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"Techniques for powder coating brass band instruments?"

September 8, 2016

Q. A local marching band wants all their brass instruments to match, color wise. They want my company to powder coat them. Is this advisable? Will the powder affect the sound of the instruments? Will our phos-coat iron bath affect the brass? Can a clear coat be used on polished brass? Will our 400 °F oven affect the shape of the formed brass? Help?

tom spear
accurate mfg. - racine Wisconsin

September 2016

A. Hi Tom. Not being a musician, I googled for some opinions about the effect on sound. From the fact that many, if not most, felt that coatings do not significantly affect the sound, and that plastic horns are becoming commonplace for marching bands, I wouldn't worry about the possible change in sound. If it was a symphony orchestra, that might be different.

Still, getting reliable adhesion onto brass can be a bear, and I would be worried about solders, patches or other previous repairs, etc., being affected by 400 °F. I'd also be worried about masking all the valves properly for that temperature. So I'd suggest a liquid sprayed coating instead, starting with an etching primer made for brass. My opinion is probably worth what you paid for it :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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