Here at Vibrant Coatings Ltd we have one of the largest capacities available in the Midlands. Our ovens can take parts 9.5m long x 3m wide x 2.5m tall and up to 3t in weight! We are not your usual ‘trade coater’ – we offer a premium service including:

  • Quality system with 100% inspection
  • Delivery and collection service
  • Coatings to any desired specification
  • Wrapping and packing
  • Accurate & honest lead times
  • State of the art new plant & equipment
  • Assembly services
  • Masking / plugging etc
  • Preparation & pre treatment
  • Fully project managed service
  • Full quality management system in place


Which is best, to paint or to powder coat? What’s the best finish for your metal fabrication? Why would you choose industrial powder coating finishes over industrial spray painting?

Wet spray paint is a more traditional approach with various limitations. Powder, on the other hand, is a more technologically advanced approach, offering improved durability, a reduced environmental impact, and a higher quality appearance.


What Is Powder Coating?

Dry powder for coating is available in many different materials, the most common is polyester or epoxy (both usually qualicoat approved). It is applied as a dry powder through an electrostatic coating process, then cured with heat in an oven. This form of coating is best known for providing high-quality finishes and providing a robust and flexible finishing solution. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications, and it’s one of the most cost-effective finish options.


Types Of Coating

Thermosets and thermoplastics are two very different types of powder coatings.

Thermoset are the most commonly used. Thermoset powder forms a chemical bond once cured, making it a permanent coating solution – it does not turn back to a liquid if heated again. This does mean it cannot be recycled, but it does allow it to be used in areas exposed to high heat – the chemical bond prevents it from melting away. Thermoset powders are also cheaper in comparison to thermoplastics.

Thermoplastic powder becomes liquid and very soft when heated in the curing oven. This eliminates the chemical bonding process. Due to this, it makes the coating both reversible and reusable. Thermoplastics tend to give a thicker coating film and therefore offers a very durable finish compared to thermosets. As they are so durable, they can be used for a variety of things from metal fabrications, automotive parts, and even white goods / refrigerators.


The Application Process

The first step of the coating process is preparation. This is the most important step in achieving the ultimate finish. This step determines how well the powder will adhere to the substrate material. There are multiple options for cleaning and preparing the surface in readiness for the powder. One option is a chemical process where a degreaser and/or phosphate is used, followed by a rinse in water. Depending on the part to be powder coated, shot-blasting is also another method used to prepare the surface for large powder coating.

Other preparation methods may be used, but they are usually for specific projects and can be tailored to suit any special requirements.

How Does It Work?

The powder which is used in powder coating services comprises of a polymer resin, colour pigments, curing agent, flow modifiers, levelling agents and other additives. All the ingredients are mixed and melted together – once cooled, this forms a large solid block which is then ground down into a powder.

Dry coating requires an electric charge to attract the powder to the metal. Here at Vibrant Coatings, we use the top of the range Gema Optiflex powder coating guns. The system applies a positive charge at the tip of the gun which then accelerates the powder towards the negatively charged part. This is different to the usual spray-painting methods which require solvents and additives to give good adhesion. Once heated the chemical bonding process strengthens the layer to give a robust high-quality finish.

Just like with wet paint, multiple layers can be used to get the desired finish and thickness. Thicker coatings usually improve longevity and offer increased protection against the weather. Powder coating for metal is ideal for protecting it, as it repels corrosive materials such as chemicals and water, whist offering an aesthetic appearance.

alloy wheel refurb

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Is It Durable?

Industrial powder coating is arguably the most durable coating you could use as a finish. It can be used on various surfaces, not just metal! Due to the chemical bonding, it offers a superior finish which makes it suitable for machinery and everyday items. It will also cope well with extreme weather and physical impart – making it resistant to scratches, chips and abrasions.


How Long Does It Last?

When done professionally, the coating can last up to 20 years. This will depend on several key factors which include the method and correct preparation, type of powder used and the environment in which the product is used. Exposure to UV light and use outdoors will break the coating down faster. Different coatings also have varying lifespans – here at Vibrant Coatings we will recommend the best type of powder to suit each individual application.


Advantages Of Powder Coating

Powder coating is an excellent choice for any metal fabrication. The main advantage is its unquestionable durability, but that’s not all that you should consider when choosing a finish.

  • Environmentally Friendly: This an eco-friendly finishing solution – as thermo plastic coating is reusable and recyclable. Thermoplastic coatings can be melted and reshaped very easily, unlike thermosets. Unlike with spray paint, where you experience a lot of overspray, the powder is used precisely with minimal wastage.
  • Less wastage: Plus, no solvents is a major advantage. It does not release volatile organic compounds that may harm the environment. It is also safer to use, (even though PPE is still recommended), it does not pose as many health risks as other finishes.
  • Cost-Effective: Due to the robustness of the coating, it lasts much longer that other finishes. Therefore, over the lifespan of the product, the overall cost is much lower when compared to other different types of finishes.
  • Polished Look: You can achieve a polished look by using powder coating. As this finish also repels chemicals, moisture, and other elements it makes it very easy to clean.


Final Thoughts

Powder coating finishes are one of the best finishing solutions when it comes to coating metal fabrications. If you haven’t used it before them, you will be surprised with the results. If you’d like to see the benefits of powder coating for steel and other metal fabrications, get in touch with our Chesterfield team today and we will gladly discuss your requirements and provide any advice.


Powder Coating FAQ

Powder coating is a great option for a huge range of items, including alloy wheels, steel wheel rims, roof racks/rails, other car parts, street furniture, industrial equipment and metal fabrications.
Whether the item you want powder coating is on this list or not, get in touch with our helpful team on 01246 384533 and we can advise you further.
The short answer is yes, we have collection and delivery service so you can have the freshly powder coated alloy wheels or parts delivered directly to your home.
We have a wide range of colours available to enhance your vehicle. In fact, if are able to provide us with the RAL colour code for the colour you would like, we will be happy to powder coat your items to the exact colour you requested – most commonly this option is used to match your existing business branding.
The cost of powder coating vehicle rims/alloys varies from project to project – it depends on factors such as the current condition of your rims, and the complexity of the project. There are also other factors we take into consideration when pricing powder coating for vehicle rims, including the use of bespoke colours, the number of coats needed, and additional services you may opt for (i.e. welding).
Powder coating will keep your wheel rims looking fresh for longer, and can actually maintain it’s finish for up to 20 years! This is due to its resistance to damage from chemicals, corrosion, and extreme weather conditions.
Fresh powder coated alloy wheels will significantly improve the overall appearance of your car or vehicle, making it more sought after and generally therefore adding value. It is impossible, however, to put a figure on how much it could increase the value of your vehicle, as this is down to the preferences of potential buyers, and also depends on the make and model of the car, its age, the type of wheels etc.
Yes, as soon as your freshly powder coated wheels are back on your vehicle, you can drive it straight away.
Yes, we can work on all wheel types – they will be completely disassembled, refurbished to our high standards, then reassembled ready for you to start driving again.
Just like we can refurbish any type of wheel (1-piece, 2 piece or 3 piece), we can also refurbish any brand of wheels. We have experience with most popular makes, and the processes and tools we use are very versatile, allowing us to refurbish even the rarest wheels.
If you’d like to find out more about how our process works and how we can transform your wheels, feel free to get in touch with our team on 01246 384533.

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