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Old 05-31-2011, 12:24 PM
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Curing Lamps for Powder Coating Applications

Hi All,


I am shopping around for a good curing lamp at an affordable price. I see the prices range from $150 (eBay) to $1000+ (Eastwood). I am powder coating engine parts and wheels. I'll be doing this no more than once a week. I've got the 110 volt set up in my garage.


I am not necessarily looking to go the cheapo route but don't want to overkill either. Would the lower priced-stuff be okay (sub $250) or are there quality/reliability issues I should be concerned about? Any particular brands that you recommend or warn against? Any other advice is also welcome and greatly appreciated.


Thanks in advance,
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:29 PM
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Powder coating heat lamps

Sounds like you are planning on doing heavy parts - wheels and such. Durable powder coatings need at least 350 degrees f metal temp for at least 20 minutes. Infra red heat lamps cure from the outside in and will require less time and does not have to heat up the metal to cure the powder. Main issue is if it is under cured, it will be very brittle and chip very easily.
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:49 PM
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The wattage required is going to affect the price as well..too small a lamp will take too long and may result in an uneven cure.

Sam

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Old 05-31-2011, 02:58 PM
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Hey 31Vicky,
Quote:
Originally Posted by 31Vicky
Sounds like you are planning on doing heavy parts - wheels and such. Durable powder coatings need at least 350 degrees f metal temp for at least 20 minutes. Infra red heat lamps cure from the outside in and will require less time and does not have to heat up the metal to cure the powder. Main issue is if it is under cured, it will be very brittle and chip very easily.
I'm looking at powder coating things like wheels, intake manifolds, alternator housings, etc. I can't see myself powder coating anything bigger than a transmission or a rear end housing.

I have been using a dedicated electric oven from Harbor Freight but hit my limitation recently when I couldn't fit an intake manifold in there. So I figure its time to invest a curing lamp. Going by what you say, the infra red type is the way to go, and they seem average around $300.




Hey Sam,
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime
The wattage required is going to affect the price as well..too small a lamp will take too long and may result in an uneven cure.

Sam

moving to garage tools
Thanks for moving it. I couldn't figure out what the right place would be for this.

Would you be able to give me an idea of what kind of wattage I should be looking at? I have seen quite a few of them in the 1500-1650 watt range. Here is one that I found: Infratech. Its listed as the number one selling portable lamp and $173.99 + free shipping = attractive price.




Got some more questions: What is the difference between short wave and medium wave? Is the thickness of the metal an issue as well?




Thanks for the helpful tips guys!

Last edited by lt1silverhawk; 05-31-2011 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:17 PM
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i used an old 30'' oven for powder coating my 15x8 wheels
anything that will fit in there can get powder coated

i got it free, stripped out the range burners and run it on a 20 amp 220 circuit.
i have a infrared thermostat that i used for checking temps,
but now just set the oven thermostat @ 450f, when the thermostat kicks out
i look for flow out and then turn the thermostat down to 400 for baking.

i made a wheel fixture for powder coating them, basically a hub and bearing on a flat plate.
i put the wheel on the fixture with the rack pulled out,
line the door with cardboard and powder coat the wheel,
spinning it on the fixture, gently slide the wheel and rack in and bake it.
open door, cool, flip wheel and repeat.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:09 PM
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Hey ogre,
Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre
i used an old 30'' oven for powder coating my 15x8 wheels
anything that will fit in there can get powder coated

i got it free, stripped out the range burners and run it on a 20 amp 220 circuit.
i have a infrared thermostat that i used for checking temps,
but now just set the oven thermostat @ 450f, when the thermostat kicks out
i look for flow out and then turn the thermostat down to 400 for baking.

i made a wheel fixture for powder coating them, basically a hub and bearing on a flat plate.
i put the wheel on the fixture with the rack pulled out,
line the door with cardboard and powder coat the wheel,
spinning it on the fixture, gently slide the wheel and rack in and bake it.
open door, cool, flip wheel and repeat.
The oven idea sounds great, actually. Used ones are going on Craigslist for the local area for about $100. It'll keep the dust out. And the setup you described for the wheels is very useful. My issue is the space needed. I guess if I ditched my current oven, I can make it work. The other thing I'm thinking about is that if I ever had to powder coat something that is unusual in length or size, the lamp would have me covered.

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:05 AM
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I did the exact same thing.. Free oven. Stripped the burners out.. 20amp 240 circuit.

A light would be beneficial for giant parts though.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:30 PM
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powder coating oven

IR overs come in short and medium wave, the short wave cure the fastest but are very sensative to distance from the object. A deep dish wheel would be a problem - over cure (loss of gloss and yellowing) on the rim and undercure (chipping problems) on the inside. The medium wave is better but is more like a regualr oven, needs more time and heats the metal to cure. Still a little bit of problems with line of sight curing like short wave. If light can not see it, no cure takes place.

The old oven from Craig's list is a great idea if you can get your parts in it. They will work very well. Most urethane powders bake at 350 for 20 minutes, wheels and heavy metal may take 30 to 45.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 31Vicky
IR overs come in short and medium wave, the short wave cure the fastest but are very sensative to distance from the object. A deep dish wheel would be a problem - over cure (loss of gloss and yellowing) on the rim and undercure (chipping problems) on the inside. The medium wave is better but is more like a regualr oven, needs more time and heats the metal to cure. Still a little bit of problems with line of sight curing like short wave. If light can not see it, no cure takes place.
That' s a very helpful breakdown.Thanks! So, long wave is the way to go. Out of curiosity, for proper curing, two lamps set at opposites may provide the best results?




Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyK81
I did the exact same thing.. Free oven. Stripped the burners out.. 20amp 240 circuit.

A light would be beneficial for giant parts though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 31Vicky
The old oven from Craig's list is a great idea if you can get your parts in it. They will work very well. Most urethane powders bake at 350 for 20 minutes, wheels and heavy metal may take 30 to 45.
Im thinking of buying an oven off Craigslist, as well as the Infratech lamp in case I need to powder coat some odd-sized item. The portability would be nice too. This setup should have me covered for pretty much everything.




Thanks guys for all the help!
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:57 PM
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Powder infrared ovens

One on each side for sure. Remember distance from part needs to be uniform for proper cure. Not as critical with long wave.
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:13 PM
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I'm in agreement with the previous posts that suggested that convection ovens are preferrable to IR for curing powder coatings. I vastly prefer convection cure for quality purposes, especially for one-off parts and complex mixes of shapes and sizes. I'd also suggest investing in either an infrared pyrometer, or a thermocouple, or some temperature indicating crayons in order to be able to monitor substarate temperature.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:27 PM
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Hey powderbill,
Quote:
Originally Posted by powderbill
I'm in agreement with the previous posts that suggested that convection ovens are preferrable to IR for curing powder coatings. I vastly prefer convection cure for quality purposes, especially for one-off parts and complex mixes of shapes and sizes. I'd also suggest investing in either an infrared pyrometer, or a thermocouple, or some temperature indicating crayons in order to be able to monitor substarate temperature.
Well, then I've got some further researching to do.

I am not familiar with convection ovens and substarate temperature. Im going to google these terms right now. But if you or anyone else can explain these in laymen terms, I and future readers who stumble on this thread would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for the continued help!
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:36 AM
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IR Ovens for Powder coating

Ok, will give it a shot. Convection ovens are like your wife's oven in the kitchen. It heats the air and the air heats the parts. With powder coating, depending on the type, you need heat to cure. Epoxy cures at room temp, but at a snail's pace so heating it to 250 degrees f is the normal cure temps. Urethane's need about 350 to 400 to cure. When I say 250, 350 or 400, what I mean is metal temp needs to be at that point, not the air around it. So when you are heating a big heavy part, it takes a long time for it to come up to a temp that it will cure at. Urethane technology has to get above 330 before it can do anything. Metal has to stay at that temp for at least 10 minutes at the higher temp and up to 30 minutes or longer at the lower.

Convection ovens cure from the inside out (metal side to air side). IR is a different animal. 3 types short, medium and long wave. Long wave heats metal just like convection, medium is a combination version of short and long wave. Short wave cures from the outside in, so it just heats the coating, not the metal. This shortens cure time. Can do coatings in 5 to 7 minutes or even less ( I have had some that cured in 6 seconds). Problem is that it is a light. Light is line of sight. If you can not see it you can not cure it. It also is dependent on distance. An object 1 foot away will cure faster than one at 18 inches. So if you have a complex part, it could cure in some places and not others.

Having said this, there a combination ovens that use both IR and convection - IR to get it started and convection to finish it. Also there are high air flow convection ovens that "scrub" the part with very hot air to shorten cure time.

Hope this helps you understand the process. I come from almost 40 years of coatings experience working with all kinds of technologies on production lines as well as formulations.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:00 AM
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31Vicky's comments are right on track, and I think he's already explained it well. But if lt1 or others have further questions on the topic, just ask and I'll try to explain further.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:06 AM
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i have heard of guys building a metal 4 sided box (top and 3 sides) that fits onto the front of the oven so they can use it with the door open for bigger parts


what powder coating system are you using and how well do you feel it works?

this is something i have wanted to start doing for a long time

i had a guy, but he sold his business, and the new owner, after some very bad experiences (long story) could'nt pay me to coat my stuff

Last edited by matts37chev; 06-05-2011 at 08:13 AM.
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