Powder Coating or Wet Paint? Which is Better? For the practical use of metals like iron and carbon steel, surface finishing plays a vital role. If left unprotected, the iron in the metals reacts with Oxygen to form rust. This signifies that the colorful exteriors are not only meant for decorative purpose, but also prevents corrosion. Such metal parts can be used either after custom powder coating or wet paint. Since both the wet paint and powder coating have similar functions, but each type of coating has its definite set of advantages and disadvantages. The major point of difference between powder coating and the wet paint is the solvent, wet paints comprises of a solvent, but the powder coating does not. The solvent in the wet paint keeps all the other components in suspended liquid form, but in the powder coating is applied as a dry powder. However, the other differences between the powder coating and wet paint can be pointed on the basis of application process, color matching, texture, and even the operator training requirements.
Application Processes Though both powder coating and wet paint are applied in their liquid and solid states respectively, the industrial applications of both are somewhat similar. But before applying any coating, the surface to be painted requires a thorough cleaning. Powder Coating In the powder coating process, the dry powder is shot through an electrostatic gun on to the exterior of the metal. The gun gives the powder a negative charge, and the negatively charged powder gets attracted towards the grounded part. Once the coating reaches the desired thickness, the coated material is placed in a curing oven, whether the heated powder converts into a gel. Curing creates thermal bonds between the powder particles, giving a smooth finish. Wet Paint
The liquid paint is kept in a fine spray and it is also electrostatically charged. In this scenario, the liquid paint needs to be applied by the trained experts in order to avoid drips. Some liquid paints are air dried, while the others are placed in a curing oven.
Textures There are some applications in which the appearance of the finished paint job is as important as the performance. Some textures can be achieved well by both the powder coating and wet paint, but other textures are easier to attain with a particular medium. However, texture finish is much easier to achieve with the help of powder coating. The thinner powder coats are naturally more textured. But if you want a high-gloss finish, then it will be much easier with the liquid paint.
Color Matching When it comes to color matching, liquid paint is the unequivocal winner. For instance, a blue and red can be mixed to produce a purple paint. On the contrary, the custom powder coating requires a special production run. Since there is no solvent in powder coating, an attempt to mix blue and red powder will just create a blue and red speckle pattern.
Cost Powder coating is generally cheaper than the wet paint in the long run, but the upfront costs tend to be higher. Since the wet paint technology has been around a long time, the equipment and materials are widely available. Unlike the paint, the powder can be collected and reused. Moreover, the labor costs are also lower in case of powder coating and it can be done well by almost anyone, or even through an automated process. In addition to it, the powder coating also has a much lower disposal costs.
The onset of technology advancement and the diminishing costs are driving up the popularity of custom powder coating, especially in the industrial applications. Though liquid paint will have its own role, you can anticipate more from powder coating in the future.
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