Based on the number of inquiries I receive, it seems that ceramic coating, e-coating, and hydro dipping are having a moment. So here it is: everything I know about each of these services, and why they aren’t currently available at Kaser.
Ceramic coating goes on as a liquid and cures in an oven. It’s ideal for high-temp parts (i.e., exhaust systems).
Yes, we possess all of the right equipment (i.e., a liquid coating booth and an oven); and yes, Kaser operators have all the necessary skills. But that doesn’t mean we’re set up for it. The liquid booth and the oven are in different buildings, meaning we’d have to transport uncured parts across a bumpy parking lot in in all kinds of weather. It’s too risky.
If, by some miracle, the parts made it into the oven unscathed, I would be concerned about cross-contamination. Floating powder residue could easily ruin a ceramic surface, and vice-versa.
This is a service that Kaser could provide one day. Doing so would require a significant re-imagining of our space. I’m open to the idea, but it won’t happen overnight.
E-coating has a lot in common with powder coating; however, while powder coating is applied with a gun, e-coating involves dipping a grounded part into a charged coating bath before curing it in the oven. The operator controls film thickness by controlling the voltage.
The benefit of e-coating is that the coating gets everywhere, including inside long, narrow tubing that powder coating can’t reach. This next-level corrosion protection is ideal for automotive applications. E-coating can also be quite economical: simply return unused coating to the bath, and use it on your next part.
There are downsides, however. Should an oily part contaminate the bath, for instance, you’ll have to discard the whole thing and start fresh. This really raises the stakes on pretreatment. Also, imagine the tub size you’d need in order to e-coat a car frame. E-coating takes up a lot of space, a resource that’s in short supply for most small businesses (mine included). I don’t foresee Kaser taking this on anytime soon.
I know very little about hydro dipping, other than that it involves some sort of liquid bath with dye on top that transfers onto the part as you dip it.
I’ve seen this done on everything from sneakers to metal, and I can’t help but question whether the process truly protects the part. Do hydro dipped parts require a clear coat? If you have any information on this topic, please comment, email, or call me directly – I’ve never seriously considered adding hydro dipping to Kaser’s repertoire, but this could simply be because I don’t know enough about it.
I’m always weighing my strong desire to grow Kaser’s capabilities against the obvious need to do so sustainably. It’s a balancing act.