Metal Coatings


Why Powder Coat?
Elimination of VOCs - VOC is short for volatile
organic compounds,
VOCs that escape into the air contribute to air
pollution outdoors and inside our homes. ...
• Elimination of HAPs –Hazardous Air Pollutants.
• Reduction of ESOH Concerns ( Environmental
Safety & Occupational Health)
• Reduction of Hazardous Waste
Why Powder Coat - continued
Single component, solvent free material
life limitations - good
• Process Efficiency
– Quick cure time
– Quick equipment prep and clean-up

Powder Coating
One of the most
common methods
of finishing metal
Many items used
everyday are
powder coated.
Examples of Powder Coating
Everyday items such
as mailboxes, chairs,
automotive parts,
tools, and

The Process
A simple process, involving “spray
painting” a fine plastic powder paint onto a
metal surface.
Typically the surface is steel, aluminum or
Most any surfaces can be coated,
however, they must be able to withstand
the high temperatures of the baking oven.
Walk in oven
Before coating the part, the surface must be
cleaned. Often a sand blaster is used for
this purpose. Parts must be totally free of
contaminants that might effect the process
such as grease, rust, oils, etc.
As the powder leaves the gun it is charged
with static electricity. This charge then
attracts the powder to the surface that is
being coated.
After the parts are coated, they are then
baked in an oven at about 400 degrees
Fahrenheit for 10 to 45 minutes depending
on the part. The actual part itself must reach
these temperatures in order for curing to
occur properly.
While in the oven, the powder melts and
flows into a smooth finish. Curing time is
critical, because under curing will cause loss
of adhesion, and over curing will cause the
strength characteristics of the powder to
Unlike painting, there are no runs or drips with
powder coating, and due to the static charge,
there is no need for primers.

Additional clear coating and primers can be
added to improve protection and depth.

If a mistake is made before baking, the powder
can simply be blown off with an air nozzle and
reapplied. If the mistake is realized after baking,
the part must be sandblasted or the coating
must be burned off.

Types of Powders
There are two main
types of powders
used for different

Both types outperform
most wet paint
finishes and they both
come in many
varieties of colors,
textures, and glosses.
Most indoor powders
are made of epoxy.
Epoxy is the most
durable powder, but it
will chalk and dull from
the sun’s ultraviolet

Polyester powders are not as durable, but
since they are unaffected by the sun, they
should be used for most outdoor
Equipment Used
Obviously the most important and expensive
item to purchase is the oven.

The oven must be able to heat a part to around
400 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 10 minutes,
sometimes more depending on the part.

The size of the oven depends on the sizes of
parts the consumer wishes to coat. Obviously
the larger the oven, the larger the part that can
be coated.

With a larger oven, several parts can be baked
at one time.
Ovens vary in style
and price.
– A small 6’x 8’x 10’
walk in gas oven is
priced around
– A 100’ oven with a
pass through
conveyer can be as
much as $100,000.

Small walk in oven
There are three main types of ovens;
gas, electric, and infrared. Infrared
ovens work well if designed properly,
however gas and electric tend to be
more dependable. Electric ovens
take longer to heat up, thus delaying
the coating process. Obviously, the
faster the oven heats, the faster the
product will be coated.

Spray Guns
There are two types of spray guns,

– Corona and a

–Tribomatic spray gun.

Corona Gun Method
Powder is applied using hand-held gun featuring a
high-voltage electrode at the front end.
Theelectrode creates ions, which impart a charge to the
powder particles exiting the gun, and the charged
particles are attracted to the electrically grounded target part.
– Low film thickness possible (1.5 - 5 mils)
– Difficult to cover recessed areas and tight corners
due to Faraday Cage Effect
Tribomatic Gun Method
Powder is applied using hand-held gun designed to impart an
electrostatic charge through friction between powder particles and
gun internal material.
– Even layer deposition
– Improved deposition into recesses
– Gun does not produce the Faraday Cage Effect
– Typically consumes 20% less powder than Corona Gun
– Coats at half the speed of corona gun
– Electron donor/acceptor tendency between powder and
gun material must be great enough for adequate
charging of the powder
Other equipment needed:
the powder supplies
an air operated vacuum cleaner to
retrieve any overspray
a spray booth.
Fluidized Bed Method
Parts are pre-heated and
suspended in an
airborne cloud of powder
coating material.
• Benefits:
– Simplicity
– Less waste, lower
• Limitations:
– Only coatings 10-
100 mil are possible
– Coating thickness
control is difficult
Electrostatic Fluidized Bed
Similar to standard fluidized bed system, but powder
is electrostatically charged and part is grounded so
that particles are attracted to part surface.
• Benefits
– Preheating of part not required
– 4-10 mil thickness of coating is possible
– Small parts coated uniformly, quickly
– Inside corners tend to receive low film thickness due to
Faraday Cage Effect
– Part size is limited by container size
Drawbacks to powder coating
The major drawback is the initial investment to
begin the operation.
Powder coating does not have the strength or
hardness characteristics that some other coating
processes such as chrome or zinc have.
Chipping is another main problem with powder
coating. This often results because the part was
not baked long enough or kept at the proper
cure temperature.
Benefits of Powder Coating

The biggest benefit of powder coating is that
it is environmentally friendly.
– There are no solvents as in paints, and thus no
harmful air pollution. There is absolutely no
hazardous waste created with this process.
– Overspray can be air vacuumed and reused,
thus reducing the amount of waste produced as
well as saving cost.

As can be seen for certain applications,
powder coating is the most durable
decorative finish available at this time.
A variety of different textures, colors, and
glosses can be used.
The process is fairly simple and the cost is
much less than other processes like
chroming or zinc plating.
Also the initial investment is minimal
compared to other processes.
With all the benefits of powder
coating, it can be seen why it is such
a widely applied technique.
Obviously, if a person has the
resources and demand for the
procedure, they should think seriously
about investing in the operation.

A powder coating
material that will allow
us to overcome
previous limitations of
powder coating
process resulting in:
• VOC, HAP and
solvent free coating
• reduced labour
• lower costs
Tin plating
Tin plating is primarily for "functional"
purposes such as providing a level of
protection or corrosion resistance to a
range of
Tin Plating is a lower cost alternative
than some protective coatings. Tin also
has a good level of conductivity
enhancement properties (as opposed to
silver which has higher conductivity) which
may be of benefit to manufacturers
seeking to enhance this property
somewhat without adding too much to the
Tin has good solderability and is therefore
a coating of choice where later soldering
of components is required especially in
the electronic fields.
Colour & Aesthetics: Tin plating has a 'whitish
grey' hue and is usually applied without the layer
of bright nickel used in decorative coatings - as
such tin has a dull, or matt appearance.
commonly is used on lower value substrates
such as mild steel or copper alloys.

Applications of Tin Plating: Examples include: Low-
tech electrical or electronic components such as
electronic connectors or bus bars; commercial cooking
equipment; parts requiring soldering; other.
Substrates suited to this coating: Tin can be plated
over most metal substrates .
Chrome Plating
is a very popular finish for many decorative
applications, especially for the automotive
and building industries in which there are
many decorative trims and components. It
also has industrial uses where, in conjunction
with heat treated base materials it can provide
a harder finish (hard-chrome).
Chrome plating is popular because it is hard
wearing, bright and easy to clean. The nickel
used in the coating process in conjunction with
chrome provides high corrosion resistance. The
nickel type used also determines the level of
brightness. T
he chrome coating itself is stain resistant and
abrasion resistant which is of appeal for
decorative applications in heavier 'wear and tear'
environments. T
here are alternative industrial uses for chrome
plating (i.e. hard-chrome*), sometimes used for
surface maintenance on large tools or equipment.
Applications of Chrome
Plating: Automotive decals,
door handles and trims, tap-
ware, architectural fittings,
racks, hubs & wheels, furniture
and furniture trim, and many,
many other items.
Silver plating
Silver plating is an electrolytic process.
Its properties can be utilised for either
"functional" purposes such as enhanced
electronic application or corrosion
resistance, or, "decorative" purposes.
Silver is commonly applied over
preliminary coatings of copper and
nickel though depending on the
application this may vary.
Benefits of SILVER Plating:
Functional - Enhances electronic and radio
wave conductivity. In a "high purity" form it
is possible to achieve surface silver of
around 99.99% purity.
Applications of Silver Plating:
"Functional" coating examples include high-
tech Electrical or electronic components
such as antennas, bus bars, connectors.
"Decorative" applications commonly include
silverware (teapots, trays, trinkets, etc),
jewellery or hand crafted art pieces.

Nickel plating
Nickel provides the 'substance' of the coating
as it predominantly provides the hardness and
corrosion resistance to the surface. Though
sometimes used as a 'final finish' it is more
common for nickel to be applied as the
"undercoat" to final finishes such as silver,
gold or chrome. The nickel solution type used
in the finishing process determines the level of
brightness of the finished product. Some
nickel solutions result in a matt or 'satin' finish.
Benefits of Decorative Nickel Plating:
Nickel plating provides the finished product
with hardness and protection from the
elements and determines the level of
brightness of the product - in fact it can be
extremely difficult to achieve a bright finish
without it.
Colour & Aesthetics: Nickel is a silvery
colour with a "yellow/brown" hue. Nickel as a
final finish can sometimes provide a closer
match to some stainless steel grades -
depending on the level of nickel contained in
the stainless material.

Applications of Decorative Nickel
Plating: As an "undercoat" nickel is
used for most decorative
applications. It can also be used as a
final finish if required. A Class's
"Restoration" divison has assisted
with restoration of many early model
vehicle components, traditionally
nickel plated.
Electroless Nickel
Electroless Nickel is a chemical plating
process which, unlike electroplating,
does not require electrical current to
deposit. Nickel is deposited to the
surface metal via an 'autocatalytic'
process which deposits the coating in
uniform density to the surface being
The Electro-less Nickel plating process has
many advantages over 'electrolytic'
processes in an engineering environment.
The coating can be used where a hard,
corrosion resistant finish is required.
A major advantage of the process is that it is
possible to coat the whole surface of an item
EVENLY, including internals, unlike
electrolytic processes which have difficulty
depositing into recessed and internal areas
and can result in excessive build-ups on
points, corners, etc.

Applications of Electroless Nickel
Valves, shafts, drilling equipment,
rollers, dies & moulds, tooling, pumps,
hardware & more. Wherever there is
need to prevent corrosion, reduce
wear or improve hardness and
Plating grade plastic
Decorative plating on plastic is
achieved by a metallising process
specifically engineered to enable non-
conductive ABS plating grade plastic
to be electroplated.
Why ABS Plastic? ABS is a specially
designed plastic (Acrylonitrile Butadiene
Styrene) with properties suited to the
metallising process enabling continuous
production of high volume components.
Benefits of Plating on ABS Plastic
Substrates: Moulded ABS plastic
components are substantially cheaper to
manufacture than metal parts. They offer
adequate strength and significant weight
reduction is also a benefit in some
instances. After plating there is no
apparent difference visually between
metal and plastic parts.
Applications of Plating on ABS
Plastic Substrates: Automotive
decals and trim, tap- ware, furniture
trim, bathroom accessories,
hardware accessories, some
electrical fittings and many other
Zinc plating
Zinc plating is the most common, low
cost; electroplated coating that is
normally applied to ferrous
components to give corrosion
protection. The coating can be
coloured to give gold; black or olive
drab coatings by post treatment. The
relatively low cost, protective nature
and attractive appearance of zinc
make it a popular coating for nuts,
bolts, washers, metal stampings and
automotive parts, such as interior
components and gas filters. In
addition, zinc serves as an effective
undercoat for paints when high
corrosion performance is required.

What Material Can Be Zinc Plated?
Near any metal can be zinc plated but
the most common are steel and iron
on which it offers sacrificial protection.

Recommended uses for Zinc electroplating:
Zinc plating is used where a clean, smooth,
corrosion resistant surface is required.
Commonly used on nuts, bolts, metal brackets.
etc but it also makes an excellent undercoat for
powdercoating or paint. Zinc electroplating can
leave recesses on complex shaped
components without sufficient zinc coating to
provide corrosion protection. Finished Products
can recommend other coatings that may
overcome this effect.
Hot Dipped Galvanising
Heavy galvanizing is often referred to as
batch, heavy duty or after fabrication
Light galvanizing is referred to as
continuous, ILG (In-Line Galvanizing) or
zinc electroplated.
The Australian market has a wide variety of
local and imported light galvanized products
readily available. (See previous slide)
Heavy galvanizing is the only galvanize
finish that gives a complete coating of
heavy zinc both externally and internally.
The zinc coating is typically in the range of
85µ m² or 600 gms / m² on 6mm thick steel.
Heavy galvanizing produces the maximum
thickness possible relative to steel
thickness, with long term protection its only

Roof sheeting made from
ZINCALUME® steel is
available in a range of profiles.
The zinc/aluminium alloy
coating on ZINCALUME® steel
imparts corrosion resistance
of up to four times the life of
galvanised steel.

Colorbond Steel
Colorbond is the name
given to a special grade
of corrosion resistant high
strength steel that is
coated with zincalume
and painted in a limited
range of colorbond
colours. The special
corrosion resistant base
metal means that any
exposed edges/surfaces
(due to cuts and
scratches) do not cause
premature corrosion
Zincalume is for Factories: Clients thinking of the
option of using zincalume steel instead of
Colorbond - thinking that there would be good
Colorbond is approximately $1.40 per square metre
more than zincalume. But over the area of an
average 120 square metre roof, it works out to be
ONLY $168.00! ...And for this small sum, they will
get a far superior product - and with a choice of
colours too!
Zincalume is really the choice for factories which
have roofs measuring many hundreds and
thousands of square metres. And the price savings
of using the cheaper material can be substantial