InnoVoc Solutions Technology Enables Powder Coating

21 February 2012

InnoVoc Solutions has launched a new technology for powder coating plastics, composites and other non-conductive substrates.

According to InnoVoc, this licensed technology makes non-metallic substrates temporarily conductive using a surface treatment that emits no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or other hazardous by-products.

InnoVoc Solutions say this technology provides:

  • A hard finish that is typically tougher than conventional liquid paint and can improve the performance and durability of plastics and composites,
  • Low-cost processing for automated in-line coating and batch-booth quantities,
  • Composite parts that can be used adjacent to powder-coated metal parts, such as appliance handles and automotive parts.

Kevin E. Stay, President and General Manager of Gordon Composites, said the technology used by InnoVoc Solutions makes it easy and inexpensive to powder coat non-conductive substrates.

“Before the development of this technology, powder coating non-metallic surfaces was possible but the processes had manufacturing, cost and environmental limitations that restricted their use,” explained Stay. “The InnoVoc Solutions process is easy to use, cost-competitive and contains no hazardous chemicals that will off-gas or vaporise.”

InnoVoc say that powder coating has been used successfully on metal surfaces since the 1940s. Compared to liquid paints, powder coating is known for strong adhesion, excellent durability, potential for either textured or gloss surfaces and the absence of runs and VOCs during application. InnoVoc explain that their technology now makes these benefits practical for composites and other non-metallic substrates.

Stay also said painting regulations are becoming more and more stringent and are expected to increasingly require decorating processes that are less polluting.

“The main difference between conventional liquid paint and powder coating is that powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder in a liquid suspension form,” said Stay. “Powder coating is applied electro-statically, as a free-flowing, dry powder, and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and cure. We can use the InnoVoc process with any engineered plastic that withstands cure temperatures in the range of 250 to 400°F.”

InnoVoc developed the technology for high-performance composite limbs on modern archery bows. Composite limbs are attached to robust powder-coated aluminium risers and need to have the same appearance and durability as the riser.

“With the new technology, we are able to use the same powder coating on both the aluminium risers and the composite limbs so they appear and age the same,” said Stay.

“Archery equipment needs to withstand rough handling in outdoor use and at camps and schools,” continued Stay. “Powder-coated bow limbs perform very well and, in fact, the coating bonds so tenaciously with the composite substrate that it significantly improves the long-term fatigue performance of the limbs.”

InnoVoc claim that successful applications include automotive parts, electrical switch plates, handles for appliances, archery components, lacrosse sticks, MDF (medium-density fibreboard) and acoustic ceiling tile. Samples of powder-coated plastic and composite applications are being shown this week at Composites 2012  in Las Vegas where InnoVoc Solutions is exhibiting at booth number 355.

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