Metal serves as the basis for many of the products and structures used by consumers today. Since some metals can corrode when exposed to the elements, finishing techniques are used to offer protection against this type of corrosion. Powder coating is one of these finishing techniques.

Metal that has been powder coated is treated using an electrostatic process that binds the powder coating particles to the surface of the metal. The metal must be prepared for the powder coating process properly in order to ensure maximum adhesion.

1. Use a Simple Wipe-Down

Implementing a simple wipe-down step into your powder coating pre-treatment process can prove effective in improving the quality of your finished products. Sheet metal can become exposed to many contaminants as it is being machined within your shop.

Dirt, debris, and shaved metal particles can become stuck to the surface of the sheet metal during manufacturing. Taking the time to wipe off these contaminants using a lint-free cloth can help ensure that powder coating particles can obtain maximum adhesion to the sheet metal during the finishing phase of production.

2. Use an Alkaline Cleaner

Once a dry wipe-down is completed, sheet metal products should be submerged in an alkaline solution as part of the powder coating pre-treatment process. An alkaline bath can help eliminate any contaminant particles that remain on the surface of the metal.

Alkaline baths can remove oils used during the machining process, specks, and any other foreign materials that might compromise the quality of your powder coating finishes. Aluminum, steel, titanium, and a variety of other metals can be paired with an alkaline bath during powder coating pre-treatment.

3. Use the Right Base Coat

You should always apply a base coat as part of the powder coating pre-treatment process. The base coat will even out any imperfections in the surface of your sheet metal and make it easier for the powder coating particles to gain maximum adhesion.

Your base coat should not contain any chromium or mercury. These elements are highly reactive to heat. Heat is used to help harden powder coatings, so a base coat that is heat-reactive can compromise the quality of the powder coated finish over time.

The pre-treatment phase is critical when it comes to powder coating. Take the time to implement proper cleaning techniques and apply the right base coat if you want to improve the durability and longevity of your powder coated products in the future. 

For more information, contact a sheet metal fabrication company.