POWDER COATING GUIDE
Appearance Options of
Powder Coated Products
Virtually Any Color or Gloss
The color variety is almost limitless these days, with many coating suppliers offering a pallet of off-the-shelf colors as well as custom color match services to better meet the needs of small-volume powder users. There are also tints to add highlight color to a substrate or base coat, such as a brass look over polished aluminum.
A range from flat to high gloss is generally available. Smooth, high gloss coatings can offer high distinctiveness of image, creating an illusion of depth or wet looks. Matte finishes can hide surface defects or imperfections such as spot-welds, nicks, and scratches on a variety of substrates.
Hammertones or veins give antique or distressed looks created by a black base with metallic pigments of gold, silver, or copper contrasting against the black. This weathered look is popular in the furniture and display industries that demand a broad range of multi-color looks, including granite, confetti, rusty, and weathered appearances.
Clear powders are often used as an external protective layer on many brass products such as doorknobs, hinges, railings, lamps, and plumbing fixtures. There are also powders available that can substitute for chrome and brass plating in certain applications, even matching the high gloss of chrome. Clearcoat primers and clearcoats over exterior basecoats are being used on select models of several automakers.
Fluorescent / Pearl-Like
Powder coated finishes can now offer an icy or fluorescent appearance or the lustrous look of a pearl that may appear to change color depending on the angle of observation. Bicycles, wheel rims, garden tools, light fixtures, and some glass products benefit from this look.
Photoluminescent powder coatings are able to absorb fluorescent, ultraviolet, or incandescent light, and gradually re-emit the light. These are often available in blue, yellow, and green, and are used for road signs, hazard warnings, and markings on trucks, buses, and police cars.
Metallic coatings, using particles of aluminum, mica, copper, or brass, add sparkling highlights, which can reproduce the appearance of the base metal and add sparkle to the look of the product. Metallic bonding can physically bond metal flakes to the basecoat powder. A variety of metallic finishes have been formulated for indoor and outdoor furniture, exercise equipment, lawn and garden tools, and other products, that can resemble the look of gold, chrome, or brass.
Textured coatings are often used to hide substrate irregularities, which may show with a smooth finish, provide a non-slip surface, or hide fingerprints while giving a distinctive feel to a product. Appearances vary from the look of fine sandpaper, a pebbly texture, or a rougher look resembling alligator skin.
Powder coating finishes with a wrinkled look exhibit excellent resistance to high wear and weatherability conditions on backyard tools, exercise equipment, and shop displays.
Information provided by the Powder Coating Institute and the Powder Coating Finisher's Handbook. Additional information regarding powder coating can be found on their website at www.powdercoating.org.