Thermosetting Polymer Powder Coating

Published: 08th November 2010
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The thermosetting technology is widely used in powder coating equipment. The coating done by thermosetting polymer is very much protective, economic and energy efficient. So many manufacturers are adopting thermosetting polymer technology for higher productivity and lower cost.

What is thermosetting polymer?

The thermosetting polymer is a polymer that irreversibly cures. The thermoset materials are in liquid form and designed to mold into their final form. The cure can be achieved by heat or chemical reaction or irradiation. Basically thermosetting polymer is in soft solid form or in viscous state which then changes irreversibly into an infusible, insoluble polymer network by curing. A cured thermosetting polymer is then known as thermoset.

The Curing Process

The curing process includes transformation of resin into a plastic or rubber and this can be done by cross-linking process. The molecular chains then start reacting due to added catalyst or energy and form solid 3D structure. So molecule with large molecular weight becomes material of high melting point. During this process, the melting point temperature becomes higher than the surrounding temperature, resulting into solid metal formation.

Thermosetting Polymer Powder Coating

The powder used for coating may be thermoplastic or thermoset polymer which provides hard finishing as compared to conventional painting. Polyester, polyurethane, polyester-epoxy, traight epoxy (Fusion bonded epoxy) and acrylics are most commonly used polymers for powder coating. Epoxy powders are very much excellent in providing protection from chemicals and physical abuse. Epoxy powder is normally used for Rebar stock, well pipes, electrical junction boxes, office furniture and automotive underbody parts. Hybrid powders are lower in cost than other types. So many coaters apt for hybrid powder due to its better behavior in tribolelectric charging applications and good Faraday Cage penetration. Hybrid applications are like file cabinets, drawer slides, shelving and hospital furniture.

Benefits of thermosetting polymer

Thermoplastics remain rigid and non-flexible even at high temperatures. Thermosetting polymer provides very tough and hard finishing and powders come in a wide range of colors. The surfaces are good resistant to oil, fuels and chemicals.
Thermosetting plastics find use in an extensive variety of applications, from electrical insulators to car bodies.

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