter being technically wrong). Therefore, it confuses the picture, especially when some of the wet painted body colours are visually as Matt as you can get.

However, don’t fear, help is on hand for those designers or stylists who need to determine a more exact powder coat finish. The measurement of the ‘gloss level’ can be exact and specific. Additionally, there are numerous textures available as well, which can be further complicate the decision. Some have a smooth dappled appearance and others having a sharper course (almost matchbox) type finish.

A formulation that is basically glossy finish but has a course texture is not going to give a high gloss appearance or reading. But it will be very different with a matt formulation with the same texture. For most the eye is the best judge, with samples using the same base material essential and condition to be exact.

Looking for a Tier 1 West Midlands automotive powder coating supplier? As a leading A Class Powder Coating supplier based in Birmingham, we can help. Get in touch today to discuss your requirements.

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