The Power of Pretreatment

The devil is in the details.

Was this idiom coined by someone who works in the powder coating industry? Unlikely – but it may as well have been.

If the term “powder coating” evokes images of a dirty metal part being glossed over in a smooth and vibrant color, you’re not wrong. But you’re missing the most important part of the story. Most customers don’t realize that when a metal part arrives at Kaser Blasting & Coatings, it undergoes an intense, multi-step pretreatment process before ever reaching the coating stage.

Step one: a deep de-greasing. Particularly dirty parts are treated with an alkaline cleaner, ensuring that all greases and oils are stripped away. Left unattended, old oils will bubble through the powder coating during the curing process, ultimately ruining the coating and compromising the durability.

Once the part is clean and oil-free, it undergoes a thorough water rinse, removing all traces of alkaline cleaner. This step requires meticulous attention to detail: if any cleaner is left on the part, the powder coating will not adhere properly.

If the part is steel, step three involves treatment with a proprietary iron phosphate solution, specially tailored to Lincoln water – this cleans the part more thoroughly, prepares it for powder application, and creates a barrier against future moisture damage. Aluminum and stainless steel parts are treated with acid etchant, which prepares the surface for maximum coating adhesion.

Steps four and five are rinses: first in pressurized city water, removing all remaining chemicals, and then in purified water. If the part is aluminum or stainless steel, Kaser will then apply a zirconium seal rinse. This conversion coat protects the aluminum or stainless steel against moisture, and is therefore applied primarily to parts that will be used outdoors.

If any part of this process is overlooked or rushed, the finished product will suffer. On the other hand, if the pretreatment has been thoroughly applied, the powder coating will be smooth and durable, extending the life of the part and protecting it against damage.

We at Kaser take tremendous pride in a well-executed pretreatment, and will go to great lengths to ensure that your parts are properly cleaned, protected, and prepared for the smoothest possible coat. Our labor-intensive pretreatment process results in the quality you’ve come to expect from Kaser Blasting & Coatings, and we’re proud to deliver, one part at a time.

In powder coating as in life, the details make all the difference.


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