Over the last few decades, powder coating has attained immense importance in terms of its applications on aluminum products such as windows and other household appliances and transport materials. The fact that this coating is highly versatile, easy to manage and cost efficient, makes it the most sought after alternative to enamel paints.
The transportation along with complete processing of powder coating is extremely easy to manage. Everything from packaging in the plant to efficiency in shipping and storage is conveniently handled owing to the absence of liquids and solvents. The lack of solvents is highly favorable in terms of the complete storage in warehouse and its transportation as no fear of VOC emission has to be dealt with. Extremely adaptable for three dimensional shapes and objects, powder coatings are known for their high settlement and transfer. The product wastage is negligible as the overspray is completely recyclable where the final production is up to 98%.
Durability and life of powder coatings
Other than its highly auspicious environmental impacts, powder coating is able to reduce the carbon footprints of substrates on which it is applied. As a result, the durability of the substrate is prolonged with fewer instances of its need of replacement from time to time. Other than the incentive of the decrease in carbon footprint, powder coating provides with an architectural benefit of absorbing solar radiation. Though this is entirely dependent on the composition of powder coating, it definitely has its contributions in terms of climatic control of structures. Moreover, towards the final stage of its life, powder coated metals and other substrates can be recycled completely.
Baking temperature reduction
In the quest to improve upon the sustainability of powder-coated substrates along with its impact on the environment, it has been researched that a decrease in the baking temperature can further cut down its impact on the environment. Baking makes up an integral part of the powder coating process where huge amounts of energy are consumed. A study conducted in a University in Turin has revealed that a decrement of 30 degrees will cut down on global warming and GER environmental effects up to eighteen percent.
Lately a lot of interest has been taken in replacing the traditional petrochemical-based feedstocks in exchange of bio-based ones for their environmental friendly nature. This technology will make use of feedstocks with the likes of corn and soybean, which would then in turn meet the challenges of durable and low thermal cured coatings. These coatings will be ideally suitable for materials that are extremely temperature sensitive, such as metals.
The good part about this technology is that it is synchronous with existing set ups of plant manufacture. Its physical and highly reactive properties would promise a finish unfound in the history of powder coatings.
It is being said that by making use of new technology of cutting down the baking temperature and making use of bio based feedback; powder coating is taking the lead of an already green technology to greener prospects. Furthermore, this combination of favorable and rewarding chemistries along with optimum consumer usability is contributing immensely in terms of the sustainability of the whole powder coating industry.
The key environmental benefits of powder coating
Apart from the progress being made in terms of the chemistry of the whole technology, the key environmental areas where powder coatings have already established their impacts are:
Hazardous Air Pollutants and VOC free: As mentioned before, powder coatings are free from all sorts of air pollutants and VOC emissions.
Clean process: The process of powder coating is extremely clean. The exhaust from the booth of coating is returned to the plant; hence, minimum to no emission takes place outside of the actual process. The costs of heating and cooling and over temperatures are highly minimized for the perfect cycle maintained in the powder coating plant.
No wastage: The unused powder coating along with overspray is recovered and reused. This means there is virtually no wastage disposal as it happens in enamel paints where the excess and wasted paint has to be drained out in the sludge tanks. Powder coatings are free from this extra cost and environmental hazards.
No health risks involved for the operators: As there is virtually no presence of solvents and emulsifiers in powder coating, there are now minimal hazards pertaining to infections of mouth, nose and throat. These infections are a norm in paint shops especially in hot weather when these emissions and particles tend to stick to the operators and cause discomforts. In comparison to the liquid paint operators, the people employed in the powder coating industry are less prone to these health concerns as well as skin problems. However, some people can be sensitive in terms of certain powder types, but this hardly results in any severe health consequences as the powder can always be washed off with lukewarm water.
With the use of powder coating become more widespread than before, we can be sure of one thing, that is our environment, and future is going to be a much better place if we replace liquid coatings with powder.