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Is powder coating bad for the environment?

Q. Is powder coating bad for the environment? Can anything be done about this in the future? I need it for a subject through vocational studies!

Ben [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Riverland, Australia

A. Hi, Ben.

All human activity and industrialization impacts the environment.

But if you accept human activity and industrialization as a good thing, then the question becomes whether a particular technology is "worth it". In this context, powder coating allows us to apply coatings that are in general very similar to paint but without the need for any solvents. These solvents (depending on which ones are used) can be bad for health, can cause smog, and a few of them can harm the ozone layer. Powder coating is an increasingly popular finish largely for that reason.

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

A. Maybe I wandering away quite a little from your question. Yet I suggest you to read the human ecological footprint released by the WWF:

It will give you an idea how human activity is consuming world assets.


Guillermo Castorena G.
Jobshop - San Luis Potosí, México

September 2013

"You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."
-- the Desiderata

Hi Guillermo. Thanks. Unfortunately your link, like most old links, is now broken.

The question is not whether humans have a right to try to fill their needs like other creatures, but how to avoid the wastefulness that is so rapidly consuming those resources. And one of the outstandingly wasteful things we do today is manufacture stuff that has a needlessly short life so that we have to re-mine, re-smelt, re-manufacture, re-ship, and re-scrap stuff every 2 years instead of every 15.

Every big-box store today is full of tons of patio furniture, lawn equipment, grills, etc. that has a very very short life due to grossly inadequate pretreatment and finishing. That stuff should all last 15 years, but almost none of it lasts even a small fraction of that because we foolishly concentrate on trying to reduce "pollution" by restricting the use of a few ounces of corrosion preventing material, at the cost of having to endlessly re-manufacture tons of steel.


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

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