Powder Coating – the Eco-Friendly Option

Environmentally friendly powder coating

The environmentally friendly alternative to liquid paint

Powder coating has a multitude of benefits that have made it a hugely popular coating solution. It is highly durable, cost efficient, versatile, and available in a wide range of colours and finishes. One feature that really sets powder coating apart is that, compared with other finishes, it is eco friendly. The powder coating process makes it both re-usable and solvent free, and within the world of powder coating there are even environmentally friendly powder coating options, making them even greener.

Here we explore the environmental impact of powder coating, and look at a couple of the products to make your project as green as possible.

The environmental benefits of powder coating

Everything these days has an eco mode or a green alternative. Air conditioning, dishwashers, clothing, even chocolate, all allow users and designers to build a greener, more environmentally conscious world. The world of coatings is no different, with the rise of water-based paints heralding a change in mindset. Environmentally friendly powder coating has the jump on the rest of the crowd because:

Industrial powder coatings being applied with a powder coating gun in a booth
Overspray is collected and reused for maximum efficiency
  1. It is solvent free with negligible VOCs
    VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are compounds that easily become vapours or gases and are released into the atmosphere from a range of products, including paint. They are eye and respiratory tract irritants, and long-term exposure can lead to serious damage. They also cause harm to the environment. Powder coating uses no solvents, the main source of VOCs in coatings, so emit only negligible amounts of VOCs. Good for you and the environment.
  2. Powder overspray is reusable 
    A big issue with paint is what to do with leftovers. With environmentally friendly powder coating, the powder that does not adhere to the part (known as overspray) is collected and reused with no detriment to the finish. Properly regulated, over 90% efficiency can be attained. Not only does this reduce waste, it saves money. 
  3. No harmful fumes – HAPs
    The lack of solvents means that powder coating powders are also non-hazardous. When working with them,  exhaust air can be returned to the plant without fear of Hazardous Air Pollutants. This cuts down on energy costs from air systems and means hazardous air is not exhausted into the environment.
  4. Produces less hazardous waste
    It is not just waste coating that needs to be disposed of. There is also the environmental damage caused through the disposal of cleanup material. There is no waste water contaminated with paint products being washed down the drain or being leaked into the local groundwater.

How low temperature powder coating makes your process greener – Low-E

Powder coating has come a long way in recent years. It is now possible to powder coat wood and other heat-sensitive substrates because of the advances in low bake powder coating. With formulations that allow you to turn down the dial, not only are new substrates opened up but you are also saving energy, time, and money. Reducing your oven temperature can save from 15-30% on your production costs because:

  • Lower energy usage means lower costs
  • Low cure powder coating also has a shorter cure time, meaning increased productivity

Low bake powder coating is not just for wood. There are products to suit any need and any substrate. Interpon Coarse Texture Low-E is a low cure powder coating that gives a textured finish which hides imperfections in the substrate. PPG’s Low Cure resins bake at about 150°C and are available in a range of chemistries. If you are looking to reduce energy usage and costs for your project, investing in low temperature powder coating provides a diverse range of solutions for you.

The most environmentally friendly powder coating solutions

The top powder coating manufacturers are all working to make their product ranges more eco-conscious and ‘green’, including their powder coating lines. Below we look at the top three:  AkzoNobel (Interpon), Axalta (Alesta) and PPG (Envirocron). Each of these companies focus on the environmental benefits of powder coating, as well as creating products that are specifically designed to lower energy usage, like Interpon Coarse Texture Low-E.

AkzoNobel Powder Coating – Interpon Low-E

A range of polyester-based powders designed for both interior and exterior use, Interpon Low-E is a flexible and resistant product.

Interpon Coarse Texture Low-E gives a uniform coarse texture which is perfect to hide imperfections and easy to apply.

Product breakdown

  • Coarse texture powder coating that is TGIC free and polyester-based
  • Can be cured as low as 150˚C
  • Enhanced coverage and energy efficiency lowers costs and environmental footprint

Axalta Coatings – Alesta Powder

Alesta Powder Coatings are ecologically friendly and durable coatings for exterior and interior surfaces.

Alesta powder coating includes products for architectural, appliance, industrial, transportation and furniture markets.

Product breakdown

  • Alesta Anti-gassing Low Bake reduces energy usage with a cure temperature of 150°C
  • Efficient and environmentally responsible
  • Virtually free of VOCs and HAPs

PPG Powder Coating – Envirocron

The PPG Envirocron range is designed with world-class quality and environmental awareness front and centre.

It is used for automobiles (including clearcoat), appliances, heavy duty equipment, furniture, barbecues and more. 

Product Breakdown

  • Envirocron is available in epoxy, epoxy polyester, polyurethane, and acrylic resins
  • Excellent weather and corrosion resistance
  • Enviracryl is the world’s leading powder clearcoat

If you would like any more information about environmentally friendly powder coating, or would like to buy powders for your project, get in touch! We are here to help. Our experts will connect you with the right company and product for the job.