Choosing the right coating for commercial vehicles is always a careful decision process. Between painting, powder coating, and vinyl wraps, there are pros and cons to each option.
While we are all aware of the basic requirements of painting and repainting a vehicle, the option of powder coating is highly intriguing for business vehicle owners and fleet managers.
This choice is especially important for mobile business and semi-truck owners whose vehicles are out there rolling the roads every day, both spreading your brand with the vehicle itself and facing the wear-and-tear of the road.
If you're weighing your options and considering powder coating for refinishing your professional vehicles, we're here to help today with a thorough and fair comparison of pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Vehicle Powder Coating
Powder coating is the electrostatic application of pigment powder to a vehicle which is then cured with high heat causing the pigment to melt together into a smooth and nearly indestructible coating.
Powder coating is applied in layers to achieve patterns and logos with a very wide variety of pigments and finishes.
Pros of Powder Coating
- Incredibly Sturdy and Hard to Damage
If we had to pick one thing that truly stands with powder coating versus all other vehicle finish options is that it is nearly indestructible. When powder coating cures, it bonds to the metal and forms an armor-like coating unlike any other type of finish. It does not chip or flake like paint.
It even flexes in the event of dents. Powder coating is an excellent choice as a base-coat even if you were to add other finishes on top of it because it will protect your vehicle as well as offering a vivid finish.
- Long-Lasting Perfect Finish
For this reason, powder coating is considered the longest lasting finish in the industry. Even factory paint will eventually need touch-ups from scrapes and scratches, but not powder coating.
Powder coating will usually last as long as the vehicle itself, preventing rust and other damage while it maintains a great finish.
- Wide Variety of Colors and Finishes
Powder coating also provides an excellent selection of colors and finish textures and shines based on the needs of the user. Because it is made of pigment powder, even if your powder coating service doesn't have a color or finish that you want, a new hue can be mixed.
Just be sure to test-cure a piece of scrap metal to be sure you will be satisfied with the final color when the new mix sets.
- High Detail Design
Powder coating has been used on items as small as wrenches and shot-glasses as well as vehicle parts and full-sized truck bodies. Experts in application and curing can apply designs with a high degree of detail as long as the customer knows what they want.
- Fast Layered Application
To apply that detail, powder coating is applied in layers. The base color goes on first, then select layers in careful application until the design is complete.
Experts can apply and cure in quick cycles, often beating the time it takes to apply the same designs in paint which has a necessary drying time.
- Restores Previous Damage to Like-New Condition
Another unique quality of powder coating is that it works excellently for vehicles that have already seen a few scrapes. In fact, it restores damage to a like-new condition due to the process that is already necessary to powder-coat.
For a perfect finish, powder coating starts by sandblasting away previous paint and any current imperfections. In that time, your powder coating service can also smooth out any previous dents and any burrs from previous scrapes will be smoothed away as well before a pristine finish of powder coating is applied.
- Environmentally Friendly
Finally, powder coating is eco-friendly. Not only does it avoid the use of toxic solvents like paint uses, but the powder that falls during the coating process can also be recollected and used in a future project so very little waste occurs with each application.
Cons of Powder Coating
- Involved Application and Curing Process
Applying powder coating is, admittedly, an involved process. It starts with sandblasting, then each color involved in the vehicle design is applied in a layer with curing in between.
- Greater Investment to Change Colors
Of the three options for refinishing your vehicles and changing the base color, powder coating does take the longest to restart the process. To completely recolor your vehicle. This is because powder coating is best done after sandblasting, while many people will paint over old paint.
- High Skill Required for Even Application and Proper Curing
Lastly, if powder coating isn't applied by experienced experts, it can produce some irregular results like an uneven coat or final colors that are slightly over-cured and not completely matched to expectations. However, professionals who know how to coat evenly and set the curing oven never have these concerns.
Powder coating is the single most durable way to paint your fleet vehicles because it isn't paint. Powder coating binds to the metal body of a car so that it never flakes off, scrapes, or degrades. Compared to painting, vinyl wraps, and other fleet branding options, starting with custom powder coating is a great way to customize for the extreme long-term.
Here at Wilmar, we're dedicated to helping fleet managers make the best choice for vehicles in every possible kind of fleet. Contact us for more fleet management, branding, and customization insights and personalized fleet services.