Fabricating your metal enclosures to withstand the demands placed on them is crucial to your business. Durable metal enclosures provide your customers with equipment protection they can rely on, whether in construction, utility or industrial applications. The finish you use for your metal enclosures plays a significant role in their quality and longevity.
If you’re considering what type of metal finish to use on your enclosures, powder coating could be your best option. Powder coating provides superior durability and cost-effectiveness for a uniform finish. Discover the top reasons to use powder coat paint on your metal enclosures.
What Is a Powder-Coated Enclosure?
A powder-coated metal enclosure is a metal cabinet or housing unit finished in powder coating. These metal enclosures are typically made of steel or aluminum to protect equipment from environmental conditions and electromagnetic interference. Uses for metal enclosures include outdoor propane tank storage, circuit breaker housing units and generator and air compressor enclosures.
Because metal enclosures are vital for protecting equipment and people nearby, these units must be durable and resistant to corrosion. Powder coating is a popular metal finishing solution for metal enclosures because it provides superior durability that reduces wear and tear on the enclosure. Powder coating on enclosures also improves rust and corrosion resistance and requires little maintenance.
8 Reasons to Powder Coat Your Metal Enclosures
Powder coating offers superior benefits compared to other finishing options for metal enclosures. Here are the top eight reasons to use powder coat paint on your metal enclosures:
One of the essential benefits of powder coating in metal fabrication is its durability. During the powder coating process, dry powder is applied electrostatically to the metal surface. Manufacturers then heat treat the metal parts to cure the coating and form a high-quality film. The colored finish is highly durable and long-lasting. Powder coating resists chips, scratches, rust and corrosion.
The efficiency of the powder coating process reduces wasted paint and improves cost-efficiency for manufacturers. Using powder coating on metal enclosures takes less time than other coating processes and wastes very little powder. Powder coating only involves three steps:
- Priming: Manufacturers first prime the metal surface by removing abrasions and imperfections.
- Application: Powder coating involves applying an electrostatic charge to the dry powder before spraying it onto the surface. The electric polarization of the powder and the surface improves adhesion.
- Curing: Manufacturers then transfer the metal enclosure to an industrial oven, where it undergoes high temperatures that melt and seal the powder. The dry powder coating doesn’t need to dry like wet paint, making products ready to use immediately after curing.
The electrostatic application of powder coating creates a uniform color across the surface with an even spray. As the dry powder undergoes heat treatment during the curing stage, the powder melts into the metal’s surface and makes a consistent coating.
4. Aesthetic Appeal
The consistency and effectiveness of the powder coating process create a high-quality, professional look for your metal enclosures. While paint can leave streaks, ripples or bubbles, powder coating creates uniformly colored metal enclosures that will maintain their appearance for several years.
Powder coating offers a wide range of color and gloss options so your business can achieve the precise look it wants for its metal enclosures. Manufacturers will pigment the dry powder to your specifications and typically offer gloss options from high gloss to matte.
6. Low Maintenance
While paint may need new applications over time, dry powder coating requires far less maintenance. The only thing you need to do to keep powder coating on enclosures looking its best is to clean the enclosure occasionally.
7. Environmentally Safe
Paint often contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that harm the environment and adversely affect humans. In contrast, powder coating has a lower environmental impact because it does not contain harsh chemicals and solvents, although professional powder coating applicators must still wear protective gear during application. The powder coating process also produces less waste, creating less need for waste disposal once the coating is complete.
Manufacturers can powder coat any metal that can hold a negative electrical charge, making this metal finishing technique extremely versatile. Whether your metal enclosures are smooth, ridged or have a unique shape, powder coating can effectively color and protect them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Powder Coat Painting on Metal Enclosures
If you’re still unsure about whether to use powder coating for your metal enclosures, the answers to these frequently asked questions may help you decide whether the process is right for your needs:
1. Is Powder Coating Better for Metal Enclosures Than Other Options?
Powder coating offers several benefits that paint and electroplating, two popular alternatives for metal finishing, do not provide:
- Cost: Because powder coating is efficient, doesn’t require drying and wastes very little powder, this process is more cost-efficient than alternative methods.
- Efficiency: Using solvent-based liquid paint can leave streaks or bubbles and requires layers to dry. Electroplating requires passing an electric current through a bath of electrolyte solution in which the metal is submerged, which is also time-consuming. In contrast, powder coating is quick and effective.
- Durability: Powder coating provides superior scratch, rust, corrosion and humidity resistance. It also protects the metal underneath.
2. How Long Will Powder Coating Last Outside?
Because the powder coating process creates a durable seal on the metal surface, powder coating on enclosures has impressive longevity even in harsh conditions. For example, powder-coated steel will last up to 20 years if properly primed and maintained. The priming stage of the powder coating process should effectively remove all surface irregularities and debris from the metal before the manufacturer applies the dry powder. Once complete, powder-coated metal enclosures only need an occasional with a solvent-free, non-abrasive cleaner.
3. What Are the Best Metals to Use With Powder Coating?
For the most part, manufacturers can use powder coating with any metal that can hold an electrostatic charge and withstand the high temperatures of the curing stage. The metals most frequently used with powder coating include:
- Stainless steel
- Electroplated steel
- Galvanized steel
Choose Superior Manufacturing Company for Your Metal Fabrication Production Needs
Selecting powder coating for your metal enclosures offers benefits like durability, cost-efficiency and uniformity. At Superior Manufacturing, we strive to provide our customers with the highest quality precision metal parts and finishes. We are an industry-leading precision sheet metal fabrication company specializing in operator cabs, fuel and hydraulic tanks, and metal enclosures. From product design and production manufacturing to powder coating, our full-service in-house capabilities can accommodate a range of production volumes for quick turnaround without sacrificing quality.
We have more than 75 years of experience, which enabled us to develop and implement cost savings as we work with you to design products that fit your specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our precision manufacturing and engineering capabilities.