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Aircraft Parts Powder Coating Offered by Matlab, Inc. in Greensboro, NC

A wide range of items can be powder coated, including anything with a metallic or aluminum surface. Since powder coating enhances the durability and longevity of items, it has become the go-to option for investors with valuable classic automobiles, agricultural equipment, heavy-duty manufacturing machinery or appliances, and airplanes. 

Our Matlab, Inc. state-of-the-art coating facility in Greensboro regularly takes on aircraft parts powder coating projects. Below, we'll share more about the powder coating process, plane parts ideal to be powder coated, and why our North Carolina company is the ideal partner to do what's needed to protect your valuable asset.

What Types of Materials Are Ideal To Be Powder Coated?

When it comes to aircraft parts, any metal alloy ones, including the following, are generally appropriate for powder coating:

  • Steel, including electroplated steel, mild steel, stainless steel, and galvanized steel
  • Aluminum

What Types of Aircraft Parts Are Ideal for Powder Coating?

Research conducted by members of the Experiential Aircraft Association (EAA) has chronicled how the use of aircraft parts powder coating varies depending on the type of metal involved and its ability to withstand the heat required for curing without risking a metallurgic reaction, such as cracking. 

Some aviation parts that are typically ideal for powder coating include

Steel Aircraft Parts

Many aviators, for example, report that powder coating has been an ideal option for steel parts of their airplane, like engine mounts, tube airframes, or certain portions of the landing gear. 

The reason why it's ideal to powder coat steel aircraft parts is that, even though these items are often subjected to 1,000-degree temperatures during the curing process, this is far less than the overall temp steel can withstand. Thus, there's no risk that the powder coating will melt the aircraft part.

Aluminum Aircraft Parts

While many plane owners opt for spray painting their aircraft's aluminum parts, powder coating them can be a viable option as the curing process only approximates 700 degrees. 

The biggest concern with powder-coating aluminum is that aircraft components made from this metal tend to use small hardware to affix them in place. It may require extra effort to achieve optimal tightness once an aluminum part has been powder coated, as it will be particularly thicker than a standard painted piece.

Benefits Associated With Powdercoating Aircraft Parts

Durability and, thus, longevity are two of the reasons why aircraft owners powder coat their planes. But why does this matter? That's because powder coating can:

  • More effectively resist erosion than spray or liquid paint 
  • Improve an aircraft part's ability to withstand extreme temperatures, such as an engine mount is often subjected to
  • Has corrosion-resistant properties, which is particularly important since airplanes often operate in inclement weather and different environments
  • Reduce coating paint waste due to overspray

Painted aircraft parts tend to chip or peel quickly. You don't have to worry about that when you have a professional powder coater like ours at Matlab, Inc. handling your project. Our powder coating isn't likely to break down with wear and tear like this.

What Are the Steps in the Aircraft Parts Powder Coating Process?

Now that we've explained the value of powder coating, we feel it is important to go over the multiple steps involved, from the pre-treatment of airplane parts to the finishing process. The powder coating process entails:

Preparing Aircraft Part Surfaces for Powder Coating

To prepare an aircraft part for powder coating, the technician must use cleaners that can aid with the thorough degreasing of any oils and solvents that effectively remove accumulated debris, including soil and paint residue. 

During the pretreatment process, it's also often necessary to use grit sandpaper and perform sandblasting, commonly referred to in our industry as abrasive blasting or media blasting, to adequately prepare metal for the adhesion of electrostatic powder coat paint.

Applying a Primer To Aircraft Parts That Will Be Powder Coated

Applying a zinc or epoxy coating on any aerospace parts is often necessary before using a spray gun to powder coat them. These primers serve as a sealant or protective layer that improves the chances that the substrates, or metal parts, will be able to ward off corrosion. Rust can become an issue with powder-coated aircraft parts that aren't properly primed first. 

Powder Coat Paint Is Sprayed on Desired Aircraft Parts

Our Matlab, Inc. technicians use compressed-air spray guns, known as cornea guns, to apply the coating powder paint that electrostatically affixes to a metal object (the substrate). The electrical charge of the powder coating gun becomes attracted to the metal's grounded surface during the spraying process. 

The Aircraft Parts Powder Coating Curing Process

The final stage of the powder coating process involves placing the aircraft parts in the curing oven. The powder coating oven and its high heat ensure that the powders are cured, or adequately adhered, to and protect the parts long-term. Through this curing process, the powder-coated paint shifts in appearance to a more painted-on aesthetic.

Why Our Many Years of Aircraft Parts Powder Coating Matters

Experience is valuable anytime someone sets out to do something. That expertise determines the end product or outcome. Our Matlab, Inc. team comprises experienced powder coaters who thoroughly understand the ins and outs of powder coating airplane parts. This insight is critical in ensuring the powder particles properly adhere to metal surfaces and can ward off potential damage. Aviation parts with improperly applied powder coatings are liable to sustain undetected corrosion and other issues, leading to what EAA members discussed in the above report as concerns that can jeopardize pilots' safety. 

You can rest assured that here at Matlab, Inc., we only offer the aircraft part powder coating service to the public because we're confident in our ability to handle it correctly, including being mindful of how it looks and of safety implications. We have many years of successful aircraft parts powder coating experience, so this should make you feel comfortable entrusting your airplane's care to us. Reach out to us by phone or email to discuss your needs, so we can share how we can best meet them.

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