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Commercial Powder Coating: Understanding the Crucial Cost Factors for Your Project

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If you are planning on fabricating custom metal products for use or sale in your business, you should consider having the surfaces powder-coated. Powder coatings are made using free-flowing particulate powder which is cured using heat. Therefore, the applied layers will be more durable than standard paint. On the other hand, you should note that powder coating is not an inexpensive finishing process. So, it is vital for you to understand the cost factors for proper budgeting. Here are the primary elements which will influence your powder coating expenses.  

Specific Powder Coating Product

The total costs of a powder coating project will be influenced by the type of material selected for the application. Standard powders consist of free-flowing granules of thermoset or thermoplastic polymers. In this basic form, the coating is inexpensive. However, this constitutional format is not always ideal for real-life usage. For example, a standard coat which is exposed to harsh outdoor environments will degrade fast due to exposure to the sun, humidity and saline air. 

Therefore, if your custom metal product will be used outside, the powders should have UV inhibitors or be manufactured using highly durable polymers. These specialty coatings will have a high price of purchase. Also, if you choose a solid colour finish, the cost will be low because there are no unique ingredients included in the material. On the other hand, metallic and pearlescent coatings will demand a higher buying price. 

Design of the Custom Product

The design and appearance of your metal fabricated product will affect the project expenses in different ways. In general, large custom items will attract a higher application price. The wide surface area will require more powder for complete coverage. Moreover, the equipment necessary for the application work must be directly proportional. This translates into high rental costs. Also, you should note that the complexity of the design will influence the price because specialty machines will be essential for reaching crevices.

Coating Curing Options

Finally, you should evaluate your curing options for powder coatings. The standard methods are infrared and convection oven techniques. The infrared oven has low operating costs, but the purchase price for the equipment is high. It is a cheaper choice than the alternative if you are planning on outsourcing your finishing work. The convection oven is inexpensive to purchase but extravagant to run. So, the cost of outsourcing could be higher due to the operating expenses. You should make a detailed comparison before making your decision.