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The environmental benefits to powder coating in comparison to traditional paint

You may not have thought about it before, but the number of objects we use and come across in our daily lives which have been painted is phenomenally high. The walls in your home, the fence of your garden, the bodywork of your car, the frame of your bike, the list goes on and on.

Painting objects, for various reasons, has become a completely normal part of everyday life and at times it can be a surprise when we see something which isn’t painted.

There are a lot of benefits to painting an object. Not only can it look great, but paint can also help protect the material underneath and improve the lifespan of a product. Because so many objects are painted, different methods have been developed to apply paint over the year.

One method which is becoming increasingly popular is powder coating. This process works by applying a dry paint powder to a metal surface using an electrostatic gun. The target piece of metal is earthed while the paint powder receives a positive charge as the electrostatic gun contains an electrode. This means that not only is the paint moved towards the object by compressed air but also magnetic charge. After the entire surface of the metal has been coated with the paint powder, the object is baked in a curing oven. This further strengthens the bond between the paint and the metal.

Along with producing a highly durable coat of paint, powder coating has some significant environmental benefits when compared to other paints. Firstly, if you’re coating an object in just one colour, the excess paint can be reused. The powder coating should take place in a designated cleanroom.

When this is the case, any excess paint powder which does not stick to the metal or just misses the target completely, known as overspray, can be collected and used again. However, this can only happen when the powder is all one colour, otherwise, multiple colours could mix, and when reusing this powder, the finish would have colour imperfections. When controlled properly, this can achieve 90% efficiency, which not only benefits the environment but the business as well, by reducing waste and saving money.

The other main reason why powder coating is more environmentally friendly than other painting techniques is due to the fact it contains no harmful carcinogens. Because powder coating does not rely on solvent to bind the paint together, this means VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are as low as possible. When compared to a paint option such as spray paints, these are very high in VOCs. Not only can VOCs be harmful to the environment but also dangerous to human health, as they irritate the eyes and respiratory tract.

These are the two main reasons why powder coating is significantly more environmentally friendly than other, more traditional, painting options. Despite powder coating being primarily used for pain metals, other methods to paint different materials are being developed.

However, the number of items that we use on a daily basis that can be powder coated may surprise you. Powder coating is also a great option if you’re looking to have an item repainted. After a deep clean, often done by shot blasting the item, a powder coat can be applied, and the item will be painted and protected with a durable finish for years to come.