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Powder coat and Paint. Can someone explain the differnce(13 posts)

Powder coat and Paint. Can someone explain the differncePEDDLEFOOT
May 2, 2003 7:02 AM
I've read about powder coating but never an explanation of what it is exactly and the differences between this and paint.Thanks.
Both protect and beautify, but ...Humma Hah
May 2, 2003 7:24 AM
Paint is pigments and a binder in a volatile solvent. The solvent dries, and the remaining solids are what stick.

Powdercoat is a fine powder, sprayed dry onto a metal surface. An electrical potential is applied between the sprayer and the surface being coated so that the particles are aggressively attracted to the surface. I believe this is usually either done with the surface hot, or it is later heated, to fuse the plastic powdercoat down. The bonding is so good, if you see a crack in powdercoat, you can bet there's a crack in the metal underneath.

Advantages of powdercoat: no volatile organic compounds waft off to pollute the environment. It sticks tenaciously ... few paints bond as well to metal.

Disadvantages: not yet available in as many colors, can't quite do as many special effects. A few shops can do "fades" with it, but it is usually a single-color job without fancy airbrushing artwork, etc.
Powder coat and fancy artworkMel Erickson
May 2, 2003 12:03 PM
Wish I could remember the url of the place but I posted it a couple of months ago. They do fantastic powdercoat art on bikes. Fancy as any Colnago you can find, or whatever your favorite fanciful paint job is.

As described below, the frame is negatively charged and the coating is positively charged so it's attracted to the frame. The coating is actually a fine plastic powder. The frame is then baked at around 400 degrees fahrenheit to melt and fuse the coating onto the frame.
re: Powder coat and Paint. Can someone explain the differncepitt83
May 2, 2003 7:25 AM
Conventional Paint= Solvent based. You have a fine aerosol created with air pressure to make ultra fine mist from a solvent based solution containing polymer. This polymer (paint) hardens when the solvent evaoprates.

Powder Coat= Electrostatic based. You apply an electrostatic charge (negative) to the item where you want paint. You have positively charged paint particles distributed in a chamber which are attracted to the item you want to coat. This is also done in a heated dry environment.

Which is tougher / better? Probably powder coat is more easily made uniform in consistiency.
re: Powder coat and Paint. Can someone explain the differnceFixie-ated
May 2, 2003 7:41 AM
I can not add anything to the previous posts except to point out one thing more.

Powder coat is VERY difficult to ever remove, so be sure your favorite color stays the same.

The local shop also said you can't clear coat the powder coat, so decals applied are at risk of scratches and etc...

Also, from personal experience, I just had a frame powder coated. It looks as good and glossy as any $300.00 paint job I've seen. The cost for the powder coat, $50.00 bucks.

My local shop were top-notch in frame prep, which makes a tremendous difference in the final product.

There were limited colors, but all you need is red, yellow, blue or black. I did ask if they could do multiple colors and they said they should be able to. I suspect a fade may be the easiest way to go.

Here is a link to look at the pic's of the coated frame.
The local shop is WRONG ...Humma Hah
May 2, 2003 8:27 AM
... my cruiser is powdercoated, decalled, and clearcoated. Most powdercoat jobs I've heard of have been clearcoated. I believe mine was done with an Imron clearcoat.

There are hundreds of colors available. I chose between several silver ... didn't get exactly the shade I had in mind but I've very happy with what resulted. With paint, you can custom blend if you can't find exactly the shade you like, and there are more shades available.
Clear CoatingStewartK
May 2, 2003 8:13 AM
You can apply a clear coat over decals but it has to be a conventional clear coat, not a powder coat. The temperature at which powder coat is applied would damage the decals.

I have a powdercoated bike with decals applied over the powder and no clear coat. Haven't had a problem so far (one year)
I think that's wrong too....gregario
May 2, 2003 9:15 AM
From what I've heard there is such a thing as a clear powdercoat. Check with Spectrum Powerworks for the answer. They have several examples of their work on the website.
yupyeah right
May 2, 2003 9:51 AM
at spectrum if it can be done in paint, it can probably be done in powder even clearcoat
clearcoat powderIronbutt
May 2, 2003 4:18 PM
The clear powdercoat is not problem at all. The problem is that the temperature required to cause the powder to flow into a cohesive coating layer is very detrimental to the decals. It will literally burn them right off of the bike's tubes. A powdercoated bike can easily be clearcoated with either paint or clear powdercoat. But the decals will only survive under paint.
It's rightStewartK
May 5, 2003 12:04 AM
My information is from Spectrum Powderworks. There is a clear powder coat, but the heat at which it is applied will damage the decals
Sorry, Ironbutt already covered this (nm)StewartK
May 5, 2003 12:07 AM
Additionally....Lone Gunman
May 2, 2003 7:09 PM
My bike is powdercoated and painted and sprayed with clear. Wanted 2 tone colors red and yellow. CF fork was spray painted as was part of the steel frame, painter roughed up the PC and painted. Have panel decals that break the red to yellow. I suppose a fade can be done in this method. Oh, and make sure the PC is UV safe otherwise it will fade.