Alloy Wheel Powder Coating – Is It Better Than Spray Painting?
Powder coating has grown in popularity over the past few years. The field in which the demand is high is in the automotive industry, where it is applied as a powdered paint coating on to alloy wheels. During the process, the powder is imparted electrostatically on the surface and cured using heat. It is common for a vehicle owner to seek coating services when alloy wheels require refurbishment.
Benefits of Powder coating
Compared to spray paint, powder coating is longer lasting. Due to this, it will be a long time before you are required to change the coating of your wheel. The coating is resistant to chemicals, corrosion, and the weather. These are typically the three elements to blame for the worn appearance of alloy wheels. Powder coating stops these elements from doing damage.
Wheel powder coating involves heat, curing and creating a strong bond between the alloy and the powder. This prevents chipping and scratching of the outermost covering ensuring that it is always uniform. Unlike wet paint, the powder does not drip, and thus the lines that appear after paint application are eliminated. Furthermore, powder coating is brighter than the wet paint giving the wheel a better finish.
Paints are more expensive than powder coating. The powder also covers a greater area than paint, meaning less is used. Moreover, automation of powder coating is easier, and hence the number of workers are reduced resulting in lower labor costs. The process also produces less waste and the number of reworks is lower compared to spray painting.
Unlike paints that are made of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), the powder is composed of inorganic materials. The VOCs are carcinogenic and highly flammable, similarly, most of these chemicals are hazardous to humans risking the lives of the users. The solvents for diluting the paint are also highly flammable and harmful to humans. Therefore, it is better to use powder to enhance the safety of the user.
Environment conservation efforts cost a huge amount of money each year. Paints are among the major sources of pollutants due to their high VOCs and organic solvents content. Powder contains none of these and is known to cause negligible pollution.
Differences Between Powder Coating and Spray Painting
While powder coating uses solid powder, spray painting utilises wet paint that is dissolved into a solvent. When applying powder coating, the spray gun adds an electrostatic charge on the powder particles to make them stick onto the surface undergoing coating process. A regular paint spray gun atomises the wet paint using compressed air which forces it onto the surface, hence it creates a dripping effect.
Unlike the powder coated rim that undergoes heat curing in an oven for the formation of the chemical bonds that bind it together, the painted wheel dries naturally forming weaker bonds. Lastly, there is a tendency of the paint to flow over the surface due to its liquid nature, whereas the powder remains in place when applying.
Wheel Repair and Refurbishment
If your alloy wheel is in a bad condition, you should consider getting it repaired to prevent further damage. Alloy wheel refurbishment is cheaper than acquiring a brand new wheel. The repaired wheel will look as if it’s brand new and serves you for just as long as a brand new wheel.
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