Custom Powder Coating Services

SHIELDco is a top rated powder coating provider, offering services in Frederick maryland and SURROUNDING areas

What does powder coated mean?

Powder coating is a material coloration technique that involves a free-flowing dry powder which does not require a solvent like liquid paint. The powder is applied with an electrostatic charge and then baked to apply a skin to the material, which is stronger than standard paint.

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Powder is typically applied using a type of sprayer to charge the powder particles so that they will stick to a material, which is normally made out of metal.

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Is there an advantage to having a product powder coated over standard painting?

There are multiple advantages to using powder coats over regular paints when coloring your product:

-Powder coatings contain no solvents and release little or no amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere. This eliminates the need buy costly pollution control equipment, allowing companies can comply more easily and economically with the regulations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

-Powder coatings can produce much thicker coatings than conventional liquid coatings without running or sagging.

-Unlike wet paint, powder coats are resistant to chipping, scratching and wear down because a thermal bonding process is done during the coating of metals.

-Powder coated items generally have fewer appearance differences between horizontally coated surfaces and vertically coated surfaces than liquid coated items. This is why most companies opt for it to give a high quality, uniform finish to custom business signage and automobiles.

-The wide range of specialty effects are easily accomplished using powder coatings that would be impossible to achieve with other coating processes.

-Curing time is significantly faster with powder coating as compared to liquid coating.

Left: Powder Coating Right: Paints

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We match your logo colors to one of our many swatches. We utilize a wide array of colors and textures to ensure we correctly capture the colors of your design. Powder coating significantly extends the life of the paint when compared to standard wet spraying. The finish is brighter and more bold and will not fade nearly as quickly in even direct sunlight. Powder coating can be used to create many different textures and many of the colors have different flaking and pattern that give the coat significant depth and uniqueness.

Our turn around time for powder coating is typically 1-2 weeks. However, we can rush projects if required. We can handle nearly any size powder coating project and operate 2 different powder coating facilities near Frederick Md.

You can stop by our facility 1209 N East St suite d, Frederick, MD 21701 and see color samples to be sure you pick the right finish.

Here is a great article on the powder coating process: https://www.wikihow.com/Powder-Coat

Essentially it happens in 5 steps
1. Determine the material - Powdercoating can either be thermoplastic or thermoset polymer powder, and these materials are formulated for bonding with different base metals to give the best results
2. Disassemble the parts completely - remove bolts, brackets, etc. to get to the bare parts
3. Clean the base metal - this is important. All the grease, oil and dirt need to be removed or the powder will not stick and could flake
4. Apply the powder using the proper gun - there are inexpensive guns that can create streaks and inconsistencies. Ensure your powdercoater is using high quality equipment or you could be disappointed
5. Bake the paint - Use an industrial over to bring bake the powder coat into a hard surface. Typically the temperature is 350-375 degrees. You could in theory use a home oven but you could never use it again for cooking.

Whats the difference: Thermosets v. Thermoplastics?

Powder coating comes in two main categories. Thermosets and Thermoplastics. Thermosets are more permanent. Once they are baked they cannot be rebaked or remolded. Thermoplastics can be reheated and remolded. Thermosets actually reinforce the structural integrity of the part, while Thermoplastics do not. Thermosets are used in applications where they may be exposure to high heat because Thermosets would remelt.

Thermosets: Create a longer lasting, more durable finish. However, they make the part unable to be altered and difficult to recycle.

Thermoplastics: Can be remolded. Are more resistant to impact. Can be recycled. However the coating is more likely to wear over time.

Powder coating is the industry standard for finishes. Advantages that powder coatings have over liquid coatings are many, including a solvent-free workplace, lower line costs and easy cleanup. Powder coatings also aid finishers with their environmental efforts, as they have very low VOCs and offer overspray recycling and product waste that can generally be disposed of in local landfills.

Correct maintenance and spray techniques are essential to ensuring efficiency, safety and effectiveness in any powder coating process. While supervisor involvement of operations is a great best practice for keeping a line running as smoothly as the day it was first installed, even the most productive powder coating lines need to be monitored and maintained.

The issues below are not the only ones issues but are certainly 10 of the most common. Proactively solving potential problems before they occur can save time and money and frustration.

1. Get grounded

Electrostatically sprayed powder coatings are given a negative charge out of the powder gun, the part itself needs to be grounded. The ground provides the opposite charge and bonds the powder to the part, but the part must be properly grounded to create the difference in charge. A poor ground affects the transfer efficiency and results in improper film build. Maintenance needs to be conducted regularly to prevent this from occurring

Poor film can be caused from build up overtime. Check your powder coating hooks regularly and ensure they are clean and free of residue

You also need good contact through the system. So ensure the part is properly grouded throughout the application process. To ensure proper resistance, a 500 volt megaohm meter should be used - the resistance value should always be < 1 megaohm.

2. Less is More

The key to a good powder coat is applying just the right amount of powder. Overspray can occur if the gun and powder lines are not properly maintained.

If you can not see in the powder room when you are spraying you are likely spraying too much. The powder coming through the gun is charged when coming through the nozzle. If the veloicty of the flow is too high the spray will leave the gun uncharged and not properly stick to the metal

Not to mention that high velocity paint can damage your tools. So keep the flow at the right speed. Take your time.

3. Powder has to breathe

Air quality is a must. There can be moisture, oil and particulate matter like dirt or dust that can affect the powder coating process.

Generally, quality are needs to have:

  • Oil content of less than 0.1 ppm

  • Dew point below 38 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Particulate matter no larger than 0.3 microns in size


4. Size Matters - particle size that is

One of the environmental benefits to powder coating is being able to reuse some of the material, the powder. However, using only recycled material can result in a sub optimal particle size and again effect the adherence to the metal. You should always use a mix of virgin material and recycled material.

5. Don’t Get Mixed Up

Different powders come from different batches and from different manufactures. All powders have a slightly different chemical composition which can be minimal but can also be significant. That is why we recommend, whenever possible, to use separate guns for different powders. If you are just getting started and have limited equipment then you at least should clean the gun thoroughly before swapping colors.

6. The base counts

The quality of the powder coat will be 100% linked to the quality of the base metal. The base metal must be 100% clean and free of debris. Additionally, different metals have different preparation requirements. A motorcycle rim and a metal fence will need different care.

Failure to properly prep the material can lead to:
 

  • Reduced adhesion

  • Pinholing/outgassing - imperfections in the coat

  • Rusting

  • Weld pullaway - welds require extra care

  • Coating failure - flaking, peeling


Powder coaters must ensure the base material is properly prepped. The coating is only as good as the substrate to be covered.

7. Not all powder is equal

We have found that there are significant differences in quality between powders. When calculating the cost you need to think about the cost per square foot covered not just the price per pound. Why? Because the quality of some powder can significantly increase the coverage. Just shopping for the cheapest powder, we have found is not the most cost effective. Look for reputable providers and at least go with their mid grade or higher powder quality. Not to mention the risk involved in the coating failing and your customers coming back disappointed.

8. Be dry and cool

Ideal conditions are below 80 degrees and humidity levels under 50 percent, low-cure powder coatings may require even cooler temperatures. If you are located in a geography that gets hot and humid you need to take extra care to cool and dry your facility. Dehumidifiers are a must in high humidity environments and you should regularly check the humidity inside your facility.

9. Watch the heat

Temperature matters. You need to monitor the temperature of the base metal and the oven. Often times the paint cooking recommendations are written in the form: time in over : temperature. This temperature is referring to the temp of the base metal not the over. Obviously, a part baked at just the right temp for just the right amount of time is optimal, however under baking is much better than overbaking. Overbaking is almost certain to lead to degradation of the coat durability.

10. Quality Control and Preventative maintenance

Document all your process and train your employees on the standard. Preform regular checks on the adherence to the best practices from prepping to spraying to baking. Make the preventative maintenance of the equipment part of the daily routine and expectation. All our coaters know the guns and spray area need to be cleaned at the end of every shift. The following shift performs a quick inspection before they get started and report up if the equipment was not left to standard. Additionally, you get what you pay for, and buying none OEM replacement parts have cost us money and frustration.



Shield Co powder coating

We strive to be the leader in all of our service lines, including powder coating. We guarantee the use of quality products and best in class applicant techniques.