Surface Preparation Standards In Powder Coating


A new oilfield assembly or refinished piece of furniture might look great as a final product, but there’s a lot of work that goes into making sure its surface is prepared before the coating is even applied. If a substrate’s surface is dirty, the coating will not adhere properly and will ultimately fail. To prevent this from occurring, multiple industry-wide surface preparation standards have been developed to clean and properly prepare different types of metal. Given that there are so many different potential cleaning methods and surface materials, these guidelines benefit the industry by standardizing processes and ensuring the highest possible quality for the client.

The most commonly used and accepted standards were put forward by the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), both professional organizations operating in the corrosion and coatings industry. These organizations came together to bring the Joint Surface Preparation Standards to the industry. These standards cover a multitude of techniques for preparing surfaces, from simple solvent cleaning (SSPC-SP1) to abrasive blasting using a high-pressure gun that leaves a metal surface “uniformly free of all foreign matter” (SSPC-SP5 / NACE 1).

Note that these surface preparations also create anchor profiles from which the powder adheres to the metal. The more aggressive surface preps will produce a deeper anchor pattern. Typical steel grit blast media will produce anchor profiles between 2-4 mils. Mild solvents and hand-etching will produce less. Recognize that the classification numbers of the surface preparation standards do not necessarily increase with intensity (so read them carefully).

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Powder Coating Color Charts


The process of powder coating lends a durable, long-lasting, and environmentally-friendly protection to steel surfaces. In addition to its practicality, this coating is also aesthetically pleasing due to multiple coating passes and flow technology which result in an even, bump-free finish. Importantly, the color of the actual coating is versatile as well, with a good variety of standard colors available according to the RAL powder coating color charts and the associated standards, as well as custom or non-standard formulations to match hard-to-reproduce colors.

In many cases, protective coatings must match a very specific existing color. This may be due to the necessity of matching pre-existing surfaces, strict brand standards, or cases where color is used to communicate safety information in a hazardous environment. In many circumstances, the standard RAL powder coating color charts are sufficient for matching desired colors. Developed in Germany in 1927, the RAL color standard defines over 2,300 colors for use in powder coating applications. Such a standard is useful for both powder coating shops and customers of powder coating services because accurate reproduction is important—every application using a specific color should be indistinguishable. If a specific color is used for one job, it should be consistent with another job down the road using the same specification.

In addition to the colors specified by the RAL standard, many powder coating shops can formulate custom colors. This process, albeit timely, may be important for hard-to-match and non-standard colors due to previous jobs using unconventional colors, or the necessity of exact color matching for branding purposes.

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Industrial Powder Coating In Texas


Industrial powder coating in Texas may not be a flashy subject, but the technology and specialized services associated with it are paramount to providing high level protection to industrial parts and projects.  Businesses looking to safeguard their physical assets invest in powder coating as a form of elongating parts’ operational lifecycles.  Furthermore, it is important to recognize that all coating applicators are not the same.  An experienced and capable powder coating shop should be large enough to handle all elements of the process in-house.  This will not only maximize efficiencies but also result in faster turnarounds.

Texas is home to many different industries, with agriculture, manufacturing, and oil and gas being among the largest and most important to the local economies. In heavy industries, such as oil and gas, the protection of metal surfaces is a critical aspect that requires close attention. Drilling fluid, hydrocarbons, CO2, CH4, and other contaminants are harsh on metal surfaces such as the extensive piping that services the upstream and downstream segments. This where industrial powder coating in Texas reveals its importance.

Powder coating as a process is different from other types of protective and anti-corrosive coatings, such as simple paint. Industrial powder coating in Texas involves the use of an electrostatic gun that applies a dry powder to the surface needing protection. The coating is cured under heat to produce a tough finish that exceeds in protecting the metal substrate.  For internal protection, the recent development of the triple-application fusion bonded epoxy (FBE) system provides especially resilient and durable protection for the many miles of piping that transport petroleum products.

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The History Of Powder Coating: Houston


Powder coating has become a huge industry in the few decades since its inception. Used by oil and gas companies, commercial real estate, city sewage systems, and private residents, the needs for powder coating in Houston are vast. Powder coating was invented as a solution to the many problems the liquid finishing industry encountered. From the wet coatings not lasting long enough, harmful release of volatile organic compounds from the liquid solvents, and the high costs of safety and pollution control, liquid coatings have become more problematic in today’s society.

European companies in the 1940s were under pressure to find more environmentally friendly alternatives to liquid finishes, as utilizing flame spraying to melt the coatings onto the metal was immensely dangerous. It was in the 1940s that Dr. Erwin Gemmer came up with a method to fluidize the bed application for thermostatic resins on metal as an alternative to the flame spraying method. This “new” method of powder coating could be applied to new or used parts that were properly cleaned, coated, and then put in a powder coating oven for 2-4 hours. The next 4 decades saw many improvements to Dr. Gemmer’s method and by the 1980’s powder coating in Houston exploded as it was environmentally friendly, produced little waste, and was cost efficient. These days, powder coated items can be cured in as little as 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the metal), making powder coating pipes, furniture, and other items more efficient than ever.

As stated in many articles before, Houston Powder Coaters abrasively blasts a significant amount of its projects due to its deepest anchor-profiling results. This type of “surface preparation” in addition to the fusion- bonded (heat) interlacing properties of the powder produces the highest-level adhesion. This means that the powder coating in Houston has achieved the highest level of durability with the smallest environmental footprint.

Patio Furniture Repair – Houston Powder Coaters


In South Texas, patio furniture is subjected to relentless heat, humidity, and adverse weather. Even furniture built to last can rust and break., and fabric can dry rot. Nothing is more disappointing than planning to spend a day in the beautiful outdoors only to find that the furniture outside is unusable. Professional patio furniture repair can increase the longevity of outdoor seating, tables, and more.

Wrought iron and cast-iron patio furniture are popular options in the south because they are heavy and fade resistant. However, they are susceptible to humidity and can rust. Rust can lead to weak structure which can lead to breakage. Patio furniture repair is an investment in outdoor living, so a company like Houston Powder Coaters that not only repairs your furniture but can protect it from further damage for a long time is essential. Having an experienced welding staff to repair damage, or even replace missing or broken parts will ensure that your furniture is not just repaired but returned to you better than new. HPC is highly experienced in patio furniture repair and will even replace or repair feet caps (and cap with a plastic inserts) so that your furniture is on even footing.

Another popular option in the south is sling patio furniture because it offers the comfort of cushioned seating but is much more breathable.  However, fabric in the south (even fabric meant for the outdoors) will eventually give way to dry rot. Sitting in a dry rotted sling chair is a recipe for a hurt back. Patio furniture repair should be a one stop shop. Have your sling patio furniture powder coated and get the fabric replaced by Houston Powder Coaters in Houston, Texas. Hundreds of sling designs and many-colored coatings make for near infinite options for any design.

Polyester Powder Coatings – TGIC, TGIC-Free, HAA, & Primid Explained


Polyester powder coating technology has been around since the 1970s and accounts for 30-45 percent of powder coating product sales globally. There are two main categories of polyester powder coatings used in the industry today: TGIC (an acronym for the chemical compound curing agent it uses, triglycidyl isocyanurate), and HAA. HAA polyester powder coating uses β-hydroxyalkyl amides as its curing agent and is often called TGIC-free or Primid polyester powder coating after the brand of curative used in most HAA powder coatings. While both categories of polyester powder coatings perform relatively similarly, there are some pros and cons that can tilt a company toward one or the other. 

TGIC coatings typically offer better chemical resistance and corrosion resistance than their TGIC-free counterpart. The HAA curing mechanism can release water, which makes the coating slightly more water soluble than TGIC-polyester. Because of its slight water-solubility, HAA coatings are more susceptible to acidic and alkaline chemicals. All of this makes HAA-polyester less corrosion resistant than TGIC-polyester.  However, with different formulations, a Primid polyester coating can perform on par with TGIC. When it comes to impact and abrasion resistance, flexibility, and hardness, TGIC and TGIC-free polyester powder coatings are the same. 

For application and curing, TGIC-polyester cures at a lower temperature than HAA-polyester (roughly 290 degrees Fahrenheit and 330 degrees Fahrenheit respectively). Many companies find HAA-polyester applies more easily and sticks to nooks and crannies better than TGIC-polyester. Thickness of application varies greatly between the two, with TGIC-polyester coating able to reach about 10 mils (250 microns) thickness and HAA-polyester coating reaching 3.5 – 4.0 mils (90-100 microns) thickness. When it comes to color stability, TGIC-polyester comes out ahead. HAA-polyester can yellow in color in overbake conditions, while TGIC-polyester has very little color drift over a wide range of cure times and temperatures. 

Outdoor Patio Furniture Refinishing In Houston: Experience Matters


Whether it’s an antique piece that has been in the family for decades or a recent purchase that has fallen victim to some less-than-ideal climate conditions, outdoor patio furniture refinishing in Houston becomes necessary when an important or cherished furniture piece loses that special shine. Harsh climates with heavy rains, unrelenting heat, and salty Gulf Coast air can significantly lessen the life of a piece of outdoor furniture. High-humidity areas are also hard on a furniture piece’s protective coatings. It’s no surprise then that outdoor patio furniture in Houston can take a beating. Refinishing the protective coating on the piece is a good way to extend its life and to ensure it stays in the family for years.

Outdoor patio furniture refinishing in Houston can certainly be attempted as a DIY project. But if a piece has fond memories and its own history attached, it’s usually a better option to choose a professional refinishing service. The price point of a DIY project might be more attractive, but ask yourself if it’s worth the time, effort, and potential poor quality of handling the job yourself. It would be a shame to lose a family heirloom to poor workmanship.

For several reasons, a professional powder coating shop in Houston is much more equipped to handle this potentially delicate job. First, DIYers simply can’t compete with the attention to surface preparation standards and methods that a professional shop offers. These industry experts have the knowledge and tools to use the appropriate burn-off, abrasive blast, or hand-etching techniques to­ prepare the surface to a cleanliness standard that can’t be approached by a DIYer. The process of abrasive blasting with industrial equipment also produces by-product that is simply not feasible for the DIYer to manage. A professional powder coating shop can ensure that the surface is as clean as possible prior to the application of the new finish. This is important since an unclean surface could lead to irregularities that result in a less effective and less attractive finish.

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Professional Powder Coat Repair


When it comes to powder coat repair, the simple answer is that it isn’t that simple.

Powder coating inherently involves an oven that allows for polymers and resins to melt, cross-link, and harden to become an integrated shell for a metal component. Therefore, unless the damaged pieces can be put through this fusion-bonded process again, any other “repair” will have limited protective qualities. Houston Powder Coaters has an experienced team capable of performing multiple services related to powder coating in Houston, including powder coat repair. Although there are a few exceptions to this rule (like ones that involve thermoplastic polymers), most powder coat repair falls within the following techniques.

  • Wet Paint Touch-Up – Like it sounds, wet paint can be applied by spray, brush, or roll-on methods to touch-up damaged areas. HOWEVER, it is important to note that proper surface preparation and masking are mandatory for any true level of success in the powder coat repair All damaged areas need to be sanded down and smoothed over to ensure a clean surface from which to paint.  After masking pieces to prevent any overspray or drips, a double coating of a liquid epoxy (with drying and sanding in between) will assist with sealing the damaged areas.
  • Blast / Hand-Etch and Reapply – If the damage of the powder coat is limited or over a small area, the pieces can be rerun. This involves bringing the piece back to the facility where it can be ground smooth, re-blasted, and re-shot. As the anchor pattern of the previous coating is strong, the additional blast creates a new anchor pattern for the new powder to adhere to. Again, these pieces will be placed in an oven to cure. Due to the extraordinary properties of the powder polymers, enhanced “bake windows” allow for previously cured powders to be reheated without incurring damage.
  • Burn-Off and Start Over – If the damage to the coating is significant, it is recommended to start from scratch. Pieces will need to be “thermal-stripped,” which means that the coating must be burnt off.  Whereas wet coatings can be removed simply with abrasive blasting techniques, powder coating must be heated up to break its physical and chemical bonds.  Afterwards, the pieces are blasted and coated as if they were untreated.

If you have any additional questions regarding powder coating in Houston or powder coat repair in general, please give Houston Powder Coaters a call.  We are happy to educate and assist.

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