A quick guide to powder coating in Singapore
Powder coating has grown into a multi-billion dollar business worldwide. It is a part of our lives every day, coating everything from household items and bicycles to heavy duty machinery. Its popularity comes down to two things: protection and style. As a coating method it is flexible, durable, highly protective, and cost efficient. Powder coating comes in a wide range of colours and finishes to ensure your project looks and performs exactly as it should. Singapore presents the fastest growth for powder coating demand in Southeast Asia especially in the residential sector.
This article will outline the benefits, uses, and process of thermoplastic and electrostatic powder coating, as well as where you will find powder coating applicators and suppliers in Singapore.
The powder coating process in short
Powder coating is a process where paint is applied to a substrate in powder form. Usually a paint is a binder and a pigment suspended in a liquid solvent, but a powder coat is solvent free, it is the binder and pigment blended into a fine powder. The application process can be broken into 3 steps: substrate preparation/pretreatment, powder application, and curing.
1. Surface preparation and pre-treatment
The correct preparation of the substrate is paramount in any coating application. Firstly, remove all oil, grease, dirt, grime and ensure that the part is completely free of contaminants. Then the part is stripped – this removes previous coatings. Finally the part is sandblasted. This stage cleans the part down to bare metal and creates a texture on the substrate which allows the powder coating to adhere to it. After a final clean the part is ready. This step is slightly different depending on the substrate.
2. Applying powder
Powder coating is applied through one of two methods: electrostatic spraying, and fluidised bed. The electrostatic powder coating process applies the powder through a specialty spray gun which gives the powder an electrostatic charge. This causes the powder to stick to the grounded part. In the fluidised bed process, the part is heated and dipped into a hopper filled with fluidised powder. The heat melts the powder onto the part immediately, though a post cure may still be needed depending on the powder used.
3. Curing the coating
The final step is to bake the powder coat, causing it to melt, flow, and form a continuous hardened film. This ensures an even coverage over the part. Depending on the type of powder, there is either a further step for curing (for electrostatic powder coating), or the process stops here (for thermoplastic powders). Thermosetting powders undergo chemical crosslinking when heated and will not melt again, where thermoplastics do not crosslink and will melt again if heated. A properly cured thermosetting powder is tough and impact resistant.
Electrostatic powder coating equipment to carry out the process
There are many pieces of equipment required for a complete powder coating line. These range from sandblasting boxes or rooms and curing ovens at the large scale end to hanging racks and guns at the smaller. If you wish to buy powders and equipment there are several suppliers in Singapore. The cost of equipment varies by scale and quality. A complete electrostatic powder coating gun kit including hooks, air line, tapes and powder cups can cost $500. A gun system with a powder fluidising drum can cost $4,500.
The cost of powder is calculated by the pound, with greater quantities charged at lower rates. The less common or more specialised a colour, the more expensive it is. An average powder might cost $20-30 per kilo, but can be anywhere up to $100 a kilo.
Whether a hobbyist or a professional business, the powder coatings industry is ever-growing. Given that powder coat is long-lasting, easy-to-apply, durable, protective, and attractive, it is no surprise. To find out how you can use powders for your project, contact us!
Why you should consider powder coat for your project
Nowadays, powder coating is suitable for a wide range of materials and purposes including metals, glass, MDF, and even wood and plastics. Therefore, powder coatings are used for example in manufacturing appliances, the furniture industry and vehicle coatings and refinish markets. Powder coatings have many features and advantages that make them the coating of choice. Just a few of these are:
- Durability: It is more resistant to chipping, scratching, fading, and wearing than other finishes.
- Environmentally friendliness: Solvent-free, very low/zero VOC, and excess powder can be recovered and reused, so minimal waste and under 1% material loss.
- Flexibility: Suitable for a wide range of materials and purposes including metals, glass, MDF, and even wood and plastics.
- Appearance: Unlimited colour and finish choice (including smooth, textured, gloss, matt, iridescent, glitter, and candy) with thicker applications that liquid coatings and no running or sagging.
- Cost efficiency: It is cheaper than liquid paint, and is a one coat application with low operation costs.
Powder coating services & suppliers Singapore
Powder coating is generally charged by surface area of the part to be coated. Different finishes and colours are priced differently, and the type of job will also be reflected in the prices – wheels or rims for example may be done per wheel, where a railing is charged by length when coated with electrostatic powder coating. The average 13″ wheel powder coat will cost you $40-80, where a fence may cost $30 per metre. Below is a map showing a selection of powder coating companies in Singapore. If you are looking for industrial electrostatic powder coating services in Singapore, make sure the applicator is NACE or ICorr certified.
If you would like more information about powder coating, or need a powder coating contractor for a project, contact us! Our Specialists are here to help. Just use the “Request a quote” button at the bottom of this article and take advantage of 100% free quoting service.
A peek to powder coating suppliers Singapore
Most of the internationally known powder coating manufacturers such as AkzoNobel, PPG and Axalta offer their powders also in the Singaporean market. Here below you can find a small selection of available powder brands in Singapore.
|Akzo Nobel Powder Coatings Asia Pacific Pte Ltd||3 International Business Pk #03-25 Nordic European Centre Singapore|
|Hempel (S) Pte. Ltd.||25 Tuas Ave 11 S|
|Lea Hin Co. (Powder Manufacturers) Pte. Ltd.||293 Alexandra Rd S|