Are all powder coatings created equal?

Posted by on 27 November 2017

The simple answer is no.

Powder coatings are used on so many different products, from facades to furniture, cookers to computers, wheels to windows, bikes to buildings and refrigerators to railings.

Even though it’s all called ‘powder coating’, there are many different product types, and the formulation chemistry behind each of them is designed to deliver very different kinds of performance.

It’s like comparing your child's first bike (complete with training wheels and ribbons) to a world class Tour de France winning bicycle. They’re both bikes but…

Powder coating is really quite a generic term; no matter what the product type, powder looks the same in its raw form; the application process is pretty much the same – at least the theory behind it is – and in most architectural applications it delivers a tough, thermosetting finish that is much better for the environment than any form of liquid paint.

Both refrigerators and curtain wall are ‘powder coated’. But we’re not going to put the same type of powder coating on a fridge, as we are on the exterior of a building and give it a 20 year warranty. They both use powder coatings, but they’re powders that are designed to do very different things.

Powder coatings for architectural applications are usually created in 3 different product types:

  1. High performance, Fluoropolymer powders – these are exterior grade, architectural powders that are used on curtain wall, building façade, fenestration, etc.
  2. Super Durable powders – these architectural powders are used as the exterior coating on low rise buildings and commercial storefront, and often on monumental or high value buildings as a very high quality interior coating.
  3. Standard Polyester powders – these powders are generally used on interior applications that do not require extensive weathering capability or low value exterior applications like railing.

All of these powders meet and exceed the AAMA coating specifications that liquid paints, including liquid PVDF or 'Kynar' type paints, have been designed to meet.

Powder coatings always deliver an environmental punch and when you choose the right product type for your architectural application, they also deliver the highest levels of exterior performance, color consistency and protection available.