Film Formation and Surface Tension Studies of Powder Coatings
Abstract: In industrial use of paint systems a swift processing is crucial. Another very important issue is to improve the quality of the final coating. This report investigates the film formation process of powder coatings, specially the spreading of individual powder particles. The obtained results can be used to understand and control the film formation process. In this way the desired levelling can be achieved and thus the desired gloss or other surface characteristics that may be required. This means that the method could be used when evaluating different polymer and additive combinations that could be used to change film formation behaviour or curing time for powder coating systems to suit various substrates. It makes it possible to avoid and minimize different surface defects as orange peel or cratering in the powder coated film. We used a reflection optical microscope to better understand the film formation process and especially the spreading of a powder melt on surfaces with various surface energies. The obtained data were: the particle diameter, the area, area ratio and the contact angle of the powder particle as a function of time and temperature. This information can be used to derive the surface tension of any powder melt. In this report we evaluate the dependencies of temperature, heat rate and surface energy for powder coatings on different substrates. The method provides information that can be used to optimize the film formation of a specific powder coating/substrate combination. This method can be used to evaluate the powder spreading and levelling on different substrates from a surface tension point of view. We found, as expected, that the powder flows out on a hydrophilic surface and is inhibited by a hydrophobic. The increase of the area ratio on a hydrophilic surface was about five times as the initial area coverage and on a hydrophobic surface only two times the initial area coverage. The contact angle between the melted powder particle on the different surface types could be calculated. The melt surface tension could be calculated since three substrates surfaces with various surface energies were used. The melt surface tension was found to be about 18.5 mN/m.
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