Why Powder Coating Wood is Gaining Ground

Bill Esler

Powder coatings are at a tipping point that will dramatically increase their use as a supplement and a replacement for liquid coatings in manufactured wood products. In recognition of this growing trend, IWF has teamed with the Powder Coating Institute (PCI) to present Powder Coating Wood Substrates: A Proven, Sustainable Solution.

PCI promotes powder coating technology and communicates its benefits to advance the utilization of powder coating as an economical, non-polluting, high-quality finish for industrial and consumer products. The Institute encourages quality powder coating processes through the PCI Certification program. PCI Certification is an extensive audit program that evaluates an applicant’s powder coating processes and procedures, equipment, maintenance practices, and quality control capabilities to ensure they can produce a high-quality powder-coated product. 

Renowned for their toughness and durability when used over metal – notably automobile wheels – application on engineered panel and solid wood was hampered due to requirements for high heat levels in the curing ovens. Powder coating materials and curing systems manufacturers have been developing formulations and equipment to get the coating to fuse with less heat. PPG Envirocron HeatSense powder coating is a recent addition to powder coatings available. 

The session will start with an introduction to Wood-Based Substrate (WBS) powder coating processes, explaining how the process for powder coats WBS differs from liquid coats. The presenters will also demonstrate how it is different yet similar to powder coating metal.

The session will cover what is involved in choosing the correct WBS, including different types of MDF, HDF, engineered wood, and natural wood, and how this impacts preheating and curing of the wood product. The presenters will provide an overview of emerging technologies and systems for WBS, show the various powder booth designs, and explain the difference between each. Detailing the types of powder delivery and application equipment used in the process.

Topics will also include how powder coatings are manufactured and what they are produced from, including types of powder coatings, how they differ, how to calculate usage, and testing coatings.

Finally, PCI will discuss the benefits of switching from liquid to powder on WBS, detail the cost savings, and cover some customer success stories. The session will, of course, end with a question and answer period to clarify some of the finer details of the process.

The full-day symposium runs August 22, the day before the IWF show floor opening, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

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