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topic 44014

Advantages or disadvantages of powder coating over conventional acrylic enamel


I'm restoring a vintage motorcycle and want to know if it is better to powder coat my frame and other associated parts or use acrylic enamel. What would be the advantages of one method over the other?

William Skowyra
Restoration - Three Rivers, Massachusetts

First of two simultaneous responses -- (2007)

Powder coat has superior bonding strength. It bonds to the metal in the heat stage by " sinking" into the grain structure of the metal. powder for years had a bad reputation of orange peel effect, because of this. paint has to have a primer to use as the bonding agent. today we can sand powder to make the surface much smoother. we have bike frames with over 30k. on them

James Ewing
- New Cumberland, West Virginia

Second of two simultaneous responses -- (2007)

It seems that a restoration would require a paint type and color that was originally used on the bike. I'll bet you can find a supplier that makes a paint for this application. (Hint:the original paint isn't powder)
If you're not restoring but just want the frame painted don't use powder, the prep-work is very involved and if it isn't done right you'll be wasting your money. All you have to do to wet paint the frame is degrease it, sand it smooth, prime it and paint it. Also, with wet paint you can keep some matching touch-up around to fix rock chips and other blemishes.

Sheldon Taylor
Sheldon Taylor
   supply chain electronics
Wake Forest, North Carolina

June 17, 2009

at what temperature does powder coating start to discolour?

Kevin Balderstone
- London UK

June 18, 2009

Hi, Kevin. Unfortunately, that isn't really answerable because the temperature at which something starts to discolor is a property of the material in question (and the time at temperature), whereas powder coating is not really a material, it's an application method. There are thermoplastic powder coatings (like nylon coatings) and thermosetting powder coatings of many different resins (TGIC, polyesters, acrylics, etc.)

But it's probably good for a few hundred degrees fahrenheit.

What is your situation and, if you know it, the type of powder?


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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