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Jeno Muthiah - Thermally Cured Powder Coatings for Heat Sensitive Substrates

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Jeno Muthiah - Thermally Cured Powder Coatings for Heat Sensitive Substrates

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Jeno Muthiah
Research Chemist
Alpha Coating Technologies

Phone: 630-268-8787
Fax: 630-268-8786
Website: www.alphacoatingtech.com

ABSTRACT

During last 15 years of applying powder coatings on MDF we have learnt many of the variables that are very critical to obtaining a superior product.  The three variables that need to be controlled are Substrate, Powder and the Process.  Substrates can vary from MDF to hardwood with varying moisture content to density each requiring different type of powder coating.  Preparing the substrate is very critical especially if the process is one coat leading to a smooth finish.  Hardwood requires powder coatings to cure at 130 C or lower to eliminate outgassing but may not require extreme surface hardness required for MDF work surfaces.  Powder coatings with various performances are necessary to grow this market.  This includes extreme hardness for table tops, UV stability for Outdoor furniture and kitchen cabinets, high flexibility for moisture exposure, etc.  Testing the powder coatings to meet these requirements is crucial and need to be done on an ongoing basis.  Some simple tests are described that can be done in a production environment.  Process of powder coating heat sensitive substrates usually require three steps, preheat, powder coat, and cure.  Preheat and cure can be accomplished with convection or IR radiation methods based on substrate, thickness, moisture content, performance requirements etc.  Different types of electrostatic guns have been used for application of powder on MDF.  The process should enable application between 4-6 mils of paint depending on the type of finish.  If these products are produced in the right manner this can open the wood finishing market for powder coatings. 

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