Tech in 2022

Powder Coating: New Trends & Tech in 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the flow of new innovations and technological developments in the powder coating industry. However, since most of these programs were already in progress prior to the pandemic, some have begun to come to fruition with the stabilization of the market landscape. This includes the emergence of low-temperature curing powders, which can now meet even the most stringent durability thresholds including AAMA, and QualiCoat class 3 standards. There have also emerged powder coating technologies that are specifically centered on boosting sustainability such as recycled plastic feedstocks and bio-based raw materials. Also, the industry has introduced binders which demonstrate highly improved corrosion resistance as well as edge coverage, not to mention several advances gained in powder coating testing and application control technologies.
Bio-based and recycled powder coating raw materials
When it comes to the issue of sustainability, Allnex recently developed innovative polyester resins whose ingredients are C5 and C6 sugars that are derived from plant-based materials. Some of the products of this nature Allnex has brought into the market include carboxyl polyesters, hydroxyl alkyl amide (HAA), and triglycidyl isocyanurate (TGIC) cure powders. Alternatively, Sherwin Williams has unveiled the Powdura Eco Hybrid powder coating line whose polyester resins ingredients include 255 pre-consumer recycled plastics.
This company claims this variety of powder coats deliver improved first-pass transfer efficiency, possess broader cure capabilities over an extensive temperature spectrum, and meet third party certifications on the definition and measuring of sustainability standards. Some of the most notable of which are LEED, GreenGuard, and BIFMA.
raw materials
Additionally, Battelle Memorial Institute recently announced it has been working on a bio-based powder coating resin, which is derived from renewable plant-based feedstock and delivers low-temperature cure capabilities. This resin has a bio-based content of 85% and can be cured at temperatures of no more than 130oC. At the same time, its aliphatic chemistry has been shown to provide exceptional UV light resistance.
Low-temperature powder coating cure advances
Minimizing the energy output needed to cure powder coating not only minimizes the carbon footprint of using these products, but cuts down on operational costs. Today, most reputable resin brands deliver products that can minimize the average cure times of 15 – 20 minutes at temperatures of 190oC – 200oC to 10 -15 minutes at temperatures of 150oC – 160oC. This is obviously more energy-efficient.
For instance, AkzoNobel’s Interpon Low-E Polyester powder coating line’s recommended bake temperatures lie between 150oC – 170oC and take 8 – 40 minutes to cure without trading off quality or its properties.

Using this line of powder coats, you will be able to significantly minimize your paint facility’s overall energy consumption and boost the productivity of your powder coating application processes. In turn, this will enable you to reduce your operational costs and your shop’s environmental footprint.

Let us now take a look at some other powder coating technological trends that have come into the limelight in the last 2 years or so.

Antimicrobial powder coatings
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has raised more concerns over the need to develop powder coating technology that can create more hygienic surfaces. There are a number of organizations that are working round-the-clock to deliver a practical solution to this issue with the least delay possible. For example, researchers from Western Ontario University have teamed up with others from China to develop a better and more efficient method to eliminate infectious microbes from powder-coated substrates including the coronavirus using silver ions. These scientists now claim this technique delivers a 99.99% kill rate of diverse bacteria after being wiped 1,200 times with a cleaning solution. Keyland Polymer is now introducing an antimicrobial powder coating that can be cured in a matter of minutes at bake temperatures of between 100oC – 125oC thanks to UV cure technology.
Powder coating instrumentation and testing innovations
AkzoNobel and BYK Gardner recently teamed up to find a solution to one of the powder coating industry’s most stubborn issues; how to quantify surface texture. This has led to the development of the Spectro2Profiler, a tool that is reputed to concisely and consistently measure a powder coating’s textured surface. Before this, this property was only defined in qualitative terms through visual inspections. Now the Spectro2Profiler is said to be able to gauge color, gloss, and 3D topography of surface texture with the greatest of ease.
Powder coating application control software innovations
OptiStar 4.0 solution
Over the years, powder coating equipment manufacturers have been introducing more sophisticated coating application control technology, which in most cases usually takes the form of user-friendly apps. For instance, GEMA recently unveiled its groundbreaking OptiStar 4.0 solution that lets paint operators precisely control critical powder coating application variables including pneumatic and electrostatic parameters. Such essential data is easily accessible on mobile devices using GEMA’s Electrostatic app. This solution as well incorporates DVC technology that goes a long way in guaranteeing precise and repeatable powder output, not to mention consistent film thickness. Lastly, their PCC and SuperCorona software have been shown to boost penetration, minimize back ionization, orange peel, and picture framing.

ZPar International is a foremost manufacturer of high-quality powder coating solutions such as batch powder units, cartridge batch powder units, and industrial batch oven curing solutions. We also offer diverse paint booths, spray booths, and spray paint booth units that incorporate some of the most popular airflow patterns in the market. Give us a call today!