What is powder coating?
Powder coating is an advanced finishing process that is an eco-friendly alternative to liquid paint. The powder used in the process is a mixture of finely ground particles of pigment and resin, which is electrostatically sprayed onto the frame of our bicycles. The charged powder particles adhere to the electrically grounded frame until the powder is heated and fused into a smooth coating in the curing oven. Powder coating is more resistant to chipping, scratching, fading, and wearing when exposed to snow, rain, and the hot sun.
Why is powder coating an eco-friendly alternative to liquid paint?
The majority of bicycle manufacturers today use liquid paint. Liquid paint finishes contain solvents that have pollutants known as volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), while powder coating contains no solvents and release minimal amounts, if any, VOC’s into the atmosphere.
The Powder Coating Process
Frame preparation is the most important step in the powder coating process. All of our frames are media blasted and cleared from oil and dirt. If the frame is not cleaned properly before it is sprayed, the powder will not adhere to the metal.
Applying the Base Coat
Before the desired powder coat color is applied to the frame, a thin layer of primer base coat is sprayed onto the frame.
How does the powder adhere to the frame?
The frame is negatively charged by a ground wire that comes from the powder coating gun. Then as the powder passes through the gun it is positively charged, causing the powder to adhere to the frame.
Curing the Base Coat
After the base coat is applied to the frame, it is baked in a large powder coating oven for 15 minutes at 370°.
Why does the frame have to go in the oven?
While the frame is in the oven, the powder melts to the metal and creates a hard protective layer. It’s as if the frame has a layer of plastic skin.
Applying the Top Coat
After the base coat has been cured and inspected for quality, an even layer of the top coat is applied to the base coat.
Final Curing Process
The final curing process takes place after the top coat has been applied. The frame will bake in the oven for another 15 minutes at 370°.