Introduction: Powder Coating Basics
Powder Coating is the application of a dry powder using an electrostatic method and then heating the component to cure it. It is a wonderful way to obtain a nice finish on metal that is very durable.
This instructable is strictly to show the practical operation of equipment for powder coating.
I made this at TechShop Detroit (www.techshop.ws).
Step 1: Turn on the Oven
On the control panel, turn Power on.
Step 2: Set the Desired Temperature
The top number is the current temperature in the oven and the bottom number is the desired temperature.
Press SET and the bottom number will show the full four digits, in this case "0159".
Use the UP arrow and change to the desired temperature.
In our case we will be heating our parts for 20 minutes at 375 to 400 degrees. We set 400 because heat will escape as we open the oven.
Ensure that the oven is latched closed.
Step 3: Prepare Your Material
Prepare your material.
First, sandblast the material as shown in How to Use a Sand Blaster.
Then soak your parts in a TSP bath as shown in Using TSP to Prepare Parts for Powder Coating.
Lastly, hang and clean your parts with Acetone as shown in Using Acetone to Prepare Parts for Power Coating.
Your parts should be clean and ready to hang in the powder coating unit.
Step 4: Pre-heat Parts - If Necessary
When the temperature is close to your desired temperature, pre-heat your parts if required for five minutes. This is typically only necessary for thicker steel pieces and allows the 20 minute timeframe for heating after the powder coat has been applied.
Step 5: Pour Powder Coat Into Receptacle
Take the standard receptacle and pour in an appropriate amount of powder coat for your job.
Step 6: Turn Knobs All the Way Counter-Clockwise
Turn the KV Adjustment Knob (on the back of the gun) and the Powder Feed Adjustment Knob (bottom of gun) all the way down, turning both counter-clockwise as far as they can go.
Step 7: Plug in Powder Coating Gun
Plug in the gun. Ensure that the adapter is used if it is required.
Step 8: Attach Ground
Attach the ground clamp firmly to the rack that the parts will hang from, covering as much surface area as possible.
Step 9: Attach the Receptacle With the Powder Coat to the Gun
Screw on the receptacle as tight as possible.
Step 10: Attach the Powder Feed Line to the Gun
Screw in the line to the gun.
Step 11: Attach Air to Gun
Attach the air hose to the gun. Ensure that the air is on.
Step 12: Adjust Settings
Adjust the KV Adjustment Knob and the Powder Feed Adjustment Knob until you get the right disbursement of powder coat. You are looking for a good "cloud" of powder coat when the trigger is depressed. Make sure the fan is on.
Step 13: Hang Up Parts
If your parts were pre-heated, remove them from the oven. If they were not pre-heated, there is not need to wear heat gloves to handle them yet. Hang your parts on the rack.
Step 14: Spray Your Parts
Spray your parts with smooth, even strokes until a strong coat of powder is on them.
Step 15: Turn Parts Around and Spray
Turn your parts around. There will be a fair amount of powder coat applied because the powder that passed the part would be attracted to the back. Spray the remaining areas.
Step 16: Transfer to Oven
Transfer the parts from the rack to the oven. Latch the door and wait 20 minutes.
Step 17: Remove From Oven After 20 Minutes
After 20 minutes, remove the parts from the oven and hang them to cool down, likely on the powder coat racking. You should have a nice smooth finish at this time.
Step 18: Clean-Up
Connect the air and spray the parts to remove powder coat from all equipment. Note the powder coating is easily blown away.
It is critical to properly clean out the powder coat because if a different color is used later, flecks of any remaining color will show up in the coat.