Probably one of the most overlooked, or misunderstood, aspects of applying coating via a rack-spray method is the importance of fixture design. In the shortest explanation possible: you can’t just hang a part on a hook and throw coating at it. There are many fixture related contributions that help ensure a component has an adequate, consistent, and high quality film build on the entire part.
Limiting the Faraday cage effect
Because DECC utilizes an electrostatic spray process, we constantly battle the Faraday cage effect. The Faraday cage effect is the repulsion of charged coating particles from recessed and concave areas of a component, preventing the penetration of coating into said area. There are a couple of design features with our fixture DECC considers to help limit this.
Continue reading The Importance of Fixture Design
What is Dyne testing?
Our last blog detailed the various methods of which to prep a part substrate prior to the application of coating to ensure performance. When the prep method is mechanical, a visual inspection can verify that the prep was done adequately (a blasted surface should exhibit a “frosty” appearance).
However, we are often asked by customers how we verify a clean surface after our chemical prep process. As a quick and easy measurement for part cleanliness and surface tension, DECC utilizes Dyne test inks.
Continue reading Dyne Testing for Surface Cleanliness
A coating only performs to the level of the surface of which it is applied. In other words, if the surface of a component is not adequately prepped before the application of coating, that coating will not perform. This goes for not only the high-performance, functional coatings that DECC applies, but all coatings.
There are three main types of surface preparation that can be performed prior to applying coating.
- Placing parts into an oven at a predetermined temperature
- Temperature is determined based on the final coating used and substrate being baked. Prebake temp must be above the final cure temperature of the coating by at least 50°F. However, the substrate must be able to withstand the prebake temperature.
- Prebaking will remove oils and grease, but the dirt particulate embedded in the oil may still be present. That is where a mechanical removal may have to be introduced to remove contaminates completely.
Continue reading Common Surface Prep Types
In our last blog we discussed the criteria of what makes a coating functional, which is when a coating has performance characteristics that go above and beyond being just decorative or protective. In order for a coating to perform at is highest intended level, it must be processed to ensure it exhibits full film properties.
Coating manufacturers design coatings to do some pretty amazing things when you consider how thin they are applied (typically a mil or less for the coatings DECC sprays). However, if they are not applied and processed in accordance to the PDS (Product Data Sheet), the manufacturer will not guarantee performance. Probably the most important step to guarantee a coating’s performance is to ensure the proper bake time and temperatures have been achieved during cure.
Continue reading Full Film Properties & Cure
What is a Functional Coating?
The tagline under our name on the homepage of our web site says that The DECC Company is “Your Functional Coating Application Specialist.” But what does it mean to say certain coatings are “functional” – aren’t all coatings designed to perform a specific function? Well…yes. However, there are certain attributes that set the coatings DECC applies apart from others.
Not Powder Coat, E-Coat or Plating
Powder coating, E-Coat (or electrodeposition coating) and plating all have different advantages and disadvantages dependent on their individual applications, but they all provide essentially the same one to two functions – cosmetic appearance and corrosion protection. Powder coat and E-coat look appealing and can provide 250 to 960hrs of corrosion protection, while standalone plating can achieve 240 to 720hrs…give or take depending on the type of plating.
However, the coatings DECC applies can have a variety of functions and, due to our spray method of application, are also cosmetically appealing. For instance:
Continue reading What is a Functional Coating?