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"Camouflage powder coat?"

April 27, 2010

Hello all,
I work for a company whose main customer base is law enforcement and military. All of our equipment is designed for use in extreme environmental conditions and due to our use in the military, must be somewhat stealth like.
To that end we have recently began toying with water-transfer printing with favorable outcome but I would also like to see if any alternative in the way of camouflage powder coating exists. I am familiar with both wet paint and powder but have not yet seen a method of achieving a "camo" finish in powder without having to use multiple layers and A LOT of tape for masking.

Has anyone had any experience in this arena?


Steve Bradford
Designer - Germantown, Maryland & U.S.

First of two simultaneous responses -- April 29, 2010

I am not a powder coater, but for camo, you might try a base color that is light and then shield portions of the part and hand spray with a tiny nozzle for the next darker or bigger color and then use different shields and do the last color.
a bit of over spray on each color will actually help the camouflage. Straight or symmetric lines are camo killers.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Second of two simultaneous responses -- April 30, 2010

We've done something similar in powder before (except was not in camo colours).
As the customer didn't want/need distinct lines of colour change, rather preferring a transition between each colour, we just hand sprayed powder in one colour, missing parts out, then changed colour and filled in the gaps.
Effect - a single layer powdercoating in transition colours like leopard skin, but with ill defined change lines between colours.

Geoff Crowley
Crithwood Ltd.
Westfield, Scotland, UK
crithwood logo

May 3, 2010

The only method to obtain straight or symmetric lines for camo would be by taking a similar route that tho applicators who produce "wood grain effects" use. You will require supplies of black, green and browns that make-up the camo design. This method produces the various colours as an integral part of the powder film using one pass through the bake oven. No extra capital costs involved as your current coating equipment would be adequate.

Terry Hickling
Birmingham, United Kingdom

May 5, 2010

Ok Terry, You opened the door. How do you do wood grained finish with 1 gun and one spray booth?

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

May 6, 2010

I formulated the Artpow process 10 years ago... no transfers or vacuum requirements and only one bake; any more info requires a NDA. Unfortunately, it is only within the last 18 months Global interest in wood grain effects has been shown. Some of the largest outlet chains in the USA are currently evaluating this. The only wood-effect working in the USA that was developed on our lab extruder is for coating MDF using IR, UV and laser tech.

Terry Hickling
Birmingham, United Kingdom

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