Jim Smart
January 31, 2011

Imagine a durable, protective coating that looks good and can take a beating without flaking off. Best of all, it's available in most of your favorite Mustang detailing colors.

It's called powdercoating. As the name implies, powdercoating is a super fine powder that consists of polymers that don't require the use of a solvent like paint. Instead, powder is carefully applied to a pure bare metal surface with a special gun, then the item is placed in an oven where it is baked at temperatures nearing 400 degrees F. At that temperature, the powder flows onto a smooth surface. It is then allowed to cool into a hard surface that's not only good looking, but also more durable than paint.

One positive aspect of powdercoating is the environment; it emits virtually zero emissions and is easily recovered. The powder is recyclable, which means virtually no waste. It also affords you a nice, thick coating without runs if you apply too much at once. Automakers and other manufacturers are using powdercoating more and more for these reasons. It is an excellent value.

There are two basic types of powdercoating-thermoset and thermoplastic. Thermoset tends to be more involved with two or more basic polymers that cross link to become a durable finish. Think of thermoset powdercoating like a two- or three-stage paint where you mix a base with a catalyst, which makes the paint harden and cure. Once Thermoset has cured, it is a permanent, indestructible finish.

The most common type of powdercoating is thermoplastic, a single polymer that heats up and melts across the metal, then cures to form a hard surface. Polymer is a fancy word for macromolecule, which is a mixture of synthetic materials-typically plastics-with a wide variety of properties. There are polymers in just about everything around us. Your Mustang's door panels, dashpad, seat upholstery, carpet, and instrument bezel consist of polymers that have been linked together to form plastic. The types of polymers used in powdercoating are polyester like we see in clothing, polyurethane, polyester epoxy, straight epoxy, and sometimes acrylics like we used to see in plastics.

Mustang restoration has become easier thanks to powdercoating. Your most visual detail components like bumper brackets, grilles, trim, power brake boosters, accessory brackets, radiators, battery trays, pulleys, and more can be powdercoated in finishes ranging from very flat to satin to high gloss in just about any color imaginable. And by finishes, we mean wrinkled, galvanized, rough surface, peened, and more.

Andrews Powder Coating in Southern California's San Fernando Valley is one of the area's first powdercoating operations with a tremendous amount of experience. Attention to detail is exceptional because you can count on outstanding quality in a field full of powdercoaters on every corner. By outstanding quality, we mean a smooth surface, no fallout (dust and particulates) or runs, and a surface that's chip and stain resistant.

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