Have you ever wondered how the modern process of powder coating was developed?
Read below for a brief history of the powder coating process and why this finishing technique has grown in popularity over the years.
History of Powder Coating
The powder coating method of finishing was first developed sometime between the 1940s and early 1950s. Initially, organic polymers were “flame-sprayed” into a powder form onto metallic surfaces.
Then in the early 1950s, Dr. Erwin Gemmer— a notable German scientist— developed and patented a fluidized-bed process for thermosetting powder coatings. This technique was much faster and more efficient than flame-spraying, and starting in 1958 and years thereafter, nearly all powder coatings were processed using the newly developed fluidized-bed applications.
During this time American manufacturers took note of the process, but they still didn’t have the appropriate equipment in order to make the process efficient, accurate, and cost-effective enough to serve as a realistic coating solution for a vast number of industries.
Later on, however— in the 1960s and early 1970s— two developments emerged that sparked new interest in the powder coating process: 1) The growing concern for the environment, and 2) New application techniques. These two things in tandem led to the powder coating’s growth and success.
In the 1960s, powder coating’s application by electrostatic spray – where the powder particles are charged and subsequently sprayed onto a grounded material – was developed. With this technique, powder particles adhere by electrostatic attraction, and then are melted and cured in ovens. This process helped powder coating become an eco-conscious, convenient, and more cost-effective option for various industries, and is still used today.