It looks like paint but it acts like armor, states the Powder Coating Institute (PCI) of this ubiquitous surfacing technique. Powder coating is a highly durable, decorative and long lasting finish applied to products of nearly every sort for the consumer and industry alike. It can come in virtually any color or finish, matte or smooth, is rust-free, scratch resistant and ecologically friendly.
Outdoor barbeques, swing sets, patio furniture and garden equipment are just a few examples of products that are powder coated. Though it appears painted on, it's actually a dry finishing process. Electrostatically charged particles of pulverized pigment and resin are sprayed on to the surfaces of items that have been electrically grounded, thereby attracting the dry charged particles. Items are then placed in a curing oven where the powder coating melts and fuses to the surface. Not only is the process virtually pollution free, but there is also very little waste as the dry overspray can be recovered. Also, the industry does not have to invest in costly pollution-control equipment, making powder coating extremely economical.
Resistant to chipping, and fading, colors of a powder coated item will remain true for many years. High gloss and low gloss finishes, even metallic and clear finishes, make it an ideal choice for stadium chairs, railings and structural enforcements, tools, engine parts, golf clubs, carts, ski poles, bindings, computer cases, farm equipment, exercise equipment, store racks, baby strollers and countless other products.
While powder coating started out as a finish for metal, advancements led to the ability to cure the finish at lower temperatures which opened the door to ceramics, plastics and even wood. A clear finish makes these products look new longer. Kitchen cabinets, office furniture, children's furniture, and toys have joined the ranks of products that benefit from powder coating.
If you have something you'd like powder coated it's as simple as finding a coater nearby. PCI offers a clickable map that will direct you to a list of coaters in your state. Some coaters only perform large industrial work, while others do both industrial and private or small jobs for single items, so check with the coater first.
PCI reports that powder coating is the fastest-growing finishing technology in North America, representing over 10% of all industrial finishing applications. With everything it has going for it from its versatility to being economical and environmentally friendly, that is a trend that is bound to continue.