Powder coating is a superior method to put a finish on a material, especially if the material will be used outdoors or in other harsh conditions where rust, corrosion, and weather damage is a possibility. Understanding how to care for your powder coated items can further increase their longevity.
Store different metals separately
Dissimilar metals can react with each other, which results in premature corrosion and disintegration of the metal. For example, aluminum and steel in contact with each other will quickly lead to the degradation of the metals. Although quality powder coating can slow the process, it can't stop or reverse it. Never store items of differing metals so that they are touching. If your powder coating equipment has different types of metals as components, make sure rubber gaskets or washers provide a buffer between these metals. If you send the equipment out for powder coating, inspect it afterwards to ensure all gaskets were reinstalled properly.
Store the equipment indoors
Although powder coating can slow weathering damage, weathering will lessen the life of the coating. To minimize this, store your equipment indoors when it is not in use. This could mean placing a storage locker on a job site, taking tools home at the end of the workday, or using a tarp to cover the equipment. Sun and moisture are what causes the damage, so protecting against these is most important. Temperature fluctuations won't usually impact the finish, but keep in mind extreme temperatures can be hard on the mechanics of some types of equipment.
Plan for regular cleaning
Equipment used outdoors is subjected to all sorts of elements that can cause major damage over time. Grit from dust and dirt, corrosive pollen and saps, and even acid rain can all cause the powder coating to degrade. Plan to wash equipment weekly if it is used outdoors on a daily basis, or at least once a month if it's used less frequently. Avoid abrasive cleaners and cleaning pads. All you need is water and a mild detergent.
For exceptionally filthy equipment or large pieces of equipment, you can use a pressure washer on a low setting to get the grime off. Avoid any cleaner that contains a solvent. Also, always make sure to spray down the equipment before wiping it down. Otherwise, you can wipe dry grit over the surface, which may result in small scratches.
Contact a powder coating service if you need more help in maintaining your equipment.
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