Powder Coating v Anodising: The Pros and ConsJanuary 29, 2020
A surface treatment doesn’t only make a product look its best; they are also essential for making metal last against corrosion. There’s little point in crafting something beautiful only for rust to eat it away. No two projects are the same, and the correct treatment should be based on your needs and the project at hand.
To help decide on surface treatments, we’ve taken the two most popular methods and weighed up their pros and cons. Which is better: powder coating or anodising?
Powder coating is a process where an electric charge is created that causes a powder to fuse to the surface of the metal. This metal is then caked in a curing oven to achieve a smooth coating, and this process is frequently used on rough, tough industrial machinery and high-use household appliances.
It provides a layer of protection against corrosion, scratches, and fading. The process gives a consistent colour across an entire item, and it is significantly less flammable than a traditional paint finish. Powder coating is also more environmentally friendly. It releases little VOC into the atmosphere, has a smaller carbon footprint, and can be recycled and reused.
However, the coatings do have some drawbacks. Powders cannot be mixed, and there is a significant setup cost due to the machinery involved. The powder coatings can leave a distinctive ‘orange peel’ texture to a project, making it unattractive.
Anodising is an electrochemical process that increases the thickness of the natural oxide layer found on the surface of aluminium. It’s not an easy technique to perfect, so companies such as Poetons surface treatment have specialist skills to make this process effective.
It offers distinct advantages. Anodised metal is easy to maintain with a little soap and water, and it is UV stable. The base metal gains an attractive lustre and can be used for a wide range of architectural finishes.
However, there are drawbacks. As this method draws from the base metal, a project can be subject to subtle colour variations. This makes it harder, though not impossible, to create consistency between batches. This process can only be applied to aluminium and requires high-grade alloy. It can also produce a harmful chemical effluent.
Now that you know the pros and cons, you can make the best choice for your next project.