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How to Test Powder Paint Flexibility for Coating Equipment

Issue Time:2011-10-10
Nothing is tougher, more scratch-resistant or more attractive for covering powder coating equipment than "powder" coating. This requires a durable type of paint applied in two-step process. The type of paint you choose depends on what kind of metal or plastic you're coating, how it will be used, and how well each type of paint adheres to your equipment parts. Paint flexibility is associated with resilience and impact resistance. The less flexible, the more scratch-resistant the paint is. If it's electronic cabinetry, a less flexible paint will work, but if it's gym equipment or a bike, it needs to be resilient.
Prepare a metal sample by applying and drying all chemicals required by the powder manufacturer for the type of metal you are powder coating equipment. Different metals require different chemicals and processes. For a quick preparation for aluminum, sandblast and wash. Blast steel first with sand, then with air, then wash it with Brakleen, a contaminant remover.
Apply powder per the manufacturer's instructions: either dip the work into a basin filled with powder suspended in a catalyst, or apply with an electrostatic paint gun and a ground clip attached to the work.
Oven-heat the coating for 5 to 20 minutes at about 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are coating thin sheet metal, it will probably take about five minutes. Heavy cast pieces or tubing takes longer. You will have to experiment with different baking times to get the result you want.
Let the test piece cool. For sheet metal, bend the metal until the powder coating equipment and peels off to test for flexibility. Impact-test cast or tubular pieces with the shank of a large screwdriver for resilience.
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