Going Green with Powder Coatings

By 2024, the global powder coatings market is expected to reach USD 16.55 billion, according to a report by Grand View Research Inc. Propelling the demand for powder coatings is the increasing awareness and concern over VOC emissions from solvent-borne coatings.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile Organic Compounds, called VOCs for short, are chemical contaminants that can damage air quality, human health, productivity, and the environment. VOCs are a known precursor to smog. A major source of harmful man-made VOCs are paints and protective coatings. The EPA reports that approximately 40-65% of a traditional liquid paint or coating is VOC.

VOCs have concentration levels highest indoors. Prior to occupancy, new construction is increasingly being tested to verify that materials used for construction are “low-emitting”. Various organizations have established guidelines or recommendations in new building construction to reduce VOC levels.

Studies have shown measurable increases in work performance within buildings with low sources of VOC. One recent laboratory study reported an average 60% increase in scores in decision making performance when VOC sources were reduced to simulate a green office buildings relative to sources of VOCs typical of conventional office buildings. Another study conducted by Harvard University showed similar results in green building conditions, with cognitive function scores 101 percent higher in enhanced green building conditions.


Powder Coating - A “GREEN” Technology

Powder coating is considered a “green” technology because it doesn’t generate harmful solvents or airborne pollutants. Unlike traditional liquid paint, the powder coating process does not require a liquid solvent. Dry paint powder particles are electrostatically charged during application and heat cured to form a hard finish. Because powder coating relies on the electrostatic charge to hold the paint particles to the work piece, no solvents are needed - eliminating harmful VOC emission effects.

In addition to having no risk of hazardous VOCs, powder coating has many additional benefits compared to other liquid paints, including:

Durability: Highly resistant to fading, chipping and scratching. Thicker than conventional liquid coatings.

Vast array of finishing colors & textures: Glossy, matte, metallic, glitter…power coating finishes provide a wide range of effects that are not easily replicated with other coating processes.    

Quick Curing Time: Cured within 30 minutes - paint can take days to dry.

Recyclability: The overspray during the powder coating process can be retrieved and the excess powder can be reused.

Easy Disposal: Does not result in dangerous waste or costly disposal methods.

LEED credits: Usage of powder coating can be applied towards earning LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits from the United States Green Building Council.

Profoundly Artistic

Since powder coating first entered the US market over 60 years ago, advancements in powder coatings have come a long way. Powder coatings today offer a myriad of colors, textures, and gloss levels. Parasoleil, a manufacturer of beautiful laser-cut perforated architectural metal panels for both interior and exterior use, has developed unique powder coating finishes that mimic the look of worn metals.

Parasoleil’s “Liberty Verdigris” looks like a natural, green patina on copper seen all over the East coast, including the statue of liberty.

Replicating the look of Corten steel, Parasoleil’s “COR-11” finish on aluminum is less than half the weight of steel and never stains or rusts.

Parasoleil’s “Moneypenny” looks just like a slightly worn sheet of new, industrial copper, complete with beautiful mill-finish imperfections; the same slight variations are found in their “Deep Bronze” finish.

As world-wide demand for eco-friendly solutions grows, the powder coating market will continue to excel. And with great reason - reducing VOCs in our environment is important to our health, as well as the health of our planet.