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What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is an advanced method of a decorative and protective finish, applied to a wide range of materials and products that is used by both industries and average consumers.
What is the process used to powder coat a product?
The powder used for the process is a mixture of ground particles of pigment and resin which is sprayed onto a surface to be coated. The powder particles adhere to the electrically grounded surfaces until heated and fused into a smooth coating in a curing oven. The result is a uniform, durable, high quality, and attractive finish. Powder coating is the fastest growing finishing technology in North American representing over 10% of all industrial finishing applications.
Does powder coating only come in high gloss finishes?
No, powder comes in a wide variety of gloss ranges. Texture selections also range from smooth surfaces to a wrinkled or matte finish. The rough textures are designed for hiding surface imperfections. Associated Finishing has a large selection of colors and textures to coat the substrate of your choice. We can also work with our customers to develop custom color paint when needed.
Does powder coating affect the environment?
Powder coating is very environmentally friendly compared to liquid coatings. While liquid finishes contain solvents which have pollutants known as volatile organic compounds (VOC's), powder coating contains no solvents and releases negligible amounts, if any, of VOC's into the atmosphere. Thus, there is no longer a need for finishers to buy costly pollution control equipment. In addition, most powder coating overspray that does not adhere to the parts can be retrieved and reused, virtually eliminating the waste commonly found in liquid finishing.
I have a product that needs liquid coating applied. Does Associated Finishing do liquid coating as well?
Yes, Associated Finishing also paints liquid coatings. Associated Finishing has been in business for over 60 years and is one of the few companies that offer both powder and liquid coating. We also apply CARC painting (chemical agent resistant coatings), mostly used for military.
My business is in Minneapolis and I have concerns about the cost for shipping to Mankato?
Associated Finishing is located in Mankato, Minnesota but we have trucks to pick up and deliver every day in the Minneapolis metro area. As a service to our customers, we run multiple trucks along our routes at a discounted rate. This is a benefit that our customers appreciate and sets us apart from our competitors.. Give us a call today at 866-345-5861.
Does Associated Finishing have certifications to finish products for companies in the agriculture and construction industry, like John Deere and Caterpillar?
Yes, Associated Finishing is approved for certain coatings on different substrates for many of these companies. We are willing to pursue further certifications for other companies if requested by a customer.
I have a part that has been powder coated but needs to be stripped, cleaned, and recoated. What is the best way to remove the old powder coat?
Depending upon the metal you could either burn off the old paint or you can chemically remove it. Associated Finishing has the capacity to do both. Associated Finishing is a one stop shop from stripping to coating and pad printing or silk screening.
What is Screen Printing?
Screen printing is a very versatile printing process which is used extensively in the garment and graphics business. At Associated Finishing however, we do industrial printing which includes; printing on something as small as a computer component, screening company logos on large panels; or wiring instructions on relay boxes used by our military. A "silk screen" is actually tightly woven polyester fabric stretched over a wood or aluminum frame. Photographic emulsion is applied to the screen and a stencil is created by exposing the applied film under UV light. Ink is applied to the screen and an operator uses a squeegee to pull the ink over the exposed area transferring the image to the substrate. At AFI we generate our own and always have a stock of inks compatible with plastic, metal, and plated parts.
What is Pad Printing?
Screen printing is not always a viable alternative for convex or concave parts or parts that need printing on an inside or irregular surface. AFI offers pad printing to meet these needs. With pad printing, ink is flooded over a cliché which carries that image or graphic needed on the part. It is then doctored (or scraped) off leaving ink only in the etched area. A silicone pad descends, picks up the ink and transfers the image or graphic onto the item to be printed. The process is repetitive and we can print hundreds of parts an hour. Some things printed using this method are golf balls, tubing, window locks, pens, phones etc. At AFI we develop our own cliches so there is never any down time in the production process. With the in house availability of both Screen Printing and Pad Printing, AFI can meet all your printing needs.
*Some information for this FAQ page was taken from the website by permission at www.powdercoating.org. Visit the site to learn more about the powder coating industry today!