A job shop can be a hectic, at times chaotic, place to work. Depending on how big your shop is, there can be a lot of people on the floor at a time, multiple parts being run through various stages, and all sorts of jobs lining up to be done. No matter how much experience you have running or working in a job shop, you probably have a good idea of how quickly problems can arise – and not just rejects, mind you. Malfunctioning equipment, bad communication, and irregular maintenance will all cause problems, big and small, down the line.
Simple as they might seem, the hoses and pumps of your application and fluidizing equipment are some of the most important parts. If they do not work properly, break, or are contaminated, the whole system goes kaput – likely leaving you with a reject at the end of a job. Within this guide, we will be going over some great tips for the care and maintenance of hoses and pumps, as well as covering some of the main issues that can appear.
There is always a deep sense of satisfaction when you pull a substrate out of the curing oven and find no visual imperfections. As with most job shops, there are a number of different tests that you can perform to test the quality and consistency of the film and various other cured film properties. Now, when we say ‘cured film properties’, what we are actually talking about is which particular aspect of the film is being tested, for example, adhesion or pencil hardness.
Ensuring that the powder is fluidizing properly is essential to a successful powder coating application. So what is fluidizing? Basically... it is using air to turn powder into a ‘liquid’ state. A good fluidizing hopper will often have the appearance of a simmering pot of stew. But why do we need to fluidize the powder though? Well, by fluidizing powders they become easier to apply – both in the terms of an even application and how smoothly the powder flows through the guns.
We all know applying powder coatings can sometimes be tricky. Sometimes, jobs go wrong. For every coating that comes out perfect, there will be a reject down the line somewhere. The more experience you gain, the risks of a blundered coating are reduced, and we’re here to nudge a bit more knowledge your way. We talk about appearance issues in another guide which you can see here, but right now, we are going to dig into application issues. This is when issues arise in the actual process of applying a powder coating to a substrate, the result of which is often a reject.
Before we get this train moving, we should probably define what exactly a special effect coating is. The list is pretty long, as essentially everything that is not a solid color can fit into this category. The definition of a special effect can also differ between powder manufacturers and job shops. Some of you may consider low glosses and matte finishes as special effects; others may not. Most companies will say that metallics fall under the special effects class – however, we have a whole guide dedicated to metallics here and will not be focusing on them in this guide.
Metallics are powder coatings which have a metallic or sparkle effect added to them. These metallic pigments are usually aluminum flake or mica and can be different colors and sizes. There are those that will be very obviously sparkly or glittery, others shimmery, and some will have more subtle sparkle effects. So, for this guide, we should specify that we aren’t talking about coatings that give the appearance of metal - what we are talking about are metallic coatings that have a sparkling effect.
So you have your substrate, all prepped and ready and it is time to lay down some coating. There is a great selection of products available that offer protection and decoration. Some of these products can be used as a two coat system, so let’s dive right in and check two coat systems out.
Everybody knows that cleaning and pretreating a surface is a key step in ensuring a fantastic coating job and we all want to put our best work out there – for ourselves and for our customers. At IFS Coatings, we always strive for the best with our coatings and we know how important applying those coatings to a well-prepared substrate is, so let’s look at some of the many ways in which we do that. A good pretreatment process can be easy as 1-2-3.