Frequently Ask Questions
A. In general e-coat processes are similar, however several differences can affect the end result of the product. E-coat is available in many colors, but black is the most common.
Different resin systems are available in e-coat, usually acrylic and epoxy. Epoxy e-coat offers superior corrosion and chemical resistance, but it does not have good weatherability and is not suitable for direct outdoor use. Acrylic e-coat offers good chemical resistance with weatherability and is suitable for outdoor use.
There are two types of e-coat systems; cathodic and anodic. Cathodic systems generally offer better corrosion resistance over anodic systems. That’s why this is the only process we use at PCSI. Anodic is used in other situations for temperature-sensitive materials which do not withstand the higher cathodic temperatures well.
Numerous e-coat formulations are available in each of the technologies. These materials have various performance characteristics and are designed to meet a variety of applications. Many of the e-coats available carry approvals from leading OEMs.
To summarize, there are various materials to choose from when specifying e-coat. It is well worth the time to discuss your application with PCSI to determine which materials and systems will best meet your performance requirements and expectations.
Q. I need to have some parts powder coated. Are all powder coatings the same?
A. In general the processes of applying and curing powder coatings are similar, however there are several differences that can affect the end result of the product.
Different resin systems are available in powder coatings – typically epoxy, polyester and acrylic.
- Epoxy e-coat offers superior corrosion and chemical resistance but it does not have good weatherability and is not suitable for direct outdoor use.
- Polyester powder coatings offer good chemical resistance with weatherability and is suitable for outdoor use.
- Acrylic powder coatings are less common but have good smoothness, chemical resistance and weatherability. Acrylic powder coatings also exhibit excellent clarity.
Numerous powder coating formulations are available in each of the technologies. These materials have various performance characteristics and are designed to meet a variety of applications.
To summarize, there are various materials to choose from when specifying powder coating. It is well worth the time to discuss your application with PCSI to choose the correct powder coating system to meet your performance requirements and expectations.
Q. How important is the cleaning process to the quality and performance of the coating?
A. Proper cleaning of the parts is the single most important part of the coating process. The method in which the parts are cleaned prior to coating will have a direct impact on the appearance and performance of the powder coating or e-coating.
The pretreatment process involves cleaning of the soils and chemicals from the metal parts, rinsing in clear water and applying a conversion coating. The most common conversion coatings are iron-phosphate and zinc-phosphate, with zinc-phosphate generally providing the highest corrosion resistance. The pretreatment process takes place in a series of stages: 3-stage, 5-stage, or more. Generally, increasing the number of stages in the process, increases the quality of pretreatment.
Several methods of cleaning and phosphating are available:
- Spray wand
- Recirculating spray washer
At PCSI we use immersion systems and recirculating spray washers because we believe these systems provide the best methods for cleaning, leading to higher levels of coating performance.
To summarize, proper cleaning is the most important part of the coating process. There are various methods and processes to choose from when specifying cleaning and treating your parts prior to cleaning. It is well worth the time to discuss you application with PCSI to choose the correct pretreatment process to meet your coating performance requirements and expectations.