Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is powder coating?
The powder coating process uses a solvent free dry mix of plastic resins, pigments, and fillers, that melt and fuse together when heated. The solid particles of coating are electrostatically charged in a spray gun and carried by a low velocity air to the surface of the piece to be coated. The electrostatic charge holds the powder particles in place while the part is cured in a 400-degree oven. The heat of the oven causes a chemical reaction to occur and the powder to cure, creating a highly durable finish.
Is powder coating durable?
Powder Coatings resist cracking and peeling and are extremely abrasion, corrosion and chemical resistant. The performance characteristics of powder coating match or exceed the characteristics achieved from conventional solvent-based, wet-paint coatings.
What is clear powder coating?
Clear powder coating serves the same purpose as clear coat wet paint. It protects the underlying finish and adds depth and luster to the surface. Clear powder coat is applied as a second coat and shot while the piece is still hot. Then the piece is returned to the oven for a second curing process. Use clear powder coating on any piece that exposure to elements could cause it to fade or be subject to damage. Clear powder is required for all silver and metallic finishes.
What advantages does powder coating have over wet painting methods?
Powder coating has many advantages over liquid paint applications. These include producing a more durable and corrosion resistant finish. Powder coating is also a more environmentally-friendly choice as it eliminates the need for an evaporating liquid paint carrier and cleaning solvents. Powder coating material is free of both flammable and vaporizing components, so they do not pose a danger to us or to our environment. Also, powder coating finishes last much longer than liquid paint applications, and with only a single application. Additionally, powder coating provides superior edge coverage and powder coated parts virtually have no drips, runs, or sags so your part will have a high quality and durable finish.
Why don’t powder coated parts drip or run in the oven?
When the powder is heated in the oven, it melts into a “gel state” which is very thick like paste and therefore it doesn’t run or drip.
Can you match a wet paint color that is used on parts that could not be powder coated?
Yes. We can have a color matched in powder. However, it is much easier and more economical to pick from the thousands of powders readily available and take a powder color panel to your local wet paint vendor and have them match it in liquid.
What is phosphate?
Phosphate means the formation of a layer of zinc, iron, or manganese phosphate crystals on the surface of the part to be painted. It is used in the finishing of iron and steel surfaces and occasionally on aluminum and zinc. The amount of phosphate on the surface is usually expressed as milligrams (mg) per square foot of surface rather than units of thickness. The phosphate layer is generally applied by spray or dipping into a phosphate solution. A phosphate coating is a transition layer in several respects. It is less dense than most metals but more dense than coatings. It has thermal expansion properties which are intermediate between that of the metal and the coating. The result is that phosphate layers can smooth out the sudden changes in thermal expansion which would otherwise exist between the metal and the paint. Phosphate coatings are porous and can absorb the coating. Upon curing, the paint solidifies, locking into the phosphate pores. Adhesion is greatly enhanced.
Phosphate coatings are used to increase corrosion resistance and improve paint adhesion. Additionally the chemical pretreatment will wash away dust particles left over from blasting.
Do you have color charts you can send me?
Since we stock and purchase powder from many different powder suppliers, it is impossible to send out color charts to everyone.
I am looking for a very specific color, how large is your selection?
As custom powder coaters, we can match thousands of colors using our many powder suppliers, and our large in-stock selection. With high, medium, and low gloss, metallic, textured, and candy powders; there is no limitation on the selection of powder coating finishes available.
What colors do you do most often?
We have “standard colors” which we run more frequently. These include: black, white, silver and extreme chrome, all in their high-gloss form, as well as semi-gloss white, and semi-gloss black.
Can you media blast my parts?
Yes! The quotes we give include minor media blasting to remove surface rust. For an extra charge we also media blast parts with heavy rust. If you require extensive media blasting we will include that in your quote.
How do you remove rust or oxidation from my parts?
We use aluminum oxide media to blast the rust off.
What about holes with threads & other areas that need to stay coating free?
High temperature masking can be applied to special surfaces such as threads or high tolerance areas to keep them from being coated. We also use high temperature silicon plugs for threaded holes or shafts.
How large of an item can you strip?
Anything from 1″ x 1″ up to a full car body. We can fit a whole car in our largest blast booth, and we also have two smaller blast cabinets, one of which is fully automated, to suit all your blasting needs.
Can I strip my own parts?
Yes you can as long as you don’t sand blast them with silica sand or use a non-water soluble oil as a rust preventive after blasting. Do not use oils that contain silicone such as WD-40. Using any of the above will cause fish eyes or out-gassing defects in the powder as it goes through the curing process.
What is out-gassing?
The term out-gassing is a reference to the release of trapped air in a cast substrate during the cure cycle. Porosity in the casting traps air, and when the casting is heated, the air expands and blows through the partially gelled coating, leaving a small defect like a pinhole.
What is the maximum size and weight that you can powder coat?
The maximum size that we can coat is 8 feet wide (centered) by 8 feet high, by 16 feet long. The maximum part weight is 500 pounds.
Do you coat magnesium?
No, this metal is very unstable for this process.
What can be powder coated?
Any objects made from metal (aluminum, steel, brass, copper, bronze, titanium, etc.) can be powder coated, the only exception is magnesium. Some of our most popular items are automotive parts, motorcycles, bicycles, snowmobiles, commercial and industrial objects, toys, home and garden, sports equipment, art work, and sculptures.
If an item is dented or scratched, will the powder coating remove the imperfections?
No. If the item you want to powder coat has imperfections, the imperfections will still be there after the process is complete. If you want a perfect finish then the surface of the item must be perfect also. In general, a clean, smooth surface will produce an excellent finish.
Can I use body filler?
The high oven temperature makes the use of plastic and resin body fillers problematic. The powder will not bind to conventional filler’s surface causing bubbles in the coating.
We do have high temp filler, and techniques to fix part, make sure to contact us with your questions.
Do you do any wet painting or chrome plating?
As we are an environmentally-friendly company, we only apply powder coatings to metal substrates.
Do you do any type of polishing?
No. We suggest that you find a metal plating shop since those services go hand in hand.
Do you do body work on cars, trucks, etc.?
We are not a conventional “Body Shop”. If you’re interested in repair work being done before powder coating contacts us about your project.
I have an engine that I need to powder coat and assemble. Do you do that?
No. We can powder coat the items but we do not assemble single orders.
I have many parts I want powder coated and assembled. Do you do that?
Maybe, please contact us for special requests.
How much will it cost to have my parts powder coated?
Champion Powder Coating is a custom shop. This means that each order is different from the last. We have had orders to powder coat car and motorcycle parts, outdoor artwork, airplane parts, guns, iron furniture, ski poles, bicycles, snare drums, and antique electric fans to name a few. The cost for any given part could vary substantially depending on the part’s condition. For example: We get a pristine clean metal valve cover, the charge – $45. That same cover with three layers of paint and grease all over it could go to $150.
How and when do I pay?
Unless you have been approved for credit you will pay for the services when you pick up your powder-coated pieces. We accept cash, or Visa, MasterCard cards. If we ship the work to you, we will require payment in advance.
How long will it take?
While powder coating can be done quickly, we prefer to properly prepare each piece for the coating process to ensure quality. Under normal conditions powder coating will take about two weeks to complete. However, you will be given an individual estimate of time when you bring in your piece. Each piece will be media blasted, stripped, or chemically cleaned, depending on the type and condition of the metal prior to coating. Due to variations in projects we may have to mask off areas that you want to remain uncoated, and in some cases do two or more coats.
Is powder coating heat safe?
When we powder coat an item we place it in a 400-degree oven to cure. Therefore no powder-coated metal should be subjected to heat greater than 250 degrees, or the finish will fail. We do not recommend the process for headers, stovetops, iron fireplace parts or car parts that will be subject to intense heat.
Is powder coating harder than paint?
Actually no, and that is precisely why it is superior to paint finishes. Paint has a tendency to chip, but powder coating retains elasticity, making it far more durable and resistant to chipping and flaking while still maintaining a good scratch resistance.
Will powder coated items rust?
While any powder-coated item has good protection from rust, there are many variables. Items with very sharp edges or items exposed to rough use may affect the life of the powder coated item. For outdoor use we recommend a two-coat system for best long-term protection.
How long will powder coating last?
This is a question even our powder suppliers cannot answer. Depending on use or abuse of the part or item, the environment the item is used in, and care and maintenance of the item, parts can last many years or become worn in a short time.
How does the oven temperature affect my metal parts?
The oven temperature is low enough to avoid any metal fatigue.
Can you tell me how much it will be to ship a…..?
No, but we have an easy way to find out. Since we don’t know your address and the exact size and weight of your parts we can’t quote you a price. You can calculate shipping your item with UPS at www.ups.com, FedEx at www.fedex.com, or the US Post Office at www.usps.com. Any carrier will do but we suggest you use a service that uses tracking numbers. Please remember that you are responsible for shipping your package to and from Champion Powder Coating so ask the shipper for a return label.
What about my privacy?
Where are you located?
We are located at 1461 Fairfax Ave San Francisco CA 94124.
How can I contact you?
Please visit our Contact Us page for contact information. We check for messages several times a day so if you have a question we should be able to get back to you in a few hours. A quote will still take the normal time to respond to since we have to check availability for the color you want and determine the cost for your particular item.