A guide to all the essential powder coating supplies and equipment
Having the best tools for the job is an important part of providing top quality service and powder coating application. The best tools for the job in powder coating include equipment for the pre-treament, application, and curing stages of a job. With the right powder coating supplies and equipment for each of these stages, any powder coating business can thrive. In this article we look at the different types of powder coating equipment needed for a powder coating business, or even just a home shop, to make sure every application performs at its best. We also list the suppliers and manufacturers of powder coating equipment in Australia.
Choose the right powder coating equipment for your needs
To answer the question “what powder coating equipment is right for me?”, you need to think about the business you are hoping to run. Basically, there are two types of powder coating line: batch and automated. A batch coating system is a powder coating line where operators prepare, coat, and cure multiple parts in batches. They are usually hung on rolling racks, which are moved from station to station. An automated powder coating line uses the same equipment but instead of rolling racks, the stations are connected through a conveyor. The parts are loaded on and moved through the line at a constant rate.
The size and numbers of parts that you powder coat, the level of automation, the size of your shop, and the initial cost outlay all affect the choice of equipment. If you become an approved applicator for a powder manufacturer, you are able to give out powder coating warranties on the work you provide. For this to happen, your coating application and the powder coating supplies you use need to be of the highest quality, and right for the job.
Pretreatment equipment – Achieving the best foundation for a coating
Pretreatment is one of the most crucial parts of any coating application. To achieve the best results, the substrate needs to be correctly prepared and cleaned before any coating is applied. Rust, old paint, oil, grease, debris, or the residue of the cleaning chemicals themselves can all lead to issues with the coating’s adhesion, appearance, and durability. Pretreatment equipment is used to prepare the substrate to the required standard. Powder coating supplies for pretreatment includes:
- Chemical wash station – Oil, grease, chemicals, or solvents needs to be removed from the surface before any other step, even if you are sandblasting. If there is still grease present, sandblasting can force it to penetrate the metal, causing bigger problems down the line. Chemicals or detergents are used at a wash station, and these can be manual or automated. An automated wash station takes the part through cleaning, rinsing and prep via a conveyor.
- Sandblasting gun and blast room – One of the most commonly used pieces of pretreatment equipment is the sandblasting gun. Abrasive media like grit, soda, or steel shot (not sand) is propelled at the substrate using compressed air. The material blasts and abrades the debris, rust, or old paint from the surface, while also creating a slightly roughened surface texture to promote adhesion.
- Dry-off oven – Similar to a curing oven, a dry-off oven evaporates any remaining cleaning chemicals from the surface.
Application equipment – Powder coating guns + spray booths
Choosing the right application method for the job is important to make sure your processes go smoothly, and for quality assured application. There is different powder coating equipment for different powders and purposes. The powder coating gun is the simplest, where powder is fed through the system from a fluidised hopper. Compressed air shoots it at the substrate. The main four application methods are:
- Electrostatic spray (Corona) gun – This gun uses compressed air and high voltage electrodes to apply a charge to the powder as it exits the gun. The powder is then attracted to the grounded part.
- Tribomatic spray gun – Tribo guns use friction to create a charge in the powder. Like the electrostatic spray gun, the powder is forced through the gun by compressed air, but in the tribo gun this gives the powder a charge which is what attracts it to the grounded part.
- Fluidised bed – Powder is placed in a hopper or bed and ‘fluidised’; air is run through it so it acts like a fluid. The part to be coated in preheated and dropped into the fluidised powder where the heat causes it to immediately melt and flow.
- Electrostatic fluidised bed – An electric field is created in the fluidised powder, causing it to cloud above the bed. The part is brought through this cloud, rather than being dunked in the bed itself.
When you powder coat, you need an area in which to do it. Collecting overspray and ensuring a contaminant-free environment is a far simpler process with a powder coating spray booth. The right spray booth for your business will depend on what you are coating, the floor space of your facility, and your own working preferences. A powder spray booth is equipped with exhaust fans that collect powder from the air while maintaining visibility for the operator. They keep contaminants from the other processes happening in the shop from reaching the application, and a reclamation system allows the overspray to easily be recycled.
Curing equipment – The powder coating oven
The right powder coating oven for the job depends on the part size, shape, thickness, composition, powder type, and operating cost. Time and temperature are the critical considerations for powder coating curing, but they are not set in stone. A longer period at a lower temperature may work just as well as a shorter period at a higher temperature. The curing temperature of the powder refers not to the air or emitter temperature but the temperature of the substrate. Temperature needs to be rigorously maintained and controlled. There are essentially two types of oven:
- Convection powder coating oven
The convection oven is the more popular curing oven choice. Gas or oil-fired heaters are used to heat air which is then circulated through the oven space. These ovens can be direct or indirectly fired; in indirectly fired ovens the hot air from combustion travels through a heat exchanger to remove the combustion products and provide clean air.
- Infrared powder coating oven
Infrared heat energy is emitted by a hot body and hits the part. The part absorbs this heat and so cures the coating. This method provides more rapid heating of the part, but is best used for simple pieces or relatively flat surfaces. For infrared ovens colour is an important factor – light colours reflect more radiation than dark colours, and will take longer to heat.
Where to buy powder coating supplies and equipment in Australia
There are a range of companies who provide powder coating supplies for sale in Australia, both online and offline. Below we have compiled a list of powder coating supplies companies. If you are looking to set up a powder coating business, you will also need to purchase powder coat powders.
Do you need help getting started in the powder coating industry? We are here to help. Get in touch with our experts and we can connect you with powder coating suppliers for your needs.
|Powder Coating Supplies Company||Location||Equipment Sold|
|Coating Supplies Australasia||Unit 5/5 Narabang Way, Belrose, NSW 2085||Spray guns, hoppers, automated systems, spray booths, and more.|
|Emjay Process Systems||Unit 7/77 Regentville Rd, Penrith South, NSW 2750||Cure ovens, powder recovery systems, batch ovens, conveyorised coating systems, pretreatment systems.|
|GP Industries PTY LTD||1 Regal Crt, Vermont Sth VIC 3133||Pretreament plants, dry-off ovens, powder coating booths, powder recovery systems, cure ovens, conveyor systems, spray equipment and more.|
|Junair Spraybooths||2/1-15 Beal Street, Meadowbrook, QLD 4131||Manual spray booths, automated spray booths, powder recovery systems, application equipment.|
|RM Coating Supplies||Unit 1/30 Stephen Rd, Dandenong South, Melbourne, VIC 3175||Automatic powder booths, spray guns, replacement pieces, pretreatment systems, powder pumps, hoppers, and more.|