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.