Powder Coating for Sheet Metal

Powder coating strengthens sheet metal by adding a protective layer that is also visually striking

The powder coating process

How Powder Coating Works

Once the sheet metal parts have been formed, they are hung on a rack via metal wires. A spray gun charges the polymer-based colored powder as it passes through it, helping it stick to each part’s metal surface. At this point the finish looks dull and not surprisingly, powdery. The parts are then baked in an oven to cure the coating. 

Upon removal from the oven, the parts sport a 0.002-0.003 in. (0.0508-0.0762mm) thick, surface that offers more robust protection than available with stock metals. Plus, it resists scratching reasonably well and looks great. 

Benefits of Powder Coating

  • Durability and corrosion resistance: The hard surface resists corrosion and scratches. It also limits exposure of bare metal to environmental hazards.
  • Environmentally-friendly: Unlike paint, which can give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs), powder coating can be reclaimed and reused. 
  • Visually-striking: The smooth-to-the-touch glossy finish gives traditional sheet metal parts an upscale appearance.
  • Easy-to-clean: That smooth surface is great at rejecting absorption of dirt and many chemicals. 
  • Wide variety of colors: We stock 50 powder colors. 

Applications of Powder-Coated Parts

Powder coating adds both protection and aesthetics to sheet metal parts. It's often used on

  • Appliances
  • Automotive parts
  • Building products
  • Electronics enclosures
  • Furniture
  • Medical equipment

Design Guidelines for Powder Coating

  • Holes for hanging: To facilitate hanging during spraying, include a hole in the part so it can be suspended from a wire. Ensure that it is well-placed to allow for easy access to all desired part surfaces.
  • Geometries: The spray gun requires access to all surfaces to do its job. Extremely tight bend radii, small holes, and enclosed surfaces rarely play well with powder coating. Beyond that, cavities can trap excess powder, creating an undesirable and inconsistent internal coating. Solution: Add vent holes to help excess powder escape.
  • Materials issues: Steel, magnesium, and aluminum materials work best for powder coating applications. Soft, porous, or corroded metals aren't great choices. Each brings their own issues regarding lack of adhesion.