Today we want to take you through one of the quality checks we do here on every job we process. We do this to maintain an extremely high industry leading quality standard so that we have confidence that the job we are doing for you will perform outstandingly well in its service life.
The most common cause of poor performance of powder coating is an under cured powder film. Powder coat resistance to chipping, flaking and ultimately its ability to protect your component from rusting is heavily reliant on a properly cured powder coat film.
The most important test for a quality powder coat job is what’s known as a cure test: the common cure test is the solvent rub test. Acetone and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) are the two solvents most commonly used, with the MEK test being the ASTM standard. A q-tip or cotton swab is doused in solvent being being rubbed firmly on the coating surface. In general, 25 double rubs are performed. If the coating is coming off onto the cotton, that is a fail.
For powder coating to perform well and be resistant to chalking, discoloring, delaminating and flaking, the coating must be completely cured, which will ensure both its film integrity and also its adhesion to the surface of the item that is coated. For powder coat to fully cure, it must reach its critical temperature for the critical time span and therefore complete the full cure cycle in the oven.
To help you solve your powder coat issues, if you aren’t using Arkote for your powder coating, we are providing a simple example of a cure test procedure. Check out this short video that covers how to check your powder coated film is cured by performing a solvent rub test.