Aug 15, 2015 Off Comments in Powder Coating by

Heavy-equipment manufacturers desire a final finish on their products that looks good and lasts a long time. Unfortunately, that’s not been their experience.

A crane may not require a Class A surface finish that is found on a Corvette, but it does require a coating that remains durable over the lifetime of the heavy equipment’s life cycle, not just in the first few years that it’s introduced to the field. If the coating remains consistent, the heavy-equipment manufacturer doesn’t have to worry about corrosion claims from customers, which can lead to millions in repairs each year.

As a result, these manufacturers of big equipment have pushed their coating suppliers to figure out a way to produce durable coatings that will maintain corrosion protection even over sharp edges. E-coat, or electrocoating, the process of submerging a metal workpiece in an electrified tank of paint and water to attract paint onto the surface, was considered a contending technology to offer strong corrosion protection, but the heavy-equipment manufacturers learned that the automakers that use the e-coat process also use hems and other metal forming tricks to minimize sharp edges on parts; it’s too difficult to form those types of edges with plate, so e-coat wasn’t going to do the trick. That led those same OEMs to push for a powder-on-powder process, in which a powder coat primer was placed on the workpiece, slightly cured, and then topped with a powder topcoat. That approach showed promise.

Hartford Finishing, Hartford, Wis., thinks it has found a way to offer that powder-on-powder approach (see Figure 1) in a much more consistent and affordable way.

Read more: Cleveland Ohio Powder Coating: Two-coat powder process fights corrosion