Epoxy powder coating - how does it differ from ordinary powder coating and what are its uses?
Copper and aluminium components, used for example in the manufacture of batteries, charging stations, power banks for the automotive industry, but also in various other energy distribution applications.
Often require an insulating coating with suitable physical, chemical, aesthetic and performance properties, which guarantees protection against mechanical damage, corrosion and high temperatures. The creation of special insulating coatings is made possible, among other things, by epoxy powder coating. What is it? How does it differ from classic powder coating? And finally, what is its application? Let us find out!
What is epoxy powder coating?
Epoxy powder coating is a method of protecting copper and aluminium components that are used in various industries. It is based on the creation of special insulating coatings, giving the painted surface the appropriate physical, chemical, functional and aesthetic properties.
The difference between epoxy and regular powder coating lies primarily in the type of paint used:
- For the protection of copper and aluminium components, so-called epoxies are used, i.e. paints based on epoxy resins with the addition of pigments and auxiliary agents, which are used for painting interior surfaces that are not exposed to atmospheric factors, including UV radiation;
- For the protection of other powder-coated surfaces, e.g. facades, furniture or fences, polyester paints are most often used to protect the exterior elements from the negative effects of weathering and to give the painted surfaces a decorative touch.
The powder coating of copper and aluminium therefore requires the use of suitable epoxy paints, which provide excellent electrical insulation and form coatings that are resistant to mechanical damage, corrosion, chemicals and high temperatures.
Epoxy powder coating provides excellent insulation for cables with unusual shapes, unique sizes or those that may be under stress during installation. Unlike most other types of insulation, epoxy powder is applied after all the required cutting, milling, grinding, bending or forming processes have been completed. This ensures that the insulation is uniform along the entire length of the cable.
The epoxy painting process also requires thorough preparation of the metal surface in order to achieve the expected coating parameters on the one hand, and to ensure proper adhesion of the paint on the other. Above all, it is necessary to remove any impurities that could adversely affect the durability and aesthetics of the coating. Proper masking of the part to be painted and precise screening of those parts which, according to the technical guidelines, do not have to be coated, are also very important in the whole process.
What does copper and aluminium powder coating offer?
As we mentioned earlier, powder coating of aluminium and copper allows to create a durable protective coating, one of the main tasks of which is to protect the surface of the metal against corrosion. This is especially true for copper, which can become covered with rust in humid environments, as a result of which it would be impossible to use it in shipbuilding or offshore wind turbines, for example.
However, corrosion resistance is not everything. By using the right epoxy paint and carrying out the powder coating process with specialist knowledge and advanced equipment, coatings can be created:
- high dielectric strength - as a result, the parts to be protected are not electrically conductive and there is no risk of electrical breakdown, which could lead to short circuits, equipment damage or even fire - very important in the case of bus ducts or connectors, which are installed in control cabinets, power distribution boards or various types of energy management systems.
- with above-average mechanical strength - it makes aluminium and copper components much more resistant to various types of damage, including scratching;
- with high resistance to high temperatures and chemicals - so copper and aluminium components can be used in many industries and in the harshest environments;
- with adequate adhesion and above-average durability - thus effectively protecting surfaces over a long period of time.
The colour of an epoxy paint that is applied to copper or aluminium components can have different meanings, depending on the application and technical requirements. The colour can signify the different applications or purposes of the components in question, and it can also signify electrical or thermal properties, which can be important for electrical conduction or heat dissipation. In some industries or sectors, specific colours are used to identify different types of components or equipment in manufacturing or assembly processes, for example the colour orange is often used in the automotive industry Epoxy powder coatings are available in a range of colours, such as black, orange, grey or blue, to achieve high, tailored aesthetics for metal surfaces according to specific needs and applications.
Epoxy powder coating – application
The properties of epoxy paints and the coatings created using them make powder coating very versatile. It can be used to protect the surfaces of copper and aluminium components, which are used in the manufacture of buses, batteries, charging stations, electrical switchgear, data centres and even the aforementioned offshore wind turbines.
Epoxy powder coating is therefore used in the automotive, telecommunications, renewable energy, aviation, railway or heavy and marine industries. The possibility to create coatings of different thicknesses, as well as the combination of powder coating with electroplating (e.g. using silver, nickel, tin and other metals), offers great possibilities.
At Electris, we provide professional powder coating services for copper or aluminium, along with appropriate masking techniques. We also offer a painting process for tin-plated or silver-plated components. We have a state-of-the-art powder coating plant, equipped with equipment from leading manufacturers in the field of painting, and we cooperate with chemical, research and epoxy paint manufacturers. Our coatings can be applied to a variety of components such as busbars, connectors and more. Importantly, we offer a wide range of coating thicknesses and a selection of different paint colours (in particular black, orange, grey and blue). All this allows us to create the best protection for painted components that meet all the quality requirements specified by our customers.