2 Tips from Parker Ionics for Long Lasting Powder Coating

Powder coating may very well be the most durable and efficient method available to coat or finish any metal surface here in Michigan.  Many businesses have turned to powder coating, especially in the Detroit area, as a more sustainable, economical, safe and longer-lasting protective coating (nearly four times longer than spray paint). It is the proven alternative to traditional wet finishes.  Powder coating has less waste, and because it is a dry operation, less breakdowns occur in the system and this means less maintenance is required.  This allows for fewer repair costs, not to mention thicker, longer lasting coats that also mean less repeat coatings.
When you look at coating thickness, transfer efficiency and environmental impact, it’s easy to see how powder coating is superior to wet finishes.  But the truth is, the longevity of these coatings can also be greatly affected by the cleaning/stripping process of the item being coated.  There are many ways to clean an item, but some methods are better than others.  Here are two valuable tips to make sure your powder coating will be as strong and long-lasting as it can be.

  • Use the right pre-treatment:  Several factors come into play when choosing a proper pre-treatment: base metal of the piece being coated, soil being removed, bath temperature, contact time, and the environment.

○      Acidic treatments – An acidic cleaner will work best for removal of inorganic (metallic) soils.

○      Alkaline treatments – Alkaline is more suitable for removal of organic soils.  Solvent-borne coatings like spray paint are more forgiving of organic soils left behind after the cleaning process than powder coating.  For a quality powder coat, use an alkaline cleaner (i.e. iron phosphate or zinc phosphate for higher-end operations) to remove all organic soils from the piece before coating.

○      Neutral treatments – If the substrate being coated is a material that reacts strongly to acids or alkalis (aluminum or zinc), a neutral cleaner is more desirable.

  • Be sure it is clean! – After cleaning, test the piece before coating to be sure of its quality. There are several ways to do this.  Wiping the piece with a white cloth to check for leftover soils is the simplest of these.  Other tests include alcohol drop tests, the “water break free” test (pouring water over the surface to check for even sheeting), and coulometry on the more advanced end.  All will test the surface’s cleanliness, and making sure your piece is clean can be crucial to the success of your powder coating.


With this information, you will be able to maximize the potential of your powder coating operation.  To make sure you get the best results possible, use Parker Ionics powder coating equipment.  Our Pulse Power® charging technology will give you the maximum transfer efficiency in faraday areas, and leave your item with a thick, even coat for years to come.  Call us today for more information on how to succeed in powder coating any item!


This article is brought to you by the team at Parker Ionics, your provider of technologically advanced powder coating guns, booths, and equipment available in the global market.

Parker Ionics 

38147 Abruzzi

Westland, MI 48185

Office: 734 326 7630

Fax: 734 326 7638





Photo: Parker Ionics


By johnparker on Monday, January 28th, 2013 in Learning Center, Powder Coating Knowledge. 2 Comments

2 responses to “2 Tips from Parker Ionics for Long Lasting Powder Coating”

  1. Alex Trodder says:

    Maintaining the tools and equipment for many businesses is an essential aspect for them to help reduce costs. you make a great point about how powder coating can help protect metal surfaces from the weather and wear and tear. I didn’t know that so much went into preparing a surface for powder coating. It makes sense that it needs to be as clean as possible to ensure that you get good and even adhesion during the process. Thanks for your post.

  2. Baxter Abel says:

    I appreciate what you said about how much the cleaning/stripping process of the item being powder coated affects the longevity of a powder coat. I wonder what types of metals respond the best to being powder coated? And can you powder coat a metal object that has already rusted? Thanks for the tips!

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