It’s a new year, which means it’s a new season of Proto Tech Tips from Team Protocase, where we give an informative look at a particular aspect of sheet metal fabrication and CNC Machining. This week, Chris looks at powdercoat textures, and how each of the different textures we offer at Protocase have their own advantages.

Watch the full video below – or, if you’d prefer to read Chris’ Proto Tech Tip, we’ve got the full transcription below.

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Hey everybody, Chris here from Protocase with another tech tip video and today, we’re going to talk about powdercoating and the different textures that are available.

So if you didn’t already check out Cody’s tech tip video on the differences between polyester and epoxy powdercoat, I suggest you check that out.

Powdercoating is a process that we offer here at Protocase to give your parts and enclosures a durable and colored finish. We offer a variety of powdercoat finishes when it comes to
our stocked colors and they are sandtex, matte and gloss finishes. Each of these finishes can be silkscreened or digitally printed and each have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to specific applications.

So a sandtex powdercoat has a textured feel to it and that’s because of the insoluble additives that are present in the powder.

Sandtex powdercoat is a low gloss meaning there’s very little shine to it especially when compared to the other powdercoat types that we offer. Because of its gritty texture, sandtex powdercoat provides excellent slip impact and fingerprint mark resistance. If your application requires a part or enclosure to be tough and durable, we suggest a sandtex powder coat.

Plus a sandtex powdercoat tends to hide blemishes much better than any other texture. For instance if you’re using welding for your parts or enclosures, we recommend finishing it
with a sandtex powdercoat. So the opposite of a sandtex finish is a gloss finish and these coatings give much more of a brighter look as they reflect light in a mirror-like fashion we offer both high gloss and low gloss at Protocase so choose whichever one suits your application best.

While not as much of a powerhouse for durability as sandtex, gloss powder coat still has great resistance to abrasion and is great for interior conditions. Matte powdercoat scatters the light reflection which gives your powdercoated enclosure more of a flat look. Because of the durability of the powdercoat, the matte finish is still very durable and great for resistance
of impact and abrasion.

When it comes to applying graphics to your powdercoated enclosure, we offer two different processes and that’s silk-screening and digital printing. Janelle from our engineering and design services team did a great proto tech tip in season 1 explaining the differences between each process and when you should use each one depending on your application.

So for graphics, the powdercoat texture that you choose will influence which process you should go with silk screening or digital. If you are using a sandtex powdercoat we highly suggest using our digital printing process to apply the graphics.

This printing process is superior for laying ink and producing images on textured surfaces and this is because the ink jets are pointing downwards effectively filling in the low-end spots
of the texture. If you’re using a matte or gloss powdercoat, we suggest opting for silk-screening instead. Silkscreen is ideal for smoother finishes especially if you have smaller features such as thin lines or fine print. The self levelling nature of the silkscreen ink produces a smooth finish that is virtually indistinguishable by touch.

So there you have it there’s just some information on each powdercoat texture that we offer which should help your decision going forward on your next project. Be sure to check out our
powdercoat page on our website for more information on powdercoat types, textures and our stocked colors. So thanks for watching this week’s video and be sure to tune in next week for another Proto Tech Tip.

About The Author

Christa Carey

Christa Carey has been with Protocase since the very beginning. In fact, she was the first employee the company hired back in 2002, after working for the Protocase co-founders in a previous job. She graduated in 2000 from Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia, Canada. As the CNC Engineering and Design Services Technical Services Manager, Christa manages a team of engineers and technologists in the CNC Machining Division.

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