Thin powder color topcoat: Powder coating process for small parts in bulk production
This article describes a new powder coating process applicable to many types of fasteners and small parts called “Thin Powder Color Topcoat” (TPCT). These coatings are applied to metal parts, with or without a base coating, in an innovative bulk production process that incorporates a proven thermal diffusion coating method. The article explains how the new process is suitable for mass finishing of small- and medium-size parts with powder coatings, providing substantial cost savings when compared with rack or spray coating. Test results indicate positive outcomes on a wide range of materials, showing exceptional durability and versatility in controlling the uniformity, thickness, and colors available for small parts production.
The evolution of thin powder coating commercial applications began in the early 1970s. With the passing of the Federal EPA Clean Air Act in 1970, the incentive to create eco-friendly alternatives to solvent-based coatings for consumer products spurred the growth of powder coatings in the US. Leading the way was the major appliance industry, which developed large in-plant powder coatings systems. Following closely was the automotive industry, which outsourced the process, creating new opportunities for custom finishers.