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Powder coating is one of the best ways to finish metal parts, but how do you finish it properly? Here’s how to touch up powder coated metal parts.
Advantages of Powder Coating
Powder coated metal just looks right, it looks slick and clean, conveying an air of professionalism and cleanliness to your customers. Powder coatings can also be more functional rather than aesthetic, generally for elements such as corrosion resistance.
Metal powder coating has long proven an ideal way to cover, protect and make metal parts look right. It allows you to really fine tune and perfect a powder finished part, as you can go back and rework and touch up till the part is absolutely perfect for your needs. You need to source the right materials through metal powder suppliers, making sure that the selected powders are perfect for your needs.
When to Touch Up?
When it comes to touching up and finishing a powder coated part, the best time to catch your mistakes, make sure that the powder coating is absolutely perfect and generally make sure everything is as it should be is always going to be prior to curing the powder.
If you catch problems here, they’ll be much easier to deal with, saving you time, effort and cash later on.
What are the Commonest Touch up Techniques?
You can’t always catch all the potential problems and finish issues prior to curing the powder, meaning touching up is frequently necessary to make sure the piece is completely and properly coated.
Common issues include overbaking or under-baking problems, caused by your ovens. At this point, you have to reason whether or not the aesthetic or functional properties of the piece will be substantially impaired by extensive touch ups, and whether or not to recoat the whole piece.
There are three main ways to touch up a powder coat finish, each with their own pros and cons and issues.
Liquid Paint Touch Ups
Through using colour matched liquid enamels, you can effectively cover missed areas, covered patches, sanded spots and other damage. The main problems here are that it’s not quite so visually appealing, and less durable than the rest of the powder coated finish.
That being said, it’s fairly cheap, straightforward and less labour intensive, requiring less skill and specialist equipment.
In some cases, the powder coating process can allow for certain areas to be recoated and finished, although this is entirely dependent on the individual chemicals and reagents used, and won’t work on all different types of powder finish.
There’s always a risk of the finish failing to adhere properly, and the thick finish could cause weight and measurement problems. This is always going to be cheaper than entirely stripping and recoating, and provides better corrosion protection than liquid paint touch ups.
Finishing, Sanding and Buffing
This can deal with all kinds of surface defects and issues, leaving you with a mirror finish that looks absolutely fantastic. Obviously, there’s the risk of going through the finish, necessitating further refinishing, but otherwise, this can help produce a finish that looks spectacular.