WHAT IS A POWDER COATING?
Like the name suggests, powder coating is a powder that is very fine (as small as 2 microns) and is available in limitless colors of solid and metallic. Compared to standard paint, a powder coated finish is thicker, harder and more durable. For the application process, the powder is sprayed onto a surface that is electrostatically charged so it sticks on. In a heating room, the powder is melted between 80° C and 150° C and then cured at 200° C. The final surface is extremely smooth and does not require a glossy clear coat like traditional paint. Also, powder coating is much safer and less toxic because it emits far less fumes and volatile organic compounds (VOC). In the manufacturing industry, powder coating is found everywhere from appliances like washers and dryers, to furniture, automotive and marine products. Many materials can be powder coated but metal is the most common as it provides a critical barrier from oxygen, contaminants and moisture. Without that protection, aluminum, chrome, stainless steel and others will pit, corrode and rust.
The best method of cleaning is by regular washing of the coating using a solution of warm water and mild detergent. All surfaces should be cleaned using a soft cloth or sponge, using nothing harsher than natural bristle brushes. If the atmospheric pollution has resulted in heavy soiling of the coating, then nothing harsher than white spirit should be used for cleaning.
GENERAL CLEANING TIPS:
- It's better to do more frequent "gentle" cleanings with clean water and a soft cloth - once every 1 to 3 months or right after taking the boat out.
- Avoid waiting a full year to clean it - a year's worth of dirt and grime takes more pressure which can create fine scratches, swirl marks or harm the finish.
- Over-cleaning or excessive rubbing can do more harm than good
- Strong solvents or strong cleaner concentrations can cause damage to painted surfaces. Avoid abrasive cleaners. Do not use household cleaners or other products not intended for powder coated finishes.
- Don't use abrasive materials such as steal wool, abrasive brushes, etc. that can wear and harm finishes
- When using recommended solutions avoid drips and splashes. Remove run downs as quickly as possible
- Avoid temperature extremes. Heat accelerates chemical reactions and may evaporate water from solution. Extremely low temperature may give poor cleaning effects. Cleaning under adverse conditions may result in streaking or staining. Ideally, cleaning should be done in shade at moderate temperature.
- Do not substitute a heavy duty cleaner for a frequently used mild cleaner.
- Do not scour painted surfaces.
- Never use paints removers, aggressive alkaline, acid or abrasive cleaners. Do not use trisodium phosphate or highly alkaline or highly acid cleaners. Always do a test surface.
- Follow manufacturers recommendations for mixing and diluting any recommended cleaners.
- Never mix recommended cleaners.
- To prevent marring, make sure cleaning sponges, cloth, etc, are grit-free.
If unsure what cleaning product(s), pads or application medium to use, please consult a professional. It is highly recommended that you test the use of any cleaning solutions or mediums in a small inconspicuous area before treating the entire surface. Be sure you perform your cleaning out of direct sunlight and have allowed the metal surface to cool. Be sure to follow the instructions located on the back of cleaning solutions.