Powder Manufacture

How is powder made?

It’s actually a pretty simple process. The raw materials are weighed out (and there are no wet ingredients in powder and no solvents, which means no VOC’s) and we mix and blend them together to start the mixing process. The mixture is put into an extruder, which uses controlled heat and pressure to completely homogenize the mix. The hot extrudite is then forced out through chilled rollers, which cool it very quickly, making cold, thin and brittle sheets of hard material. These long sheets cool on the cooling rack and then are broken up into chips and then the extruded chip is ground down into powder.

Making metallic or sparkly powders

Metallics have an extra step. The powder is made in the same way, but at IFS we bond all our metallic powders. This means that we put the powder and metallic flake through a process that makes the tiny metallic flakes stick to the powder particles. It ensures a much more even and professional finish. At IFS we do most of our bonding in house, so we don’t’ have to send it elsewhere for that process to happen.

Making adjustments to color

Because everything is heated up and mixed together during the extrusion process, then cooled and ground down, if the color is not quite right, we have to start again. Once the raw materials have been through the extruder, they are all melted together -  we can’t “unmelt” them So if the color isn’t quite right, then we start all other again, adjust the pigment quantities, and create a whole new powder.