Powder coating is an increasingly popular finishing method. It delivers durability, versatility and a range of colour options. Traditionally, powder coating has been applied to metals, but as technology evolves the technique can also be used with other materials.
Plastics are used across industry and manufacturing in the creation of products and materials because of their durability and the ability to mould them into complex shapes. In the past, it was often assumed that the answer to whether or not you can powder-coat plastic was always no, but that’s not always the case.
Can plastic be powder coated?
The short answer to the question, can you powder coat plastic, is yes you can. Plastic can be powder coated but the process used and the outcomes will differ from objects with a metal substrate. Plastic materials that have the ability to withstand the high curing temperatures required for the powder to melt and then adhere effectively are suitable for powder coating. This includes plastics such as epoxy or polyester.
How does powder coating work on plastic?
The basic principle of powder coating involves applying dry powder to a surface electrostatically. This is then cured in an oven to create a tough, durable coating that can withstand a range of applications. With plastic, the process will need to be adapted due to the particular properties of the material.
Proper surface preparation is essential for powder-coating plastic materials. The plastic substrate should be carefully cleaned to ensure that any contaminants, residues or oils are removed that might hinder the adhesion process. In some cases, plastic materials may require preheating to ensure a more effective adhesion of the powder.
The powder used in the plastic powder-coating process will typically be composed of a thermoplastic resin, pigment and other additives.
Can you powder coat plastic to look like chrome?
It is possible to create a metallic or chrome-like finish on plastic using powder-coating methods. Achieving a true chrome finish can be more challenging when compared to other finishes. Traditionally, chrome plating will involve layering chromium over a base metal to create a distinctive mirror-like shine.
Achieving a chrome-like finish with powder-coating will be a multi-step process. A base layer powder coat of reflective or metallic powder will first be applied to the plastic substrate. This will then be followed by a clear powder coat to enhance its reflective properties and to provide added protection.
While this will not provide the same degree of depth and reflective quality as chrome plating, powder coating can still provide a durable alternative to achieve a metallic-like appearance on plastic surfaces.
Effective powder coating from Pershore Dip Coating
At Pershore Dip Coating, our powder coating services add corrosion resistance and durability to a range of industrial applications including construction, automotive and manufacturing.
Based in Worcestershire, we offer optimised powder coating services for a wide range of materials including plastic. If you’d like further information about the powder coating process for plastic materials we will be happy to help.
Contact us to find out more.