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How to Decide Between Anodizing, Painting, and Powder Coating

So you know that your metallic product is going to need a coating to protect it from the elements and/ or physical wear and tear. With so many coating options, how do you know what’s best? The following information can help you make a decision about whether to use anodizing, painting, or powder coating for your particular application involving aluminum. The desired appearance and application can determine the type of finish selected – this is true whether the application involves storefront, metal roofing, or curtainwall. At Secoa Technology, we can help you determine the right coating to use for your particular application.

Anodizing

The process of anodizing was developed more than three quarters of a century ago. It is a simple electrochemical process that creates a protective coating of aluminum oxide on an aluminum surface. How long the finish lasts is directly proportional to the thickness of the anodic coating applied. Aluminum oxide provides powerful protection to the base metal due to its characteristics of hardness, durability, and weather resistance.

Paints or Powders

Paints and powders falling under the category of organic coatings can perform well. However, there performance depends on the pigmentation, resin, and pre-treatment. If it concerns aluminum, pretreatment is of great significance. It is best that organic coatings on aluminum be applied in the factory. A weak component of an organic coating system is often the resins. PVDF, the type of resin however, has excellent weatherability. At the same time, epoxy coatings are designed only for indoor use.

Powder Coatings

Liquid coatings and powder coatings manufactured with the same pigment and resin will deliver the same performance characteristics in general. For any resin, which option to choose – liquid or powder coating – can simply be a question of the technique used in the application process.

Powder has the advantage of reduced air pollution in comparison to liquid coatings. Powders cured in an oven do not discharge VOCs.

Conclusion

The application will determine the aluminum finish and not only personal preference. Any place where a rich metallic appearance is desirable is often best suited for anodizing – for instance, in the case of storefronts. Handrails and storefronts can benefit significantly from polyester and anodized coatings. Curtainwall and metal roofing applications can benefit from the application of PVDF coatings. PVDF, anodized, and polyester coatings can all be applied to storefront, roofing, and curtainwall applications with suitable results.

As is obvious, you have many options available when choosing how to finish aluminum. For more information about your coating options in any application, contact us today at Secoa Technology.

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