Nylon powder coating is created by grinding a variety of plastics into a fine powder. Most commonly, a flow agent is mixed with a plastic nylon resin that has been pulverized and pigmented to the desired color. Because it is the most non-toxic of all of the powder coating processes, nylon coatings are widely used throughout the food industry. It is also an extremely durable material that is highly resistant to oils and corrosives. Nylon coatings are also non-contaminating, which is why they are also preferred by the water industry.
Unlike paints that create toxic fumes that can be hazardous to the environment, nylon powder coats are environmentally friendly. And because the process of nylon coating contains no liquids or solvent materials, there is no risk of dangerous chemical spills. The molecular transformation is achieved completely through a heating process that eliminates the need for chemicals.
Nylon powder coating falls into two categories, thermoplastic and thermoset. Thermosets contain catalysts that are heat sensitive. Once applied to an objects surface, thermoset nylon coatings begin to melt when heated once the temperature reaches 250 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven reaches a temperature of 350 degrees, the nylon coating undergoes a chemical transformation that forms an extremely strong, yet flexible plastic coating.
Thermoplastics are applied to an object that has been intensely heated passed the melting point of the nylon coating; once the plastic coating is applied it instantly fuses to the surface of the object. Thermoplastics are the most commonly used of the nylon coatings, and are the most non-corrosive and chemically resistant.
Nylon coatings can be applied to a desired surface in one of two ways; the fluidized bed or electrostatic spray. Electrostatic spray is used for thermosets and requires a special spray gun that 'electrically charges' the ions inside the plastic powder. The powder is sprayed at room temperature, and later heated.
The fluidized bed technique is most often used for thermoplastics and consists of a fluidized pool of powder coat nylon. Once the object has been heated to the correct temperature, it is then dipped into the fluidized powder which coats the object.
Not only are nylon coatings durable and effective, they are also recyclable. Because of their ability to be remolded and transformed, thermoplastic nylons can be removed from surfaces with heat, and reused.