Stripping the finish off of coated parts can be a challenge for most powder coaters. While there are many ways to remove the coating from a part prior to re-coating with powder, we’re going to break down the two most popular stripping methods: Mechanical stripping using abrasive blasting and chemical stripping using dip tanks.
A lot of care, effort, and time is required to take any part down to the bare metal. While sanding or buffing is pretty straightforward stripping practice, they also require a lot of labor-intensive work. It is, however, beneficial if recoating an already powder-coated part.
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Blasting is a much better option when other methods aren’t permitted. However, choosing the correct abrasive blasting material is important to achieve the results you desire. The blasting procedure is set up to clean a metal surface from rust or scale and prep it for coating.
If stripping parts that are powder coated or painted, the procedure will require a more aggressive media selection, than if you were blasting a raw metal surface.
More aggressive blasting media includes steel shot, garnet, or aluminum oxide. These abrasive media all have different grits, which in turn results in different mil profiles. Abrasive media blasting can result in a deep mil profile, which will need more powder to coat the rough textured surface left behind from the blast. If using a finer grit, it takes more time to blast, but you preserve some of those fine surface details. It’s up to you to determine how much labor versus the desired smoothness of the surface you want to achieve.
If your shop re-finishes a high number of small to medium-sized parts daily or weekly, chemical stripping is the ideal method. Strip tanks can easily remove previously applied coatings without damaging the profiles of the parts.
B17 by Benco is a stripping solvent that is commonly used by most powder coating shops. Most shops tend to have a half drum on-hand for the occasional strip job if their local environmental regulations permit it.
WARNING: This solvent is very aggressive and all proper personal protective equipment should be used when handling. Tyvek suits, Face shields and goggles, long chemical-resistant rubber gloves, and a respirator appropriate for solvent fumes, are recommended when handling parts.
Strip tanks, such as the ones offered by Greensolv, offer an easily repeatable process for removing old coatings and cleaning parts like wheels. This is a great investment for shops that strip parts on a regular basis.
No matter what type of stripping method you use, remember that stripped parts can produce rust quickly if not immediately treated and coated.
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In addition to manufacturing, installing, and supporting our own powder coating equipment, Reliant Finishing Systems also provides a wide range of services to help your existing finishing operation run smoothly. Call us today at (877) 418-5550. Learn more about common stripping methods here.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored and hence, promotes some commercial links.)