Powder coating is probably one of the most durable colour coatings available for a wide range of products and uses. However, to obtain the very best results in overall finish and in longevity, correct product handling and maintenance is essential.
In many cases, powder coated extrusions require the use of sealants as part of the fabrication process. Many sealant manufacturers recommend the cleaning of powder coated surfaces prior to the application of sealants. Sometimes a primer may be required. The selection of the solvent used is critical. Some can cause irreparable harm to the Powder coated surface. Advanced colour and gloss loss can appear in a short space of time if a harsh solvent is used. Suitable cleaning products include: White Spirits, Methylated Spirits, Turpentine, Ethyl Alcohol, lsopropanol. These solvents are mild and readily available.
Do not use Acetates, Dulon Thinners, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) or Petrol products. Highly acidic, alkali or alcohol based cleaners are not recommended either.
Ensure regular maintenance
As with many coated surfaces, regular maintenance will extend the life of the surface and retain its appearance. Cleaning should be conducted routinely at three monthly intervals and six months should be considered the longest interval. In industrial or marine locations particular attention should be paid to regular maintenance due to the harsher atmosphere.
Clean with a dilute solution of mild liquid detergent. Avoid excessively hot solutions.
Use a soft bristle brush. Do not use abrasive tools on the coating. After cleaning, rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Ensure that areas that are not normally exposed to rain are washed and rinsed also.
Do not use strong solvent type cleaners. Where the use of solvent is required, such as cleaning paint spills, use nothing other than Methylated Spirits. Ensure that the contact time is as short as possible, and rinse the solvent cleaner thoroughly from the surface with copious amounts of drinking quality water.
It is strongly recommended that a small test area be checked first, to ensure that no damage will occur to the whole area.
Refurbishing powdercoated products
All surfaces eventually degrade on prolonged exposure to the elements. Change of colour, loss of gloss and some chalking may eventuate after time. A number of restoration techniques are possible. These will depend on the circumstances, the life expectancy of the refurbishment and the approach may vary between domestic and commercial applications.
Polish with a high quality automotive cream polish in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. This will both clean and protect the surface. Avoid polishes which also contain cutting compounds, unless the surface is extremely weathered.
For badly scratched surfaces use a dab stick or aerosol can with colour matched paint. These are available from your local aluminium window and door fabricator.