What are powder coat bike frames?
Well, Let’s break it down. The dry finishing on industrial objects is known as powder coating. The process of powder coating was first introduced in the 1960s.
It initially began in North America and slowly gained popularity worldwide. Powder coating is done by spraying a mixture of resin and pigment along with the dry powder.
The mixture is sprayed from a well-controlled spray gun. A spray gun is specially designed for powder coating.
Dry powder sprayed from the gun sticks to the surface of the product. It forms a thin, even layer of dried powder on the object.
You can decide how many layers of coating you would like to apply.
What Is Powder Coating?
Powder coating increases the durability of a product. It gives the product a higher quality appearance. The process also protects your products from corrosion.
When a product is powder coated, it lasts much longer. A good coat of powder coating protects it from scratches, detergents, and abrasion.
There are two main ways to powder coat a product. You can either use fluidized bed application or electrostatic spray deposition.
Both methods provide an excellent finish to a product. Most people use the electrostatic spray deposition method. Powder coating is much better than liquid coating.
The process is more environment-friendly, long-lasting, and cost-effective.
Both metal and non-metal objects can be powder coated. It involves a three-step process – preparing the mixture, applying it with a spray gun, and letting it dry.
All three steps have to be done with utmost care. Powder coating is mainly applied to metal objects made out of steel, aluminum, and metal.
However, you can also use it on non-metal objects like glass or wood. Metal objects can be coated by the electrostatic spraying method as well as the fluidized bed method.
Both powder coating methods work well for metal. But when it comes to non-metal objects, you can only use the fluidized bed method.
You powder coat your objects in a wide range of textures and colors. Powder-coated objects are protected from moisture and fading.
You can give your products a fine finish by powder coating them.
Powder coating is done on several objects. One of those products is a bike frame. So let’s take a look at what powder coating can do for a bike frame!
Powder Coat Bike Frames
Powder coating your bike frame will help you protect it from scratches and corrosions. It is a great way to safeguard your bike from harsh weather conditions.
Natural elements also cause damage to the bike frame. Over some time, the paint starts to peel. The frame of the bike begins becoming rusty. Sometimes the color fades away.
All these factors cause significant wear and tear. Powder paint is twice as thick as liquid paint. The process of powder coating involves leaving the bike frame in a heated oven to dry.
The application and curing process ensures that the paint doesn’t chip off easily. It sets deep into the structure of the bike. Powder coating is available in different colors.
You can pick a color of your choice and get your bike powder coated accordingly. When you apply a powder coat to your bike, it gives a glossy finish.
Due to the glossy finish, mud does not stick to the bike frame. It slips off easily. Whereas with a matte finish, the dust remains stuck to the bike.
Powder coat bike frames give your bike that sleek finish. With a thick layer of coating, your bike will look as good as new. If you are someone who cares deeply about the environment, then powder coating is perfect for you.
It uses electrolysis for coating, whereas liquid paint uses a solvent. Powder coating also helps avoid wastage. You don’t end up using too much powder paint.
Even if you do use some extra, it can be scooped up. It is easy to preserve the powder paint. When it comes to liquid paint, you do end up using a lot.
The finishing done by liquid coating is not as good as powder coating. Liquid coating and Powder coating are pretty different. Let’s take a deeper look at the two types of paints.
Powder Coating Vs. Paint
Powder coating and liquid coating help apply the final touches to a bike frame. Once the bicycle is built, it is coated with a layer of paint.
While some people prefer liquid paint, others prefer dry paint. Liquid paint includes solvents. The solvent is an essential part of the liquid paint.
Unfortunately, that is what makes liquid paint so bad for the environment. The process of powder coating involves applying dry colored pigment with a slight electric charge.
The electric charge pushes the powdered paint toward the object. The paint then sticks to the object. For it to settle well, powder coating companies place the bike frame in a huge industrial oven.
Due to the heat, the paint sticks to the bike frame. Usually, the frame is baked at 400-degree Fahrenheit. The heating process allows the dry paint particles into a uniform layer.
Dry paint is more rigid than liquid paint. It does not wear off quickly. It lasts longer. Your bike will look new for a long time. The paint won’t chip off and will give your bike a fresh, glossy look.
Powder coating is environment-friendly because it uses compressed air instead of solvents. The overspray can be easily controlled.
If there is excess powder coating, you can quickly sweep it away, making it a zero-waste product. You cannot scoop up liquid paint.
Once it spills, you cannot reuse it. Liquid paint dries up on the surface. It also contains multiple hazardous compounds. These elements are not very good for the environment.
Powder coating does not highlight the intricate details. Liquid paint is much better for enhancing the make and finish of the frame. Powder coating is much safer for you to use than liquid paint.
Thinners are added to liquid paint. The thinners produce fumes that are pretty harmful to your health. Powder coating does not require thinners. It is sprayed using an electrolysis technique.
Then it is placed into a giant oven, which heats the paint. That is how an entire product is powder-coated. Powder coating is a much better option than liquid paint.
It is a bit more tedious, but the effects are long-lasting. Painting your bike frame with liquid paint will require manual effort. Hand-painting your bike might create discrepancies in layering.
Powder coating will provide a uniform coating to the entire bike frame.
Now that we have understood the difference between liquid coating and powder coating let’s look at the different powder coating methods.
Powder Coating Methods
Powder coating is done using two different techniques. The most common technique is known as electrostatic spray deposition.
First, a spray gun is filled with a mixture of dry paint and other essential components. The bike frame is then thoroughly cleaned. It is the preparation process.
Once both steps are done, the bike frame is sprayed with powdered paint. Next, the entire bike frame is sprayed with this mixture.
When the bike frame is completely covered in powdered paint, it is placed into a massive oven. The oven is heated at 400 degrees F.
By heating the bike frame; manufacturers ensure that the paint sticks to the bike frame. It also assures a uniform layer of coating.
A corona charging gun is the most commonly used in powder coating. The tool creates a low amperage, high voltage electrostatic field.
The field is created between the electrodes and the product being produced. Powder particles that pass through the ionized field become charged.
These particles are then sprayed from the gun onto the bike frame.
Another way of applying powdered paint is by a tribo powder coating gun. A solid insulator or conductor is present inside the spray gun.
The insulator rubs and paint particles rub against each other and create friction. The insulator removes the electrons from the particles, after which only the positively charged particles remain inside the gun.
Some powder coating companies use something called a bell or a rotary atomizer. A rotating turbine is present in the enclosed powder bell head.
The turbine charges up the powder particles by using centrifugal force. A high amount of transfer and charging efficiency is provided by the powder bell.
The powder bell head is excellent for coating large parts of an object.
All the above techniques are used in the electrostatic spray deposition method.
The following important method of powder coating is called fluidized bed coating. In this technique, the parts that need to be powder coated are preheated to 450-500 degrees F.
Once the objects are hot, they are dipped into a tank full of fluidized powder material. Next, compressed air is added to the tank.
The air passes through a porous membrane present in the tank. Sometimes the powder is charged electrostatically.
Flame-spray application and hot flocking are two other methods used for powder coating.
Powder booths are another essential part of powder coating. They are used to contain powder-coated bike frames. You can also place other objects inside the booth.
Preparing Bike Frame For Powder Coating
Before you take your bike frame to the powder coaters, it has to be well prepared. The first thing you need to do is clean your bike frame thoroughly.
Once it is spotless, you can go to the next step. Now strip all the paint off your bike frame. You will find paint removers in the supermarket.
The paint removers are powerful and will quickly remove the paint. Make sure to use as much as you need. Don’t overuse the product.
Now put on a pair of gloves and start removing the paint. Keep a couple of Scotch-Brite scrub pads handy. You might need to scrub off the paint with it.
If you want to maintain the logos on your bike, then make sure to remove the logos too. Once you remove the logos, turn them into the shape of the frame.
Now stick the logo back onto the frame with a strong adhesive. The next step is to add a finish to the frame and the logo. Use sandpaper to give it an excellent finish.
Please don’t rub it too hard, or else the logo will become rough. Now your bike frame is ready for powder coating. If you don’t need the logo, then the preparation process becomes much simpler.
All you need to do is clean the bike frame thoroughly. And the next step will be to remove all the paint from the bike frame. It is essential because powder coating is powder paint.
When you apply a fresh coat of powdered paint to a bike frame, the old paint must be thoroughly stripped.
Powder Coating Bike Frames At Home
To powder coat your bike frame at home, you will require a powder coating oven. Ideally, it would help if you took your bike frame to a professional powder coater.
But if you are comfortable with using a powder coating oven at home, then go for it. You will need a spray gun, dry powder, and other chemical components.
You will also require paint remover, sandpaper, and a powder coating oven to powder coat at home. The first step is to dismantle the frame of the bike.
Since home powder coating ovens are small, you will have to heat one part at a time. Industrial powder coating ovens are enormous.
They can fit an entire bike frame in one shot. Once you have dismantled the frame, you need to clean it thoroughly. Now that it is clean, you can start stripping off the paint. Make sure to strip off every dot of paint.
Along with the paint, you can also strip the rust. Once your bike frame is immaculate, you can start prepping the electrostatic spray gun. Add the dry powder to the gun.
The electrodes in the spray gun will charge the powdered particle. Now spray these particles onto the surface of your bike frame. Cover the entire bike in the paint.
Make sure you don’t miss out on a single spot. Now that it is well painted, you can place it in the oven. You need to heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Keep it in for the recommended time. Once that is done, let it cool. When it cools off, you can take out your bike frame. It will be as good as new.
Powder coating is one of the best ways to paint a bike frame. You can either take your bike frame to a professional or do it at home. Either way, your bike will look great, whether it is a standard bike or an e-bike.
In addition, powder coating gives your bike a brand-new look. So, if you are thinking about powder coating your bike frame, then definitely go for it.
Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Danijel Cakalic