Can You Powder Coat Copper?

Copper is an elegant metal that can be powder coated in various shades for a stunning appearance and greater durability than wet paint coating.

The PosiTector 6000 series gages are ideal for non-contact and non-destructive measurement of powder coating thickness. Many models are available with options suitable for ferrous and non-ferrous substrates.

Preparation

Copper metal can be powder coated for protection against chipping, scratching, fading and other wear-and-tear damages, while also offering excellent corrosion and weatherproofing protection. The powder coating process creates a sleek yet durable surface finish which resists chipping, scratching and other forms of wear-and-tear damage while providing ample weatherproofing against harsh climate conditions.

Preparing copper for powder coating depends on its material. However, generally a shot blast and zinc rich or epoxy primer are sufficient to prepare its surface for final top coat application.

Once shot blast and primer have been applied, powder coat material is then applied using an electrostatic gun and heated to 400-500degF for 15-25 minutes before curing in order to ensure full cure of the powder coat and its ready for use.

Application

Powder coating offers a tough, protective finish that resists corrosion, wear and tear while remaining more aesthetically-pleasing than traditional wet paint options and is available in numerous colors. Furthermore, it stands up well to chemicals, physical impact and extreme weather conditions than galvanizing alone.

Pure copper cubes and cylinders display large pores which aggregate together, creating connected blobs (balling). Coated Sn0.8, Coated Sn3.0 and Coated Ni1.9 coated forms show smaller pores which do not form connected blobs (balling).

To optimize powder coating performance, it is essential that all copper surfaces to be coated are edge conditioned prior to application. This may involve hand sanding, tumbling, or machined radius if necessary. Areas  not  being  coated  must  be protected with high temperature tape masking locations that enable smooth epoxy powder flow for consistent dielectric strength. To do so optimally.

Powder Coat Copper

Curing

Powder coating forms a hard surface that resists degradation from impact, moisture, chemicals, and extreme weather. Furthermore, its corrosion and fading reduction properties make it the perfect solution for outdoor lighting such as lampposts or signs.

Powder coating can be applied to virtually all metals that can withstand an electrostatic charge and high heats during curing, such as copper extrusions, mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum and bronze alloys, plastics glass composite materials (PGC) as well as plastic extrusions with additional preparation steps.

Powder coating requires an expensive curing oven that must be heated regularly. As this could pose serious health and environmental hazards, performing the entire powder coating process at home should be avoided as it could put both you and the environment at risk. For instance, toxic gas emissions during curing could contaminate food stored in your kitchen oven as well as chemicals needed for surface preparation before powder coating.

Maintenance

Powder coated metal items often end up outdoors  where  they’re  exposed  to  all forms of weather, from sunlight and rain, through wind and freezing temperatures, hot temperatures, dust pollution, salt water exposure and even electric currents (if a product contains two different metal types in contact). All of these elements can drastically decrease the longevity of powder coating.

Over time, powder coating can start to show signs of weathering – loss of gloss, chalking and even some slight color change – however this can be reduced significantly with regular cleanings.

Cleaning should be accomplished using a soft brush or cloth dipped into a diluted solution of mild soap (preferably one containing emulsifiers that break down common stains) and warm water, rather than harsh chemicals or abrasives that could damage surfaces. After each piece has been thoroughly rinsed off and rinsed off thoroughly, it is crucial that it dries completely to preserve its condition.

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