Powder Coating Vs. Wet Painting: What Are The Benefits Of Powder Coating?


Across many industries and applications, there is a common need for finishing processes that can offer effective and efficient protection for metal surfaces. Whether it’s pipeline for the oil and gas industry or traffic signs in urban development, metals are ever-present in our daily lives, and they need to be protected from damage from a variety of sources. Traditional wet paint can be used to coat metal surfaces and afford some protection, but there are more effective coating technologies—powder coating being first and foremost amongst them.

Powder coating in Houston offers several advantages over wet paint application. One of the clearest advantages with powder coating is the thick, hard finish that is produced by a process of electrostatic binding and high-heat curing. The thickness of the coat, and its durability and resistance to factors such as abrasion and rust, is unattainable with traditional wet paint coatings. Plus, wet paint coatings will require maintenance down the road, with further coats necessary to preserve the coat’s protective qualities; powder coating is a more permanent solution, offering a denser and harder finish with fewer coats overall.

Powder coating doesn’t just offer protective benefits, but in several ways it can also offer a more attractive finish. Powder coat colors and textures are offered in a wide variety of choices to the consumer, with the RAL system providing standardized colors throughout the industry. Powder coating in Houston also offers a more even coating since the powder is applied uniformly without the drips or application traces that might be seen with wet paint. Plus, the application and curing process in powder coating is significantly faster than allowing a coating of wet paint to dry, and powder coating is environmentally friendly—the powder contains no solvents and produces a low amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

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Outdoor Furniture Refinishing: When Should You Refinish Metal Furniture?


Maybe your outdoor furniture has been sitting exposed to the elements for too long. Maybe you just found a great deal on furniture that needs refinishing at a garage sale. Either way, it’s usually fairly obvious when furniture is in need of refinishing, especially outdoor metal furniture. However, before you make the decision on whether or not to refinish, and the method of refinishing, there are some important things to consider.

First: do you actually want to go through with the outdoor furniture refinishing? This question might be especially relevant if the furniture was purchased in its current state, such as from a garage sale or an antique store. Vintage styles are currently popular, so if the piece isn’t too damaged, it might be worth keeping it in its current state for the “charm” factor. However, rust and sharp edges can quickly make a piece of metal furniture unusable, so don’t be shy about getting it refinished.

Once the decision is made to go through with the outdoor furniture refinishing job, additional factors crop up. Is it worth doing the job on your own? DIY refinishing jobs can be rewarding, but also costly in materials, labor, and most importantly, time. If the furniture piece isn’t a labor of love, then getting it professionally refinished is likely the best option.

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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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Protective Metal Coatings In Houston


There are various protective metal coatings in Houston available for industrial, commercial, and architectural applications. We offer two main options at Houston Powder Coaters.

The powder coating industry makes up around 15% of the market for protective metal coatings in Houston. It was first introduced in the 1960s in North America, and over the decades has become the go-to protective finish for many different industries whose needs are vast.  Powder coatings require no solvents like liquid paints and coatings, so they emit almost no volatile organic compounds, or VOCs for short.  Without a liquid solvent the powder coating can be applied more thickly as it is not susceptible to sags like its liquid counterparts. With their low environmental impact, myriad of colors, and near infinite catalog of uses, protective metal coatings in Houston are in high demand.

Fusion-bonded epoxy coating, or FBE coating for short, is a type of protective metal coating typically used to protect steel pipes used in pipeline construction, rebar, valves, and more from corrosion. On the interior of the pipes, a phenolic primer is used as an anti-corrosive basecoat that is resistant to oxygenated atmospheres but also carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, brine, and petroleum distillates.  After the primer comes the FBE, and with that the interior is done. On the exterior, the phenolic primer step is skipped, instead FBE is applied and then a fusion-bonded polyester finishes the exterior for a superior protective metal coating.

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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.

Internal Pipe Coating – FBE Applications


FBE internal pipe coating is the preferred coating for many oil & gas companies as well as utility firms for sewage and water transport.  Its superior resistance to corrosion prevents the assault of chemicals onto the conduit thereby reducing the impact of rust from the inside out.  Because FBE coated pipes are abrasion, chemical, and thermal resistant, its suitability for a myriad of applications translates to a popularity that far exceeds other coatings.

The application of fusion bonded epoxy for internal pipe coatings provides long lasting resistance to corrosive materials and distillates.  Furthermore, internally coated pipes provide better flow efficiency due to the reduction in friction between the pipe’s surface and the gas, oil, or water that makes its way through the pipeline.  Moreover, several fusion bonded epoxies offer paraffin wax mitigation to slow down the build-up of the precipitate deposits that hamper these flow rates.

To prep pipes for the internal coating of fusion bonded epoxy, an aggressive media blasting is required so that proper anchor profiles are met to achieve maximum adherence.  A thin layer of phenolic primer is applied and dried before the conduit is placed in the oven to preheat.  Afterwards, the pipe is internally sprayed with the designated FBE to the required millage thickness before going back into the oven to fully cure.

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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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