What you need to know about powder coating in South Africa
Powder coating has grown into a multi-billion rand business worldwide. It is a part of our lives every day, coating everything from household items and bicycles to heavy duty machinery. Its popularity comes down to two things: protection and style. As a coating method it is flexible, durable, highly protective, and its strengths are not at the cost of its appearance. The range of powder coating colours and finishes is wide to ensure your project looks and performs exactly as you need.
This article will outline the advantages, uses, and process of powder coating, as well as where you can find industrial and DIY powder coating equipment, applicators and powder coating powder suppliers in South Africa – from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth. Take advantage of our handy all-companies map to find your local powder coating specialists!
The most important benefits of powder coat
Nowadays, powder coating is suitable for a wide range of materials and purposes including metals, glass, MDF, and even wood and plastics. Powder coatings have many features and benefits that make them the coating of choice. Just a few of these are:
- Durability: It is more resistant to chipping, scratching, fading, and wearing than other finishes, importantly for South Africa, it also resists UV radiation better than most liquid coatings.
- Environmentally friendly: Solvent-free, very low/zero VOC, and excess powder can be recovered and reused, so minimal waste and under 1% material loss.
- Cost efficiency: It is cheaper than liquid paint, and is a one coat application with low operation costs.
- Flexibility: Suitable for a wide range of materials and purposes including metals, glass, MDF, and even wood and plastics.
- Appearance: Unlimited powder coating colours and finish choice (including smooth, textured, gloss, matt, iridescent, glitter, and candy) with thicker applications that liquid coatings and no running or sagging. Therefore powders are used for coating consumer goods such as furniture and appliances.
The powder coating process and application methods
Powder coating is a process where paint is applied to a substrate in powder form. Usually a paint is a binder and a pigment suspended in a liquid solvent, but a powder coat is solvent free, it is the binder and pigment blended into a fine powder. The application process can be broken into 3 steps: substrate preparation/pre-treatment, powder application, and curing.
Preparing the substrate
The correct preparation of the substrate is paramount in any coating application. Firstly, remove all oil, grease, dirt, grime and ensure that the part is completely clean. Then the part is stripped – this removes previous coatings. Finally the part is sandblasted. This stage cleans the part down to bare metal and creates a texture on the substrate which allows the powder coating to adhere to it. After a final clean the part is ready. This step is slightly different depending on the substrate.
The 2 application methods
Powder coatings are applied through one of two methods: electrostatic spraying, and fluidised bed. The spray application is recommended for DIY projects, for the DIY powder coating system supplier companies provide kits suitable for such application. Fluidised bed equipment and application are little more complicated.
- The electrostatic spray process applies the powder through a specialty spray gun which gives the powder an electrostatic charge. This causes the powder to stick to the grounded part. These powders are used for instance by the appliances industry.
- In the fluidised bed process, the part is heated and dipped into a hopper filled with fluidised powder. The heat melts the powder onto the part immediately, though a post cure may still be needed. Thermoplastics are less common, yet they are present in the automotive industry and other industries that deal with mass production.
Curing the powder coat
The final step is to bake the powder coat, causing it to melt, flow, and form a continuous liquid film. This ensures an even coverage over the part. Depending on the type of powder, there is either a further step for curing (for thermosetting powders), or the process stops here (for thermoplastic powders). Thermosetting powders undergo chemical crosslinking when heated and will not melt again, where thermoplastics do not crosslink and will melt again if heated. A properly cured thermosetting powder is tough and impact resistant. When carrying out a powder paint project at home, usually the most cost efficient solution is to try to find a DIY powder coating system manufacturer or supplier who also provides instruments needed for curing.
The necessary industrial and DIY powder coating equipment
There are many pieces of equipment required for a complete powder painting facility. These range from sandblasting boxes or rooms and curing ovens at the large scale end to hanging racks and guns at the smaller. If you wish to buy powders and professional or diy powder coating equipment there are many suppliers operating across South Africa. The cost of equipment varies by scale and quality. A powder coating kit supplier usually includes hooks, air line, tapes and powder cups in the kit and asks up to R6.000 per powder coating kit. A gun system with a powder fluidising drum can cost R47.000.
The cost of powder is calculated by the pound or kilogramme, with greater quantities charged at lower rates. The less common or more specialised a colour, the more expensive it is. An average powder might cost R100-R190 per pound, but can be anywhere up to R480 a pound. The so-called solid powder coating colours are the most inexpensive and the price increases when metallic or pearlescent powder coating colours are requested.
Whether a hobbyist or a professional business, the powder coatings industry is growing. Given that powder coat is long-lasting, easy-to-apply, durable, protective, and attractive, it is no surprise. To find out how you can use powder coating for your project, contact us! We are also happy to assist in finding large scale industrial and DIY powder coating equipment, choosing the right powder coating colours as well as connecting you with the right powder coating system manufacturer; make use of our extensive network of powder coating powder suppliers in South Africa!
Powder coating South Africa – Suppliers, services and costs
Powder coating is an ever-growing industry in South Africa; there are powder coating powder suppliers and manufacturers across the country, accompanied by numerous application services. International powder manufacturers, such as AkzoNobel in Johannesburg with its Interpon powders are, present too. The map above is a complete list of powder coating applicators, manufacturers and businesses in South Africa. If you have a small powder coating project, such as rims or furniture, we recommend you get in touch with your local powder coating specialists. For industrial-scale larger projects that require specialty application, we are happy to help!
Service and application costs
Powder coating is generally charged by surface area of the part to be coated. Different finishes and colours are priced differently, and the type of job will also be reflected in the total cost – wheels or rims for example may be done per wheel, where a railing is charged by length. Find more detailed information in our list of price indications per application.
If you would like more information about powder coatings, or need a powder coating contractor for a project, contact us! Our experts are here to help. Just use the “Request a quote” button at the bottom of this article and take advantage of 100% free quoting service.
A selection of powder coating specialists
In South Africa the powder coaters and other specialists are usually members of SAPMA – The South African Paint Manufacturing Association, and trained by the same organisation. Especially when looking for a powder painting service for mass production purposes, check for their certification and qualifications according to NQF (South African National Qualifications Framework) or SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority); for example surface coating technologist’s occupational certificate indicates that the powder coater is qualified.
Below you can find an overview of South African specialists in powder coating, Johannesburg to Cape Town . For a broader selection of powder coaters in Cape Town, take a look at our city specific article.
|Powder coating company||Address (South Africa)|
|Powder Coating World||3 Link Cl, Montague Gardens, Cape Town, 7441|
|M&S Epoxy Powder Coatings (Pty) Ltd||9 Danie Uys St, Stikland Industrial, Cape Town, 7530|
|Durban Powder Coaters||126 Malacca Rd, Red Hill, Durban, 4051|
|Kolor Kote Ltd.||12 Donald Ensor Rd, Glen Anil, Durban, 4091|
|Quantum Powder Coaters Pretoria||84 Diamond Street , Klerks Oord, Pretoria, Diamant St, Klerksoord AH, Alberton, 0118|
|The Mag Specialist||13, Dirk Smit Industrial Park, Jakaranda St, Hennopspark, Pretoria, 0157|
|Akzo Nobel Powder Coatings South Africa||14 Union St, Johannesburg, 1449|
|Ferro VEDOC Powder Coating||22 Atomic St, Vulcania, Brakpan, 1554|
Not sure which powder coatings company suits your project? Feel free to contact us! We at Coating.co.za are happy to help you find the powder coating colours, systems or services that meet your project’s requirements. Get in touch by requesting a quote via the button below or sending us an email!