When it comes to industrial metal finishing options, there are two to choose from – powder coating and e-coating. Here at Special Metal Stamping, we have the ability to powder coat the stamped metal parts that we produce for our clients. What’s the difference? Let’s compare the two here.
E-coating is short for electroplate coating. This process starts when the finished metal piece is placed in a water bath. That liquid contains a mix of either epoxy or paintor some combination of the two. The exact ratio of the coloringmaterial to water depends on a number of factors, including the shade of the final coating and the size of the stamped part. Once the metal is in the liquid, a current is sent through it, which forces the paint particles to stick to the part. The voltage that is used, and the length of time that it’s turned on, are based on how thick the e-coating needs to be. A light coating uses a low voltage and short amount of time, while a thick coating requires a higher voltage and longer immersion period. The end result is a very tough coating that is scratch-resistant.
Like e-coating, powder coating produces a very resilient finish. The only difference is how the color is applied to the stamped metal part. This process is very dry, as there isn’t any liquid involved. (It also almost goes without saying that powder coating is much safer, as well, since the combination of liquid and electric current in e-coating can be quite dangerous.) When something is powder coated, a number of very tiny dry “paint” particles that consist mainly of epoxy resin and other things, are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto the metal part. They stick to is, thanks to that electrostatic charge. Once the piece has been fully coated, it’s placed into a special device that cures the “paint” at a very high temperature. By the time the curing phase is done and the part has fully cooled, it’s coated in a material that won’t budge.
Hopefully, this cleared up any questions that you might have had about e-coating or powder coating. If you need metal parts with a powder coated finishor are wondering about the metals that we work with, or anything else, please give us a call at (440) 236-6677. You can also reach us through the contact us form on our website.