What Are The Advantages Of Powder Coating Over Baked Enamel?

May 24, 2021

What are the advantages of powder coating over baked enamel?

  1. Eco-friendliness
  2. Durability
  3. Edge coverage
  4. UV protection

When it comes to coating aluminum or any metal product, there has been a long debate on powder coating vs baked enamel and which of the two is better. Choosing the right type of coating can be difficult because both appear similar. You also have to consider the value for money that each coating type provides you, or else you may end up with a cheap metal finish that doesn’t really do its job.

This is why it’s important that you understand the different features of each coating type. For powder coating, it’s a protective layer made out of resins, additives, and other compounds. It’s electrostatically deposited onto the metal, then allowed to cure by heating. Baked enamel, on the other hand, is a liquid enamel coating made out of oil-resin or synthetic resin, and then directly applied onto the metal. As the name suggests, this coating has to undergo “baking” or heating in order to produce a tough one-time applied surface finish.

Between the two, however, you’ll find that powder coating is the most cost-effective solution. Unlike baked enamel, it is extremely eco-friendly, durable, and corrosion-resistant, which is why it has been the go-to choice for coating aluminum-based products and other metals. Read on to learn more.

Eco-Friendliness

Making environmentally-friendly choices might be one of your top concerns right now, even when it comes to choosing a metal coating of choice. Although baked enamel and powder coating may have similar compositions, the clear winner is powder coating because of the numerous environmental benefits that it provides.

For one, powder coating isn’t made out of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as what you’ll find in solvent-based coatings like enamel. This means that when sprayed on any metal, it will not release any harmful chemicals in the air, further reducing air pollution. Further, powder coating also produces minimal wastage because the overspray can be collected once more and reused after proper refining.

Since baked enamel paint is solvent-based, it can contribute to higher air pollution than the average during application. It’s also difficult to reuse waste bake enamel, especially once after the paint has dripped and adhered on flooring.

Durability
Durability

Powder coating has long been considered as one of the most durable options. After it has cured, a chemical reaction will take place, forming chemical bonds in the resin and creating a durable finish onto the metal. Even when used outdoors, any powder-coated product, such as doors, windows, awnings, or even furniture, will be able to stand the test of time.

Although baked enamel results in a tough coating that can last for sometime, it does not necessarily provide the better durability to aluminum. This is because the enamel acts as a sheet of paint or coating that is simply applied onto the top of the substrate or product. Baked enamel-coated metal products are oftentimes found indoors, due to their inability to resist impacts and damages resulting from outdoor exposure.

Overall, powder coating is the more durable choice, primarily because of the ESD method (electrostatic spray deposition), preventing the coating from peeling off. Because baked enamel does not involve this kind of chemical reaction, the coating is much more brittle and prone to defects.

Edge Coverage

As most metal products nowadays contain sharp edges and corners, they require a coating that can provide optimal edge coverage. For this consideration, powder coating is deemed the better choice. As mentioned before, the spray deposition method transmits fine powders of the coating into all areas of the metal. This leaves no area in the product uncovered, and provides all-around protection against corrosion.

Baked enamel does not have the same magnetic adhesion properties as powder coating does, which means that during application the paint may run off and fail to stick to the material. This not only creates decorative, but also safety implications — for example, sharp, uncovered edges may wound a person upon contact. Whereas in powder coating, these same edges are softened, thanks to the thickness and quality of the powder coat.

UV Protection
UV protection

A type of powder coat that offers excellent ultraviolet or UV protection is the TGIC powder coat. Shorthand for triglycidyl isocyanurate, TGIC coating is designed to provide long-term ultraviolet resistance to coated products. TGIC is a widely-used polyester powder and has been preferred over baked enamel for its comprehensive protection against excessive radiation and prevention of yellowing.

Baked enamel does not exhibit good performance under prolonged UV exposure because of its substandard chemical properties. As discussed, this type of coating is used only in products used indoors and is not really designed for outdoor use. Although it can protect against damaging UV rays to some degree, the coating is more brittle and prone to flaking.

Key Takeaway

Need to coat your aluminum or metal products? Two coating types, powder coating vs baked enamel are your popular options. Both of them may look and feel similar, but powder coating has arguably better features regarding UV-ray protection, edge coverage, durability, and corrosion-resistant.

Made out of high-quality polymer-based resins and coated by way of electrostatic deposition, powder coating trumps baked enamel in more ways than one, when in need of a protective layer for your aluminum products.


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