We all know the importance of finishing our parts to increase the lifespan of that piece. But utilizing a paint to give you the look you desire is just as important in terms of aesthetics and overall branding of the finished product. For most paint finishes, you have two options: powder coating or conventional liquid paint.
How do you know which option is the best fit for your part/project? Here are some crucial factors to consider when selecting your paint options.
Longevity and Durability
Overall, liquid paint is not as durable or long-lasting as powder coating. Consider this:
- Liquid paint requires maintenance and even re-finishing later into a part life.
- Dried liquid paint can crack and chip due to expansion and contraction that happens with many parts.
- Powder coating is much more flexible and can withstand the natural movements of many parts, like springs.
- Liquid paint is better suited for heat sensitive parts, since powder coated parts are cured at extreme temperatures.
Application Runs and Sagging
With powder coating, runs and sagging are less common. Powder coating involves charging the powder particles to adhere to the grounded metal you want to coat. This creates a naturally even coat over all surface shapes and sizes.
Liquid paint does not coat parts with quite as much ease, often needing additional coats to get the exact coverage desired. Multiple coats can lead to an increased chance of runs or sagging in the paint coats.
Variability in Types of Coatings
Powder coating offers a variety of textures, glosses and colors to achieve the look you desire on your project. Liquid paint offers a less “orange” peel in appearance and presents itself as a much smoother finish.
Powder coating is often a better value in the long run. In most cases, the powder is re-claimable to use in another application, where most of the liquid paint is lost during application overspray. Plus, there are additional costs associated with liquid paint because it is a more hazardous material than powder coating paint.
Environmental Impact & Safety
Liquid paint doesn’t compare to powder coating when determining which is more environmentally friendly and safer to use.
Liquid paint is a hazardous material for several reasons:
- It’s flammable and careless storage can lead to a chemical fire.
- Liquid paint releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are a major source of industrial pollution.
- VOCs can also detrimentally impact a worker’s health without appropriate safety processes.
What makes the most sense for your project?
Both finishing options have benefits, but the best choice is dependent on the desired look you want for your project. If you need help deciding what type of finish will protect your part while getting the look you desire, our team of experts are happy to help. Contact us today by emailing us (sales@KVFquad.com) or submitting your project information on our website.
To learn more about powder coating at KVF Quad, check out our latest video.