Powder Coating FAQs
What is powder coating?
Powder is basically paint in a powder form. It is a dry, powder substance that is manufactured in a unique way. It has to be applied on a coating line – it cannot be applied on site, because it has to cure in an oven. It also has to be made in a powder factory. It cannot be mixed on site.
Can powder be applied on site?
No powder needs to be applied to the part on a coating line. It cannot be applied on site because it needs to be cured in an oven.
Can I make powder on site?
No, powder needs to be made in a factory. This is because we have to use specialist equipment such as an extruder and micronizer to make the powder and then grind it down to powder form. This means we have excellent quality control!
What substrates is powder best suited to?
Generally, powder is best suited to metal substrates such as aluminum, steel or brass. It is possible to powder coat other substrates such as MDF, ceramic and glass, but metal substrates are most common. Applying powder to different substrates depends on the applicator!
How are powders different to liquid paints?
Our thermosetting powders cure (or, alternatively, crosslink) upon the application of heat to chemically change to form a three-dimensional structure that will not re-melt. They are different from thermoplastics (liquid paints are thermoplastic) as thermoplastics do not have a cure reaction and will re-melt if reheated.
I have technical issues, can you help?
Check out the trouble shooting section, download our handy troubleshooting guide, and if you can’t find the answer to your problem, then call our technical service hotline and we will get a technical expert to advise you as quickly as we can.
How do I know how long to cure the powder for?
Every one of our powders comes with a Technical Data Sheet. The TDS will explain the application parameters, including the oven temperature and how long the parts should spend in the oven.
How can I get a technical data sheet?
Check to see if the technical data sheet you need is on line in our product selector. If not, simply send us an email and we will send you what you need..
Can you help me find a powder applicator?
At IFS we only make the powder, we do not apply it. However there are thousands of powder coaters all over the United States and beyond and we would be happy to help you find one near you. For exterior architectural applications, you will need a certified applicator and we can let you know where the nearest IFS certified applicator is to you or your project.
What is an IFS Registered Applicator?
Registered Applicators are essential to ensure a quality finish is achieved for architectural applications, every time. At IFS we have a world class, AAMA compliant range of architectural powder coatings and to ensure those coatings are truly effective on the exterior of a building, first rate pretreatment and application is vital. The IFS Registered Applicator program ensures that architects and general contractors can rest assured that the substrate will receive excellent pretreatment and that the coating will be applied properly, to the required standards. As the quality of the pretreatment and coating line is assured it also allows Registered Applicators to offer limited warranties.
Where can I see IFS colors?
Are all your colors and effects available in every chemistry?
We have thousands of colors and effects, but not all of them can be made in every chemistry. For example, our range of fluoropolymers, IFS 500FP has to pass strict exterior weathering tests including color and gloss fade and salt spray testing. If those products are applied to aluminum by a certified applicator then a 20 year warranty is also available. Not all of the pigments we use can hold their color within the required parameters for a full 20 years. Similarly some special effects look fantastic, but aspects of how they look, such as veins or hammer effects, also affect how the powder performs under certain tests. An IFS representative will be happy to advise you if the color or effect you want is available in your required chemistry.
How long will it take to get a custom color powder coating from IFS?
From the day we receive your color sample to match to, it will take 7-10 days to create your powder and send panels back to you for approval. Metallics will take slightly longer. When we receive the samples, the IFS color matching experts will check if it’s possible to create the color in the chemistry you need and then enter the work into our system to be matched. Once the color is matched then the powder is created, sprayed onto panels and then sent back to you for approval.
Can you match colors from a chart such as Pantone, Frazee paints or others?
Yes! We have successfully matched colors from Sherwin Williams, PPG, Benjamin Moore, Frazee, Duranar paints; Wilsonart, Formica and Nevamar laminates, 595 Federal Standard Colors, Pantone Colors, as well as Carpeting, fabric, molded plastics and wall coverings, wood pieces, etc. Just tell us what you need and we can put our expertise to work for you.
Which chemistries are available from IFS?
We have several different powder chemistries available in many different colors. Check our products section for more information on the different chemistries and the different applications they are suited to.
How do if I know I have the right product chemistry for my application.
Check out the product section of our website here. That gives you lots of information on the different chemistries available, their performance characteristics, what they are best suited to and the various tests they will pass. If you would like help and advice choosing the right powder chemistry for your application and budget, just contact us and we’ll be happy to help. Often people just pick a color, without checking that the product chemistry is right for their application. Then if the powder fades or doesn’t perform as expected, the powder is blamed rather than the decision to use the wrong chemistry!
How long will it take to get a custom color powder coating from IFS?
From the day we receive your color sample to match to, it will take 7-10 days to create your powder and send panels back to you for approval. Metallic will take slightly longer. When we receive the samples, the IFS color matching experts will check if it’s possible to create the color in the chemistry you need and then enter the work into our system to be matched. Once the color is matched then the powder is created, sprayed onto panels and then sent back to you for approval.
What is the smallest batch size available?
Most of our powders are available in 50lb boxes. We can do 25lb boxes for some products – check with us to see what is available. If you are looking for polyester powder coating in smaller quantities, contact our sister brand, , as the Polychem team will ship polyester powders in quantities as low as 5lbs.
What shipping options are available to me?
We have a good selection of different shipping options available with a variety of price options. Your customer service representative is more than happy to explain the options to you and make sure you get your powder exactly when you need it.
Is there an IFS customer service department?
Yes! We have a large team of experienced and professional customer service representatives who will support you in your powder purchase and answer any questions you might have to make sure that the process is as smooth and efficient as possible.
How can I contact someone from IFS?
Do you stock any powder coating colors?
Yes. We stock over 400 of our most popular colors and chemistries. Many other products, such as our super durable RALs are pre-formulated, so though they are not stocked, they can be made quickly and sent out to you. Check out some of our stocked colors on our color selector or contact us to order an IFS color chart with some of our most popular shades.
What if the color or product I need isn’t in stock?
We will make the color you want in the product you need in 7 – 10 business days and ship it out to you. Just ask!