Hi Joe Powder,
I am one step closer to spraying powder everywhere... If all goes well, and an eBay seller in Germany carries through with his part after I sent him the funds, I should have a decent small compressor next week. 400 L/min (~14 cfm), 65L (~17 gallon). It’s a quiet one (65 dB), which I needed since I’m in an apartment, an Implotex that I got for over 60% off, which is about the best deal I can get hereabouts. And it’s the largest size I could fit in the space I have.
I’m visiting Oregon and Washington State next month and might pick up some stuff, like a couple pounds of powder. Do you maybe have any quick tips on powders to start with, or maybe more important, which kinds to avoid as an absolute beginner? I googled around but didn’t find a lot other than a guide that is mostly a description of powders without much guidance. I think I’d like to try the textured and candy colors but I will start with some basic polyester powder and see how that goes.
Great progress. That compressor is a beaut. I like the dBs - quiet is always better.
As for choosing powder coatings, it really depends on what you plan to coat. That website provides a decent explanation of the conventional powders available. Getting started, I would stick with polyester chemistry. It's the most versatile for someone getting started. It is very important to note that polyesters in the U.S. are rather different than polyesters in the EU. It's all about the curing agent used. In the EU, TGIC is considered a genetically harmful chemical and requires special labeling that includes a skull and crossbones. In the U.S. we understand that it is an industrial chemical and handle it accordingly - N95 dust mask and good exhaust and hygiene.
I wouldn't buy powder in the States to use in Europe. Carrying it through an airport might cause an unwanted adventure. Powder coatings are very safe, but not all airport security personnel would know that. They might even think of your samples as drugs or explosives. Hence I recommend buying all your powder coatings locally.
As for type of powder, a few notes:
- Don't buy any acrylics. They are great coatings for aesthetics and durability but cause contamination of other more conventional powders (polyesters, epoxies, urethanes, etc.).
- The website doesn't mention hybrids (aka epoxy-polyester) powders. These are really good for indoor applications but will chalk and fade outdoors.
- Forget fluoropolymers. They are uber expensive but have amazing performance for architectural applications (20-30 years Florida durability). I doubt if they are even available in Europe.
- Polyesters in Europe are crosslinked with HAA instead of TGIC. HAA (aka "Primid") is a more benign chemical. Performance is similar to the TGIC powders we use in the U.S.
- As for suppliers of powders in Switzerland, I am almost certain that Tiger Drylac sells small quantities there. There may also be a lot of Italian and German powder suppliers around. I would search on the net for suppliers.
Good luck with everything and safe travels to the Pacific Northwest.