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Old 11-19-2011, 09:06 AM
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gow589 gow589 is offline
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I will share how I did it. This is not to say it is the best way for anyone but it is working well for me.

I have been doing a lot for powdercoating in a ceramic kiln. I like kilns for several reasons. Ceramics has been dying over the last couple years because it is a labor intensive industry. The cost of labor has been tanking the industry. Second, a lot of the hobbyist or hobby businesses which are still around have upgraded to automated kilns which mean

You can pick up a nice non-automated kiln for $1-300.

Kilns also hold heat and recover nearly instantaneously form lid openings since they are a bit overkill for powder coating.

Kiln can get up to temp in short order;

Kiln you can easily do ceramic or other coatings which require higher temps. Mine is programed to go to 2100 degrees.

Hanging things then top loading is easier then trying to lay things on cookie sheets sideways.

I used a programmable circuit and an OOPIC to control mine but they are no longer around. The Arduino would work for this:

You would also need a type K thermal couple, solid state relay, Ad595 chip, small LCD. You may not be into this sort of thing but there are other types of temp controllers which you can wire a type K thermal couple directly into. I picked up a couple at a local online auction for $50. You can keep an eye out for industry auctions. So many companies going out of business right now the industrial auctions are going crazy. Except for large equipment such as injection molding machines going over seas, much is going cheap; often scrap prices.

I set up an control sequence to enter:
-fast rise/slow rise (temp climb speed)
-peak temp (for flow out)
-hold temp (for cure)
-peak time
-hold time

Hot keys to
-move to beginning of previous or next sequence (or to repeat)
-simply to start an programmed sequence to skip the individual entry which is set up for most things I powdercoat.

I spray in a 55g drum. I get some over spray and would like to cut the drum in half and make a small booth type setting with a small vac in the bottom to pull down the dust.

Sequence: When I powder coat, here is how simple it is.
-sandblast part, blow off and hang.
-Push the automated button, confirm start..kiln begins heat cycle
-spray part in drum
-when the temp reach peak it begins the hold sequence
-I drop the part in and restart the hold sequence which is set at a predetermined time.

The kiln holds for x minutes, then holds at cure temp for x minutes then it's done!

Here are some photos.

This isn't just for car parts. It is so simple, anything which needs coated is promptly blasted and coated. Right now I am rebuilding an old fork truck. It is as easy for me to just de-grease parts, blast them and coat them. I don't have to wait a day or two for paint to dry, I don't have to get the temp up in the building to work with paint, paint type over spray, etc.
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