Powder coating cure performance

In any industrial paint or powder coating operation, getting the paint cure correct is critical to both the physical and cosmetic performance of the product. To get the best out of the coating, it is essential that the cure schedule achieved in the oven matches that recommended by the coating supplier. Getting the bake wrong can be catastrophic, leading to the risk of rejects or costly rework. Not getting the cure schedule correct can increase costs significantly, affecting the entire operation including labour, energy consumption and the risk of lost business.

It is quite common for companies to over cure their products to avoid premature coating failure. However, this may create discolouration, adhesion and chip resistance problems. Another issue that is often overlooked is that the oven is adding to operating costs. In the worst case, many coaters still have no means of accurately determining what their product temperature is in-process, relying on oven set-point monitoring using the ovens thermocouples for process control. As many have learnt to their cost, one oven program (bake time and temperature) does not satisfy all. To be able to control the oven, an oven profiling system is essential for maximising process efficiency and getting the most out of the cure oven.

The DataPaq EasyTrack3 is an excellent example of one of the many DataPaq oven temperature profiling systems that can be used for such purposes. Designed for ease of use, rugged, reliable and affordable the system is ideal for even the smallest of coating operations.

The DataPaq EasyTrack3 system is the third generation of the EasyTrack brand, first introduced in 2000. The system provides the coater with more choice and improved operating capability. A variety of systems have been developed around the new core ET3 logger, working with EasyTrack software to match the exact operational needs of the user.

The system is offered with a range of thermal barriers designed to match different application coating requirements. Proven to keep the logger safe through the process and maintain temperatures at guaranteed accuracy levels, a low height barrier is available designed to allow profiling of typical mesh belt cure lines where oven clearance is significantly restricted.

Collecting temperature profile data is one thing, using it to make intelligent process decisions is quite another. For this reason, the EasyTrack software allows users to make informed decisions to either validate the performance and product quality or show what actions are required to rectify problems.

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