Powder vs. liquid
Powder Coatings offer a great many advantages of liquid paints. Check out just some of them below.
Environmental advantages of powder coatings
- Low VOCs - there are no solvents and therefore no or extremely low Volatile Organic Coatings (VOCs) in powder coatings
- There are no toxic compounds in powder coatings.
- Single coat - powder coatings achieve the same or better levels of chemical, mechanical and weathering performance than liquid coatings, but in a single coat. This means there is a significant energy saving. With liquid 2, 3 or 4 coat systems, each coat must be sprayed and baked – with significant energy requirements each time.
- Reclaim and reuse - any over spray can reclaimed and reused or recycled, unlike with liquid paints where any overspray is instantly lost. This gives up to a 97% utilization rate from a box of powder.
- Greener Pretreatment - IFS powder coatings can be used over non chrome pretreatment on aluminum and still meet and exceed AAMA 2605 performance requirements. Liquid PVDF paints MUST use chrome based pretreatment. Let’s remove chrome, which is really bad for the environment, from the process.
- Single coat applications - IFS powder coatings do not require a chrome based primer when used on aluminum. In fact most of the time no primer – chrome or otherwise – is required on aluminum. Let’s remove chrome, which is really bad for the environment, from the process.
- Lower carbon dioxide emissions - in a life cycle analysis (DSM study), powder coatings were shown to have both lower VOC and lower carbon dioxide emissions than liquid coatings.
- No Hazardous Waste - there is no toxic hazardous waste generated during the application process. This means there is also no toxic waste creating toxic landfill. Unlike with liquid paints.
- EPA - the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends powder coatings as a sustainable coating option.
- LEED - IFS powder coatings contribute towards LEED points.
Superior finish capability
- More finishes are available - powder coatings are available in a vast array of colors, metallic, anodic styles, gloss levels and even textures.
- Improved film thickness = architectural powder coatings spray on a thicker film thickness providing superior protection.
Improved mechanical performance
- Great film integrity - powder coatings are thermosetting versus the liquid thermoplastic PVDF system and this ensures maximum film integrity.
- Better scratch resistance - powder coatings are inherently tough. With this comes an improved scratch resistance of around 4H for powder compared with only around H for liquid paint.
- Great abrasion resistance- in a taber abrasion test, powder outperformed liquid significantly over 1000 rotations. The liquid coating was completely worn away, showing the substrate underneath. The powder coating showed wearing, but was still present and protecting the building.
- Improved performance against damage - because powder is tough, the need for replacements and touch ups is much decreased. It also offers superior protection against mechanical damage in high use or high traffic areas.
Excellent exterior aesthetic performance
- Excellent color retention - powder meets and exceeds the AAMA requirements for color retention.
- Improved gloss retention - powder coatings provide a more consistent gloss retention performance at an AAMA 2605 level than liquid coatings.
- Great corrosion protection - powders achieve up 4000 hours salt spray resistance (or 2000 hours aggressive cyclical) on aluminum in ONE coat. That means there is no need for a primer – unlike liquid PVDF systems.
- Thermosetting properties and inherent toughness mean powder coated surfaces are less susceptible to the settling of dirt and mildew growth, unlike softer, thermoplastic liquid PVDF coatings.
- Excellent, comparable warranties for architectural applications when applied to aluminum by a certified applicator.
Lower applied cost
- Powders achieve the same or better performance in a single coat. Compared with liquid coatings, which can be a two, three or four coat process, this means reduced product required and reduced labor costs.
- Powder coatings can be reclaimed and then reused or recycled.. This results in up to a 95% utilization rate. Remember, you can lose up to 30% of a can of paint in solvents. That’s a big difference.
- Powders often cure at lower temperatures than liquid architectural coatings, which means a reduced energy bill. What’s more, the need to recycle air in the spray booth is significantly reduced (due to the lack of solvents), which also results in decreased energy usage.
- Easy, non-hazardous disposal = reduced cost - there is no need to remove hazardous solvents and there is no sludge or waste to remove – reducing cost and improving production time.