The detailed history of powder coating

Powder coating is used all over the world for a huge variety of applications, from car parts to shop front shutters (something we take pride in offering to our customers). Due to it’s process having a better impact on the environment than spray paints, more and more businesses are approaching companies such as SRL to make their shop front stand the test of time. While this process is gaining more popular than spray painting, the success powder coating is still relatively new, meaning that for many clients, it is a new process to invest in.

This, however, is not actually the case. The idea of the powder coating process dates back to the early fifties, and has gone through over sixty years of analysis, experimentation and technological progression. The process and equipment that is used for powder coating has changed and improved significantly over time as well. This week’s blog post gives you a bit of history on the development of Powder Coating.

Origins of powder coating in Europe

In the early fifties, Europe was where the original idea for powder coating was formed, as environmental concerns regarding liquid coatings’ solvent contamination began to cause a stir around the world. Initially, powders were flame-sprayed onto metallic surfaces in order to coat them.

It was around this period when a German scientist, Dr Erwin Gemmer, came up with the idea for a fluidized bed application of thermoplastic resins on metal. This developed technique was a high step above flame spraying due to it being far more efficient. The patent for his new process was issues in 1955.

News of powder coating spread fast

This new fluidized bed application technique became popular at a fast pace, being used not only in Europe but all over the globe. The uses for this powder coating technique were mostly functional reasons, and were designed to create such things as electrical insulation and corrosion, as well as scrape resistant surfaces. The application process was used on almost all applications of powder coating between 1958 and 1965.

New technology

During the time of the fluidized bed approach was being used, there were also other approaches being tested. Between 1962 and 1964, electrostatic processing of powder coating was becoming more commercialised. This process looked to electrostatic spray guns to spray powders as if they were liquid in nature. This process continued to gain traction, and the four main types of thermosetting resins were formed between 1966 and 1973: epoxy, polyester (TGIC), epoxy polyester hybrid and polyurethane. These resins allowed powder coatings to be used in more widespread commercial settings, and the process took off.

Environmental pressures

Environmental pressures were on the incline between 1966 and 1970 alongside the “Los Angeles Rule 66” and the Clean Air Act. These pressures aided the promotion of the powder coating process, boosting its popularity around the world.

From the early 1980’s, the global growth of powder coating manufacturing and application was clear to see, especially in North America and Japan. Ever since then, the process has been developed further and further. This includes the formulation of the powders as well as the efficiency of its spraying methods.

We know the importance of powder coating at SRL Ltd

Our team of experts at SRL Ltd know first hand the benefits and uses of powder coating for your business, which is why we have spent many years dedicating ourselves to the process. We offer a range of colourful, durable and environmentally friendly services in order to keep your shop front shutters and curtain walling to the highest protection possible.

For more information on powder coating, please get in touch via our contact page.

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