Powder coated aluminium built up lettering.

Information you need to know.

Powder coated aluminium lettering is not a good idea. If you have been thinking along the lines of using built up aluminium lettering with a powder coated paint finish then we need to explain why this isn't a good idea.

powder coated aluminium built up letters

These letters are a typical application for powder coated aluminium built up lettering. These are in fact stainless steel face illuminated letters powder coated Gold.

Why aluminium built up lettering and powder coating do not mix.

If you have read the aluminium built up lettering page you will know that the only way of joining aluminium built up lettering is by the use of a structural adhesive.

This adhesive, in our opinion and experience, means that powder coated aluminium built up lettering is not a practical option.

How powder coating works;

A metal part, in this case an aluminium built up letter, has an earth clamp connected to it and then runs through a coating booth. An electrical charge attracts powdered paint onto the metal part. Once covered in powder the metal part then passes through an oven where it is baked. During the baking process the powdered paint fuses to the metal. That's a rough guide to how powder coating works.

The temperature range of structural adhesive.

Structural adhesives used to bond aluminium built up lettering together have a theoretical maximum operating temperature of around 120 degrees C. Some manufacturers will sell you an HT (high temperature) version which has a maximum range of  around 180 degrees C. This, they claim means that structural adhesives are fine for powder coated aluminium built up lettering. It is our experience that this is not the case.

The operating temperature of powder coating ovens.

From our research talking to a number of powder coating companies we have discovered that the average oven temperatures used in powder coating processes are around 200 degrees C. As you might have already guessed herein lies the problem with powder coated aluminium built up lettering; the oven temperature exceeds the adhesive temperature.

Some powder coating companies could get close to the 180 degree maximum of structural adhesives but even then they could not rule out temperature changes within the oven. Low temperature powders were suggested as a solution; these fuse at around 140 degrees C. The problem with low temp powders is cost and availability; powder coat is sold in a minimum of one 25kg box. Even if you don't need 25kgs of powder you end up paying for it.

You can't have powder coated built up lettering then?

Yes you can. All we need to do is switch from powder coated aluminium built up lettering to stainless steel built up lettering. Our joining techniques for stainless steel do not involve any structural adhesives.

For powder coated built up lettering we switch to a high temperature welding system which delivers joints capable of withstanding almost 300 degrees C- far in excess of powder coating oven temperatures.

Why we recommend stainless steel instead of aluminium powder coated built up lettering?

We recommend you use stainless steel instead of aluminium for the simple reason we know stainless steel works. We've researched powder coating and structural adhesives and we know for a fact that the two are not good bedfellows.

Take advantage of our experience and chose a proven alternative- once painted there is no discernable difference between built up letters built from aluminium or stainless steel.

Wet spray painted built up lettering.

If you want powder coated built up lettering we have a proven solution in place. If you need a special paint finish that powder coating cannot deliver we also offer a full paint shop service via our approved sub contractors. Whatever paint finish you need we have you covered.

Powder coated aluminium built up lettering- switch to stainless for a better, more reliable result.

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