One of the most notable appeals of powder coating is that it generates less waste due to a high material utilization rate.
First, unlike liquid paint which is always a spray-to-waste process, powder overspray can be reclaimed and recycled, depending on the capabilities of the coater, the number of colors utilized, the absence of contaminants and financial considerations related to the quality of the powder.
Second, because powder coating is an electrostatic process that applies charged particles to a grounded part, more paint ends up on the substrate, even on hard-to-reach areas.
Third, powder coatings often deliver better protection in a single coat in terms of coverage, corrosion resistance and weathering than two-coat liquid systems, which reduces the overall amount of product needed.
Finally, since powder has a long and stable shelf life, it retains its quality with proper storage even after long periods of time so product loss is minimized.
In fact, according to the Powder Coating Institute (PCI, Lakewood Ranch, Fla.), with proper application equipment, powder materials and efficient recovery methods, one-coat application, powder can achieve a 95-98% utilization efficiency rate; this is compared to the average of 60% material utilization with a comparable liquid system.
Generally, powder has advantages that are hard to overlook but newer high-transfer efficient advancements take these benefits to the next level.
Better First-Pass Build Rates
Because it is an electrostatic process that applies electrically charged paint particles to a grounded part, powder has excellent adherence to metal substrates.
But newer generations of high transfer efficient (HTE) powder coatings take that coverage to the next level by improving first-pass application build rates, the percentage of powder that gets deposited on the part.
These specialized coatings are engineered to deposit powder consistently and uniformly across complex parts and are formulated to electrostatically wrap and penetrate into deep recesses or hard-to-reach surfaces, achieving first- pass efficiency rates of up to 85%.
As a direct-to-metal process that eliminates the need to finish edges with mechanical edge rounding or blasting equipment, these advanced powder formulas can deliver significant savings in materials, labor, utilities and time.