The Australasian Institute of Surface Finishing (AISF) says that the powder coating industry is facing critical challenges of quality caused by poor processes and lack of knowledge among some of the applicators.
Poor process control and lack of industry knowledge are leading to increased product performance failures, which are tarnishing the reputation of the entire powder coating industry. By taking shortcuts in the pre-treatment processes, these ‘Cowboys’ are creating doubts about the capabilities of powder coating as a viable protective coating. Most failures often result in expensive litigious outcomes and a reliance on warranties that may not necessarily cover the full cost of rectification.
Many high quality applicators in Australia have been inadvertently impacted by the powder coating industry’s existing self-regulatory approach. Good operators complain that their reputation is also tarnished by the poor performers whose work in the field displays a deterioration of workmanship, quality and performance that can be directly attributed to a lack of consistent and monitored compliance measures.
AISF’s Federal President Peter Mallios explains that there are over 1,000 powder coaters in Australia with only a few having pre-treatment systems suitable for aluminium. Most of the powder coaters simply coat over all types of metal without any real knowledge of the correct processes, ruining the reputation of the industry.
While powder coating is commonly perceived as an easy task, any professional coater would know that it takes a lot more than just pulling a trigger on a spray gun to produce good quality finished parts consistently and efficiently, which also meet performance criteria and exposure class specifications.
The AISF recommends using an APC Accredited Powder Coater with the AISF Accredited Status indicating to customers and industry professionals alike that the applicator follows quality processes and has a commitment to excellence.