When you’re selecting a custom metal fabricator, sometimes it makes sense to look for for a firm with an in-house painting and coating facility. Fabricators with paint production facilities reduce a lot of the overhead involved with shipping and handling. This also speeds up the production and lead-times, because you don’t have to repackage the product multiple times before shipment.
While our facility at Poma doesn’t have an in-house painting facility, we do work right next door to one. Coastal Powder Coatings, Inc. is a world-class painting and coating facility which is situated adjacent to our fabrication plant.
Coastal Powder’s operation for powder coating is among the few in the United States offered at this scale. It’s also the only paint facility of its kind in South and Central Florida. There are very few companies that can offer liquid and powder coatings, and Coastal Powder is one of them.
Working with Coastal Powder, we’re able to ship fully-fabricated parts with the best paint coatings in the industry.
We’re able to offer this at incredible savings to owners, because the metal pieces don’t require crating and shipment. Our forklifts drop off the metal components at Coastal Powder, where they coat the product with 3-coating liquid or powder coatings.
Once complete, Poma arranges shipment or picks them up for further fabrication without ever leaving the industrial park.
What to look for when selecting a fabricator with paint capabilities?
Not all fabricators with paint facilities are equal. While many may house a small spray booth, Coastal Powder runs an advanced production line with scalability.
The company is an approved applicator for PPG’s Kynar 500 XL. This is a three-coat system with excellent UV protection and a 10-20 year warrantee in coastal environments. They’re also an approved applicator for Sherman Williams’ SHER-NAR 500 XL. There’s only a few others that do these coatings. This painting facility is one of three others like it in the entire state of Florida.
What makes the best paint facilities for fabricators?
Coastal Powder runs a state of the art E.S.P. (Electrostatic Spray Painting) program. This system provide an exceptional level of quality and consistency over other painting methods. This facility will paint almost any metal product, and is catered to the Southeast’s finest aluminum fabricators and manufacturers.
The company uses a conveyor line to move the products through the treatment, painting, and coating process. The conveyor line can accommodate railing and other fabrications that are up to 24’ in length and up to 8’ high with returns up to 5’. The plant uses a second track to coat products up to 43’ in length and 9’ in height.
How to Best Pretreat Aluminum for Powder Coating
It is important to pretreat aluminum to provide a high quality bond to the metal surface. If improperly pretreated, the paint will not adhere no matter how high the quality of the paint. The treatment, painting, and coating steps are outlined below:
First, a six stage, chrome conversion process pretreats the metal product. This adds a layer of chrome phosphate to the aluminum product. Chrome protects the metal from corrosion. Think of the chrome conversion process as a barrier from corrosion should the outer layers fail. It can also be used as a finish coating for a reflective, greenish finish.
Next, acidic spray cleans, degreases and etches the surface. A bath of clean water is then used to rinse the metal parts. Next, a non-heated acidic treatment removes the oxidation and smut, and it further etches the surface to receive the coating.
Purified water is then used to rinse the metal parts. The water is purified through reverse osmosis, ultraviolet light, and a multi-stage filtration process. Technicians then seal the metal product with a coating to eliminate oxidation and supply ideal paint adhesion.
Finally, the product enters a drying oven that forces hot air from the bottom of the oven. The air rotates every six minutes in a convection process that allows airflow over the entire product. This mixture of air prevents the heat from simply rising to the top of the oven.
The automated line allows the product to remain untouched throughout the process. This combats contamination and non-adhesion of the paint. Once dried, the product continues into the spray booth.
Painting and coating the fabricated aluminum parts
Now that the material is pretreated, the E.S.P. guns coat the pretreated metal product. The options include 24 standard colors and a virtually unlimited array of custom colors to suit any need. These standard paints are super-durables with five year durability. In addition, Coastal Powder offers high-performance resin coatings with 10-15 year durability. These coatings protect the product from the highly corrosive coastal environments of Florida.
After coating, the product enters the baking oven, which is capable of heating to 500 degrees F. Upon completion of the baking process, the product is ready for customer pickup or delivery to the job site.
Instead of standard bubble-wrap which can mar the product, Coastal Powder uses 3/16” foam to wrap the top cap, protecting the parts from damage during transit.
There are a wide range of quality painting options for fabricated metal parts. The best paint coatings offer UV protection and warrantees for color and finish in coastal environments. Coastal Powder can provide both liquid and powder coatings.
As an approved applicator for Kynar and Sher-Nar, contractors can select from any number of options. Coastal Powder also produces two coatings in-house which provide superior durability:
Coastal Super-Durable meets the stringent criteria of the AAMA 2604-05 specification (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) by successfully passing South Florida outdoor weathering tests. For this product, Coastal Super-Durable offers 5-Year durability.
This finish offers superior mechanical properties, has a hard-to-the-touch surface and resists scratching and marring during fabrication, assembly, and installation.
Coastal Fluorpolymer Thermo Setting Resin
Coastal Fluoropolymer Thermo Setting Resin is a heat-set powder coating in which 100% of the resin system consists of fluorocarbon polymers. This superior product line consists of engineered formulas. It exceeds the performance and durability requirements of the top architectural specifications. Such specifications include the AAMA 2605-05 Voluntary Specifications Performance Requirements as well as the Test Procedures for Superior Performing Organic Coatings on Aluminum Extrusions and Panels. This coating has a 15-year durability rating.
Coastal Flouropolymer Thermo Setting Resin is another custom coating from Coastal Powder. It offers superior mechanical properties, has a harder finish, and resists scratching and marring. This is particularly useful if the product requires additional fabrication. As a premium coating, it only requires a single coat application, which contributes to greater efficiency when compared to a PVDF two-coat process. Exceptions include high chromatic colors which may require more than one coat.
Getting in Touch
To learn more about how Poma can integrate custom fabricated and painted products into your next project, contact our Poma sales team. Or visit Coastal Powder to find out how you can integrate liquid and powder coatings into your company’s workflow.