Fluid Power Support Blog
Let's say your patio furniture in your back yard is in need of some attention. Maybe the paint is fading, rust is taking over, or you want a fresh new look. The good news is that your patio furniture can be turned from less than ideal condition to factory finish at a greatly reduced cost versus buying new patio furniture.
Powder coating is a heat cured, electrostatically applied dry thermoset (typically) powder to metal substrates. The powder flows out and cures hard becoming a protective finish.
Color selection. Choosing a color is sometimes a difficult thing to do since there are thousands of colors and textures available. Most people like to stick with flat black, gloss black, gloss white, forest green, and occasionally dark brown. Others venture outside the box and choose vivid colors like yellow, red, silver, purple, and blues. Fluid Power Support can help you choose a color by providing you with a color chart and color chips.
Your patio furniture should be inspected for broken welds. Occasionally welds will fail over time due to the stresses of use. Take note of broken welds or metal that will be fixed at a later stage.
All plastic and rubber should be removed. The curing of powder coating involves temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit and most plastics and rubber melt, resulting in a big mess. Patio chair feet caps can be taken out with a flat screwdriver (they can be reused if not broken). Rubber wheels from lounge chairs and tea carts can be removed by carefully prying one part of the wheel away from the metal track. Sometimes using a heat gun to warm the rubber is beneficial. Take care not to get the rubber too hot!
The current finish (usually paint) and rust needs to be removed. The easiest way to remove paint and rust is by blasting it off. Most towns and cities have sand blasting companies that make the removal of paint and rust a painless and sweat free process. If you want to get your hands dirty and blast yourself stores like Harbor Freight sell sand blasting equipment at a relatively low cost. Remember that surface preparation is the most important part of the whole coating process. If the surface isn't clean from old paint and rust then there is a increased chance of coating failure and poor results.
The metal should be further cleaned by applying an industrial degreaser and a phosphate treatment like iron phosphate. The degreaser will remove any grease and oil from the metal and the phosphate will etch the metal further for proper powder coat adhesion.
The patio furniture is hung on metal carts and rolled into a powder coat oven for dry off and gas out. In this stage the metal heats up and all remaining liquids evaporates while any trapped gas bubbles are released out of the metal.
The cart of patio furniture is removed from the oven and moved into the powder room for powder coating. A zinc rich primer is always recommended for ferrous metals. The zinc rich primer helps prevent rust in outdoor environments. The primer is partially cured in the powder coat oven for around 5-7 minutes.
After applying the zinc primer the top coat is applied over the zinc primer. The top coat and base coat cross link and becomes "one". The two coats cure in the oven over 10-20 minutes depending on the powder type, thickness of the metal and mass of the piece.
After the parts come out of the powder coat oven they are allowed to cool down to room temperature. Once the parts are at room temperature they are fully cured and ready to leave the powder coat shop.
Powder coating is the preferred method of coating metals because it is durable, long lasting, and the process is quick.
Fluid Power Support in Mexico, Missouri is your one stop shop for sand blasting and powder coating. Call us at (573) 581-8200 for more information.