Once the parts have been properly cleaned and rinsed in the pretreatment phase, they move to the dry-off oven. Here the parts are heated and dried in order to ensure that once they reach the powder spray room or "environmental room", they are free from moisture.
Once dry and in the environmental room, the powder is applied to the part using ten automatic powder guns as well as two operators using manual touch up guns. Once the parts have been coated properly, they move to the cure oven for the final step in the powder coating process.
To ensure that the Phillips Patterns' level of quality has been reached, multiple sets of parts from each job are set aside and immediately tested for quality, cure, and durability. The tests performed on each run include: mil thickness testing, cross hatch adhesion testing, scratch testing, and acetone testing.
Powder coating is a process in which free-flowing electrostatically charged dry powder is applied to a grounded metal workpiece. After the powder is applied, the powder coated part is transported, to a cure oven. Once heated, the powder coating flows out and forms a type of hard skin. After the part has spent the required amount of time at the required temperature, the powder should be cured. Once the powder has cured, it is much more durable than conventional painting.
A aspect of powder coating that can be easily overlooked is the importance of proper pretreatment. At Phillips Patterns & Castings, we employ a 3-Stage Pretreatment process. The first stage is comprised of a phosphate based chemical wash that thoroughly cleans and etches the part's surface. Stages two and three include a cold water rinse, with the capability of a stage three sealer.