AAMA POWDER COATING SYSTEMS
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Aluminum Powder Coating System
When it comes to finishing aluminum extrusions there are many options to choose from. Powder coating offers an ideal solution to your finishing needs due to its ability to consistently deliver a high-quality, durable finish with minimal environmental impact. Whether you're completely new to powder coating or looking to expand operations, we can help guide you through the process. We have the expertise to engineer a system that matches your specific requirements and helps achieve your aluminum finishing goals.
What is powder coating?
Powder coating is a dry finishing process that can be used on a wide array of products. The coating material is a mixture of resins, pigment, and additives (for gloss, hardness, etc.) that are ground together into a fine uniform powder that is sprayed and then baked onto the product's surface.
Powder coatings are available in a range of colors and textures for aluminum extrusions. Because coatings contain no solvents, the process releases little to no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere, making the process friendly to the environment.
Why powder coat aluminum extrusions?
Aluminum is powder coated for two primary reasons:
To control the product's overall appearance, color, uniformity, visual appeal and enhancement.
To protect the substrate from environmental damage from such conditions as acid rain, pollution, salt corrosion, and oxidation.
THE POWDER COATING PROCESS
Parts travel through a multi-stage washer to remove dust, oil, and other surface contaminants. A conversion coating is then applied to the part to ensure proper adhesion of the powder coating while increasing under film corrosion protection.
Powder is applied to the product using either a manual or automatic gun that applies an electrostatic charge to the powder. The charged particles are then bonded to the electrically grounded surface of the part, providing uniform coverage of the part.
After the powder has been applied to the desired thickness, the extrusions are transferred to a cure oven. The powder particles melt when exposed to heat, flow into a level finish, and then chemically cross-link and bond to the surface of the part.
AAMA SPECIFICATIONS FOR POWDER COATING
AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) sets the standards for powder coating performance on architectural applications. AAMA has developed three levels of "Voluntary Requirements and Test Procedures for Pigmented Organic Coatings on Aluminum Extrusions and Panels. These specifications are AAMA 2603, AAMA 2604, and AAMA 2605.
To meet the AAMA specifications, coated extrusions and panels are run through a series of tests to determine the performance of the coatings. AAMA tests include dry film hardness, adhesion, impact and abrasion resistance, chemical and corrosion resistance, and humidity and weather resistance.
Each AAMA coating specification outlines basic requirements including:
A multi-stage cleaning and pretreatment process is required and essential to preparing the substrate to receive the powder coating and allow the powder to cover the surface as efficiently as possible.
Coatings shall be visibly free from flow lines, streak, blisters, and other imperfections in the dry film state on exposed surface when observed at a distance of 3 meters.
To ensure the aesthetic properties (mainly color and gloss) of the powder coatings are maintained over time, coated panels are tested in Florida. The Florida weather provides the proper conditions for parts to be continually exposed to intense UV light, high humidity, and salt air. After exposure to the elements, the parts are measured against the desired AAMA standard.