Cleaning is usually the first stage when preparing work for powder coating. What this step entails can vary depending on several factors including, but not limited to the following:
- the type of materials that are being powder coated
- the condition of the materials that are being coated
- the desired texture of the completed work
- the type of finish desired for the completed work
- environmental factors
Media blasting is a process that involves firing incredibly fine grained pellets at a type of material, which is typically metal. Pellets can vary in shape, size and composition depending on the desired outcome for the final product. This type of cleaning is ideal for removing impurities, irregularities, scratches and other conditions that can typically mar the surface of metals.
Many types of media are completely recyclable and can be used on many jobs. However, despite its work and resource efficiency, media blasting isn’t an exclusive solution for every type of job. A thorough media blasting can leave surfaces in a highly vulnerable state where they extremely sensitive to environmental damages like corrosion. This means that most metals must be coated immediately after blasting or receive some additional treatment.
Where media blasting can remove surface impurities and irregularities, chemical treatments are used almost exclusively for surface impurities. This includes foreign bodies like dirt, oil and grease, as well as oxidation. These cleansers can be applied by submerging, spraying, or wiping.
The types of chemicals being used and their application depend on the base metal being cleaned and what is being removed from it. Chemicals can be incredibly efficient cleaning tools under the right circumstances. They can also play an important role in subsequent preparation work for certain base metals.
The Right Cleaner For The Job
As was mentioned, a lot of factors go into determining the ideal cleaning for a particular job. While there are general guidelines, there really is no one size fits all solution for any particular base metal. Factors like environment, surface impurities and irregularities can have huge influence over a given situation, but the ultimate decision should rest on the preservation of the base metal.
Here at Pilkington, our powder coating experts have the knowledge that can only be earned through years of experience. They know how to make sure that base metals are cleaned thoroughly and properly. This is the first step in ensuring the high quality of every powder coat finishing they apply. Don’t settle for less than Pilkington’s experienced professionals and Current ISO Certification.