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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Fusion Bonded Epoxy Coatings And Applications


Fusion bonded epoxy coatings have been in use since the 1960s. Continuous improvements on the technology have made fusion bonded epoxy (FBE) a popular choice in coating technology across a wide variety of applications. Most commonly, FBE coatings are used to protect pipelines that carry petroleum and natural gas. Fusion bonded epoxy coatings, like all pipeline coatings, have a common purpose: protecting the pipeline material from corrosion, which is accelerated in these types of warm, wet, and abrasive environments.

The process behind the actual application of a fusion bonded epoxy coating may not be universally understood, but it does provide an interesting insight into the coating technology that benefits us every day – protecting the pipelines that deliver our energy resources and clean water.

The application process of a fusion bonded epoxy coating is multi-faceted. Before any coating is applied, the pipeline surface must be “prepared” by abrasive blasting techniques to remove all rust, grease, and other surface contaminants.  Not only will this create a clean surface for which the powder is applied, but also it will also create varying anchor patterns which will interlock the cured powder to the metal.

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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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What Does RAL Mean In Powder Coating?


The term “RAL” appears very frequently in the powder coating industry and is instantly familiar to those who work in the field, but its meaning and origins, beyond the fact that it’s related to powder coat colors, might be more obscure to those who aren’t actively involved in the powder coating industry.

RAL is color matching system used in powder coating to ensure that colors are standardized across different applications, much like the Pantone color system in printing. There’s a good reason it’s simply called RAL, though: it actually refers to the Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung, a German industrial commission that invented the standard in 1927, starting with a collection of 40 colors. The standardized colors used in applications of powder coating in Houston got their start almost a century ago, in a different country, which is a testament to the utility of the standard and its enduring presence in industrial applications.

Though there have been several iterations and expansions of the RAL standard, the concept has remained the same. Having a standardized color system, produced with the same tints, hues, and saturations each time, makes it significantly easier to produce powder coat colors that remain consistent regardless of how many times they must be mixed.

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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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The Powder Coating Process And Its Uses In Houston


The powder coating process has steadily gained in popularity since its introduction in the 1960s, with coating distributors and manufacturers popping up along with service shops that perform the actual coating process. It’s clear that powder coating in Houston is an effective process, and a popular one given the presence of heavy industry nearby that can always find a use for the technology. But what exactly happens in the powder coating process?

At its heart, powder coating is a process for applying a finish that protects a wide variety of surfaces from damage, whether chemical, radioactive, or physical. In Houston and surrounding areas like the Woodlands, Katy, and Baytown, powder coating enjoys popularity due to the needs of the ever-present oil and gas industry, but it can also be used to apply a protective coating to something as basic as household appliances.

The material applied to a surface in powder coating consists of a polymer resin base combined with additional materials such as curatives, pigments, and flow modifiers. These ingredients are ground into a uniform powder before being applied to the surface to be coated with the use of a specially-made spray gun, sometimes called a corona gun. These guns use an electrostatic process to actually apply the coating, which differs significantly from other coatings, like the wet coating of a traditional paint. Since the electrostatic process eliminates the need for wet coating, powder coating in the Woodlands, TX can be helpful in protecting everything from large machinery to the miles and miles of piping used in the oil and gas industry.

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The Benefits Of Fusion Bonded Epoxy Coating


In any heavy industry, and especially in the oil and gas industry so familiar to residents of Houston, there is a strong demand for coating technology that protects pipelines from both internal and external degrading factors such as corrosion, chemical breakdown, and physical abrasion. Fusion bonded epoxy coatings, also known as FBE coating, have been a popular choice for this application since their introduction in the 1960s.

What is fusion bonded epoxy coating?

FBE coating is a type of powder coating consisting of a resin and a hardener which, when heated at high temperatures, causes the material to melt into liquid form and flow to cover a substrate to be protected. Once the surface is covered, the piece is allowed to cool, which sets the coating into a solid form. The process of curing and then cooling the powder coating is called fusion bonding. Fusion bonded epoxy coating is different from conventional paint coatings in that it takes advantage of a process called cross-linking in which polymer chains are linked together; this results in a stronger and more resistant coating.

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Outdoor Furniture Refinishing: Powder Coating Is The Superior Choice


Outdoor furniture refinishing services are especially important in an area like Houston. Although we love the outdoor life, we also have to be mindful of the threats that the elements pose to outdoor furniture: sun, rain, and near-constant humidity combine to make Houston, and the Gulf Coast in general, a difficult place to keep up a good set of outdoor furniture. No one wants to go to a barbecue or a simple patio get-together to be greeted with rusty or corroded furniture.

That’s where outdoor furniture refinishing comes in, and specifically powder coating in Houston services. Although there are a few options for refinishing your lawn and patio furniture, powder coating offers one of the most consistent and high-quality finishes compared to other processes like painting.

Professional outdoor furniture refinishing services that utilize powder coating begin with robust, thorough, and effective methods of surface preparation, including removal of previous coatings through burn-off, abrasive blasting, or hand-etching techniques. These processes are more effective in removing contaminants than any DIY process like using wire brushes in preparation for a coat of paint. Having a clean surface free from impurities is one of the most important aspects of getting a long-lasting and high-quality finish; therefore, if the longevity of your furniture is important, it’s worth the investment in professional outdoor furniture refinishing services.

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Ral Powder Coat Colors


The RAL color matching system, originally developed in Germany in the 1920s, represents a group of standards that allow for consistent reproduction of colors for a variety of applications, including powder coating in Houston. The name “RAL” comes from the German government organization that developed it—the Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherungbut thankfully we have the acronym RAL, which is a lot easier on the tongue. It’s not necessary to be intimately familiar with the history and technical aspects of RAL colors, but a little knowledge about the system can go a long way in helping you determine the kind of powder coat colors and other coating options that are right for the job you need, whether it’s as simple as outdoor furniture refinishing or as complex as large-scale industrial coating.

RAL is a continuously evolving standard, with over 2,300 colors represented, as well as 213 “classic” colors. This wide range of available colors allows for accurate color matching across the spectrum. Color standards are important in accurate reproduction of colors; prior to the introduction of this standard, color matching was achieved by exchanging samples of colors between customers and manufacturers. If you’ve ever brought a paint sample to a hardware store, you know that this method can be unreliable in achieving the exact same tint due to the difficulty of mixing by eye and general inconsistencies in mixing. Color standards are much more accurate, allowing for exact formulation and reproduction of powder coat colors in any application from patio furniture refinishing to road signage (a common use case for RAL—the traffic signs you see on your way home from work are painted by RAL standard).

Although RAL-standard coating can be purchased by any company offering powder coating in Houston services, larger companies will likely be able to offer better deals and better access to specialty formulations due to closer relationships with manufacturers and larger-volume orders. Whether you need a simple outdoor furniture refinishing job or large-scale coating services for construction or industry, consider working with an experienced and capable powder coating company that has the skills, knowledge, and access of RAL powder coat colors to get your job done right.

Patio Furniture Refinishing: Revive That Relic


For multiple reasons, patio furniture refinishing is an entirely different beast from refinishing indoor furniture. Outdoor furniture receives the worst that Mother Nature has to offer: sun, rain, hail, snow, and humidity, especially if you’re in Houston. Refinishing a furniture piece yourself can be a fun and interesting DIY project, but there are times when it’s just not worth it; it could be due to extensive damage of the piece or the amount of time and effort required to perform the job in a non-professional setting. In these cases, it’s better to work with a professional outdoor furniture refinishing company that is capable of restoring your furniture to its former glory.

Companies that offer patio furniture refinishing services should have a detailed restoration process that they are capable of explaining to the customer; this shows that they understand the process from top to bottom, and is a good indicator of experience and expertise in the process. A professional outdoor furniture refinishing company should perform the necessary preparations, including the removal of previous coatings to clear the surface of contaminants as well as to prepare it for the new coating to be applied.

Once the surface preparations are complete, the actual refinishing process can begin. An experienced and patio furniture refinishing company will understand the value of multiple coats, thoroughly coating the entire piece, to ensure that it’s fully protected from the elements. Processes like powder coating involve moving the piece back and forth between coating areas and curing ovens to ensure a uniform flow of the coating material, which ultimately results in a more equal and level finished coat. Quality control is also an important part of the process. An experienced outdoor furniture refinishing company, like Houston Powder Coaters, will ensure that each step of the process is monitored to provide the highest quality product.

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What Is Powder Coating?


Powder coating has many uses in industrial, commercial, and residential settings, but what exactly is the process of powder coating? When looking to hire someone to perform powder coating in Houston services, it can be helpful to understand what exactly the process entails, which empowers customers to make the right decision on who they work with.

Although there are many variables that factor into the procedure, powder coating is simply an electrostatic process of applying fine particles of pigment and resin to a metal surface, most commonly through the use of specialized spray gun. Once the pieces are coated, they are placed into oversized ovens to “cure” with high temperatures, which allows the coating to “flow” and produce an even, smooth, and resilient coating. This coating is designed to resist damage from weather, physical impact, and other environmental factors that could damage important metal surfaces. Qualified and experienced shops that perform powder coating in Houston services will understand the process from start to finish, and are willing and able to explain to customers how powder coating can protect against damage unique to the Houston area.

Customers may be wondering why they should take advantage of powder coating in Houston services rather than a traditional wet coating. Since powder coating doesn’t require the use of a solvent, there is no drying time needed and achieving the right coating thickness is much easier with powder coating; additionally, the solvents used in wet coating can be harmful to the environment, which is not a concern in powder coating. Plus, since the coating actually integrates into the metal surface after abrasive blasting, a powder coated surface resists physical impacts and abrasions better than a wet coating.

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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.

Powder Coat Colors – A Rainbow Of Possibilities


When it comes to choosing the right color for a coating job, it should be no surprise that there are thousands of choices. As with traditional wet paint applications, virtually any powder coat colors can be formulated to match any current sample or order. There really is a rainbow of color possibilities.

However, before we get too far down this road, it is important to note that when powder coating in Houston, it is imperative to understand what the final application is for. Is the piece going to be exposed to extreme heat, high humidity, or other environmental hazards? Will the assembly incur high stress levels or corrosive agents? Is the metal going to be expected to take excess impacts or bends? These questions help determine the type of base polymer that should be used in color formulation.

From here, colors, textures, glosses, and effects can be decided. You read it right; there is a large selection of options besides just powder coat colors. Antiques, textures, jollipops, wrinkles, crinkles, clear coats are all options to create the final appearance that you are looking for.  Add these to the thousands of RAL powder coat colors and you have a humongous spectrum of color.

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Choosing The Right Powder Coating Company In Houston


Whether your application is industrial, commercial, architectural, or just a personal piece, you have many business options to choose from when looking for powder coating in Houston. Since its introduction in the 1960s, the process of powder coating has become very popular and common, and there are many businesses that provide these services. However, as with any purchase, there are some quick guidelines you should keep in mind to be sure that you’re working with a quality provider of powder coating in Houston.

First, and possibly most importantly, you should look for a business that adheres to strict QA and QC standards. Powder coating is not a simple process, and an amateur provider will only serve up amateur results. A high-quality powder coating business will have thorough quality assurance and quality control standards, and should outline them for the customer. Any coating job that doesn’t adhere to strict quality standards will invite irregularities in the finished product due to a wide variety of factors, including lack of proper surface preparation and inappropriate coating thickness. Proper QA and QC standards eliminate these irregularities and provide for a smoother finished product.

Second, try to work with a business that offers a wide variety of powder coat colors. Your coating job will likely require a specific color, and matching that requirement is clearly a high priority. A powder coating business that offers a wide variety of stock colors as well as the option of producing special order colors is more capable of matching the exact color specification you need. Additionally, such a business offering powder coating in Houston is more likely to be experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable in providing high-quality service.

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Powder Coating For Extreme Weather In Houston


Houston is subject to all manner of weather conditions. Heavy rains and floods, ice storms, extreme heat, and more can all wreak havoc on things that are exposed to the outdoors consistently. Powder coating Houston’s large-scale outdoor installations such as traffic lights, parking meters, park benches and more is a significant expense, but it can lead to significant cost-savings over time. Different climates will require different powder coating finishes and choosing a powder coating finish in Houston that has been tested in other regions may not provide the long-lasting, durable finish the client desires. A tried-and-true powder coating job from an experienced powder coating shop in Houston will lend you the best results, as they are experienced in choosing the appropriate finishes for their customer base. 

When it comes to discussing budget and financials with a customer, it is important to explain that even if up-front costs are higher, that doesn’t mean the finished product will be more expensive over the life of the object. A cheaper, less appropriate powder coating job in Houston can and will cost more money over the life of the product, despite a lower up-front cost. Repairing infrastructure can disrupt the daily flow of life in an area, so investing in long-lasting, durable products for your city prevents needless interruptions to traffic flow, park attendance, and more. Public infrastructure is subjected to heavy use, damaging environmental factors, etc. and preventing premature damage by spending more up-front protects residents and their families.

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