Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

November, 2003

Powder Coating vs. Baked Coating

Q. I am researching grocery store gondola shelving, the shelves with the can of beans on them in any grocery store. In this high use environment with product continuously being placed/removed from the shelves, over the 7 - 10 year lifecycle, would a baked enamel finish provide greater durability than a powder coated finish? In my experience powder coated is a thinner finish more susceptible to flaking, peeling, chipping, and a poorer appearance over time under heavy use, but I have no "technical data" to back this up.

A. In general both types of coatings should give comparable results, and both have been used for your type of application. To the best of my knowledge, powder coatings are now the more popular for your end use. If you have experienced flaking, peeling, chipping, etc., it has been due to the method of application rather than to the powder coating. If surface preparation is properly performed and if the correct resin system is selected for the powder, then you should not experience these failures. If you are a purchasing agent for shelving then perhaps you need to tighten up your bid specification to insure that the product you receive can withstand the environment.

If you need help in doing this please get back to me.

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