ADVANTAGES of WATERBORNE vs. POWDER COATING
There are many advantages to waterborne coatings over powder coatings.
Finishes Unlimited believes that when companies consider the adoption of a lower VOC coating, waterborne coatings offer numerous application and field performance advantages over powder coatings.
- Less paint line conversion cost
Converting from the use of a solvent-based paint line to waterborne coatings requires only minimal changes in the paint booth equipment and procedures. Converting to powder coating requires a significant investment in application equipment.
- Less training
Paint line employees require much less training when converting from one liquid coating to another than is required when converting from liquid to powder coating.
- Better “batch-to-batch” long-term color, gloss and consistency
When producing large batches of a specific coating formulation over a long period of time, the color, gloss and texture consistency is much easier to maintain with waterborne paint. This in turn assures that the color and texture of the coating on the final manufactured product remain consistent.
- Better color accuracy for small batch orders
Companies that have small manufacturing runs of products requiring customized colors will find waterborne paint to be a much more cost effective coating than powder coating.
- More energy efficient
Bake enamel waterborne paint can generally be cured (dried) in less time and at temperatures between 250 and 350 degrees f. Ovens used to dry powder coated items must reach 450 degrees.
- Controlled application thickness
The application thickness of powder coatings ranges from 2.0 to 6.0 mils. Waterborne coatings are typically applied at 1.0 mills. This means comparatively more powder coating material than waterborne paint will be required when painting the same item. The thicker powder coating is also susceptible to chipping when the coated product is in use.
- Better finish versatility and consistency
Powder coatings lack the ability to provide special finishes, such as metallic appearances, that can be achieved with waterborne paint. Paint lines can be quickly cleared with water for color changes. Switching colors in powder painting facilities takes more time which translates into more labor costs and lost production time.
- Ability to touch up
Items coated with waterborne paint can be touched up while those coated with powder coating cannot. This is important for items with hidden or protected crevices or surfaces that do not get adequately covered in a waterborne paint booth or a power coating line and require final touch up during production or in the field.