They Call It Powdercoating, But What Is It?
Powdercoating media is a thermosetting powder substance that is made up of polyester epoxy and acrylic resin, combined with various cross-linking compounds. What all that fancy terminology means is a durable, show-ready coating that protects all types of metals. The powder particles are so fine they resemble talcum powder. The spray application uses a fluidized bed as a feed hopper to hold the powder and fluidize it so that it can be pumped to the tip of the spray gun using compressed air to transport it from the feed hopper. The spray gun is designed to create an electrostatic charge known as corona charging, or by frictional contact with the inside of the gun barrel, called tribo charging. Positively charged particles are then attracted to the negative ground metallic parts causing static cling. Grounded powdercoat parts are then put into a baking oven to heat the powder particles causing them to transform into liquid form and then cure.
Ceramic coating creates a thermal heat barrier between the metal surface and heat source. In this story we will be ceramic coating headers and exhaust system. By creating a thermal barrier of the header, the heat of the burnt gasses are kept within the header that will accelerate the exhaust gas velocity decreasing backpressure and reducing fuel consumption due to reversion. Ceramic coating will help contain the heat inside the header reducing its heat from being radiated to other engine components under the hood like the alternator, starter, ignition coils, wires, carburetor, fuel rails, injectors, battery and radiator. Not to mention transferring heat into the driver compartment. Ceramic coating helps extend the header's life fighting against corrosion. Specialized uses aluminum oxide to media blast the parts. It is suggested to pre heat the parts in an oven to 400-500 degrees Farenheit that will sweat out contaminants from the pores of the material, especially cast aluminum or iron. After the parts are cooled to ambient temperature, the ceramic coating can be applied. Ceramic coating is a liquid that is applied through a detail spray gun. Ceramic is introduced to the part with a fog coat then followed with a couple of primary coats. The ceramic-coated part is then baked in an oven. The degrees and cycle time depends on the size and thickness of the part. It is then ambient cooled.
Checkout the powdercoating and ceramic coating processes as we followed the professionals at Specialized Coatings in Huntington Beach, California.