One of the most frustrating parts about working with powder coating is obtaining a good gun. Powder Coating guns are very different from standard spray guns because they have stainless steel needles to force the powder through the air passages in the gun. The tip of this needle is what actually delivers your coating, so if it doesn’t work well, you will not be happy with the job you are doing.
If you try to put too much powder in your gun, it will not atomize properly and everything will just clump up. This can be remedied by either reducing the amount of powder being used or increasing the air pressure that is being applied inside the gun. If you have a setup that is not powerful enough, it will also result in a clumpy finish. You may have to experiment with different pressures and powder levels before you find a balance between the two that works best for you.
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The shape of your spray pattern is another thing that can affect the finished look of your job. It is possible to adjust the shape of the spraying pattern by adjusting the distance between the gun and the surface. If you are getting powder all over your work area, then move the gun closer to reduce overspray.
If something does go wrong with your coating job, there is one more variable that can affect how your finish turns out: which direction you hold the handle of the gun as you spray. You want to hold it so that the opening of the gun is facing down towards your work area. This will put gravity on your side and help you get maximum coverage all of your parts, even if they are small or oddly shaped.
If you do not need to spray upside-down, then simply turn your gun over so that the opening of the gun is facing up. If you do need to spray upside-down, then turn your powder coating gun vertically and apply a thin coat on one side of your part before rotating it 180 degrees and finishing on the other side. The specifics of these solutions will vary from person to person, but there are some tricks that can help you get a better finish even if your gun lets you down.
Since powder coating guns are so finicky, many people have turned to an alternative method known as electrostatic spray application. This is a somewhat modern approach that uses high voltage to quickly turn the coating into a mist that can be applied more evenly than by using traditional methods. The downside is that it requires expensive machinery, but if you are impatient, it can be a cost-effective alternative to powder coating.
If you do need to try and fix your own gun, then make sure that you keep the parts of the gun clean. If there is dust in the chamber or any type of dirt inside, then it will affect how smoothly your gun works and your finished product will not look as good as it should.
If you take care of your gun and work on finding the perfect balance between powder and air pressure, then you should be able to produce top quality powder coating jobs with minimal effort and frustration. If you do run into problems, then that is what warranty service is for!