Dare to Compare: Powder Coatings vs Liquid Paint For Automotive Applications

Coating a vehicle is an intensive process that requires integration of painting into the assembly process and the aesthetic challenges of matching colors (and gloss levels) of the various substrates used in a single automobile. Automotive components require a durable coating that can outlast tough weather conditions and corrosion over a long period.

Currently liquid paint is widely used throughout the automotive industry but more automotive specifications are recognizing the benefits provided by powder coating. These benefits include:  

Characteristic

Liquid

Powder

Cost Savings

Customer Satisfaction

No mixing of components

Yes

No

Powder

 

Cleanup and changeover times

High

Low

Powder

 

Cure times 

High

Low

Powder

 

Part coverage

Low

High

Powder

 

Coats required (wheels)

3

2

Powder

 

Flammability

High

Low

Powder

 

VOCs

High

Low

Powder

 

Durability

Medium

High

 

Powder

Corrosion resistance

Medium

High

 

Powder

Mar resistance

Medium

High

 

Powder

When it comes down to customer satisfaction, powder coatings preform with superior durability, corrosion, scratch and abrasion resistance compared with liquid paint. Powder coatings have evolved and are available in a variety of finishes including glossy, matte, metallic, smooth and textured. It is clear that the continuous improvement of powder coating has enabled a strong presence in the automotive industry. 

Article by Karl Rijkse, VP Technical Sales & Product Management Technical – North America & Thomas Wagner, Global Manager Transportation, Director Sales - Asia (China&TJSEA)

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