Ensuring that the powder is fluidizing properly is essential to a successful powder coating application. So what is fluidizing? Basically... it is using air to turn powder into a ‘liquid’ state. A good fluidizing hopper will often have the appearance of a simmering pot of stew. But why do we need to fluidize the powder though? Well, by fluidizing powders they become easier to apply – both in the terms of an even application and how smoothly the powder flows through the guns.
We all know applying powder coatings can sometimes be tricky. Sometimes, jobs go wrong. For every coating that comes out perfect, there will be a reject down the line somewhere. The more experience you gain, the risks of a blundered coating are reduced, and we’re here to nudge a bit more knowledge your way. We talked about appearance issues previously, which you can see here, but today, we are going to dig into application issues. This is when issues arise in the actual process of applying a powder coating to a substrate, the result of which is often a reject.
Before we get this train moving, we should probably define what exactly a special effect coating is. The list is pretty long, as essentially everything that is not a solid color can fit into this category. The definition of a special effect can also differ between powder manufacturers and job shops. Some of you may consider low glosses and matte finishes as special effects; others may not. Most companies will say that metallics fall under the special effects class – however, we have a whole article dedicated to metallics here and will not be focusing on them today.
Metallics are powder coatings which have a metallic or sparkle effect added to them. These metallic pigments are usually aluminum flake or mica and can be different colors and sizes. There are those that will be very obviously sparkly or glittery, others shimmery, and some will have more subtle sparkle effects. So, for this article, we should specify that we aren’t talking about coatings that give the appearance of metal - what we are talking about are metallic coatings that have a sparkling effect.
How to Apply a Two Coat System
Whether it's a primer and top coat, color coat and a clear, or one of the many beautiful finishes that require a bright base coat to really make the top coat shine, two coat systems come with their own set of challenges. This blog - how to apply a two coat system - offers tips from the top on applying various two coat systems including primers, topcoats and clear coats. Read more...