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Powder coating business

Q. I am in the fastener business. Some of my customers send there fabricated parts out of town or state to powder coated. So, I am interested in starting my own shop. The only thing I really about this process is that the metal must be cleaned... with what? Then it must be sprayed... how, and what kind of equipment? And last baked on ... at what temp and which oven? My questions are fairly simple but I am very interested in this type of business. I am currently doing business with these customers, and they came to me.

Kevin Jennings
- Painsville, Kentucky, USA

A. SME has a nice powder coat class that is great for a person considering a commercial use. Well worth the cost and the time and will really help you know what your final cost will be. It is offered several times a year and in a few different locations.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Q. What is SME? How do I find SME?

Kevin Jennings
- Kentucky

A. SME-Society of Mechanical Engineers. You find them by typing SME into Also check out the trade shows by going back to main page, scroll down to 6 and look for the Calendar of Industry Events

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

A. Hi Kevin.
1. The precleaning is usually a 3-stage iron phosphate or 5 or 7 stage zinc-phosphate pretreatment.
2. The parts are then electrostatically sprayed with a fine powder of thermoplastic or thermoset plastic with spray guns specially designed for powder coating.
3. Yes, the powder is 'baked', but 'cured' or 'fused' or 'melted' might be better terms, as the gist of the process is temporarily turning the powder into a liquid so it flows together into a coating.
4. Baking temperature depends on the type of powder, but something in the vicinity of 400 ° F might be typical.

But the implication from James Watts posting about SME is that this is not a brand new field where everyone proceeds from the basic science to see what they can do; rather, it's an established industrial science where, with help from vendors and/or consultants, you implement a system from proven components and proven approaches. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
March 1, 2013

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