Types of Powder Coat Materials

Although there are several different powder formulations used by the powder coating industry, three types of powder are predominantly used to coat automotive components.

Standard polyester: Standard polyester is an all-around powder for indoor and outdoor use and was one of the first formulated powders that coaters used for automotive applications – it is also the most economical powder to spray.

Enhanced polyester: This has better durability and film-appearance characteristics, applies a little smoother than standard polyester, and has a greater chemical-resistance level than standard polyester.

Super polyester: Super polyester is the cutting edge of powders available today. In automotive applications, it is very durable against impact and UV exposure and has a much higher chemical resistance (to things like paint-attacking brake fluid). Super is usually a requirement on components like wheels on production cars.

We’d suggest using enhanced or super, considering you’re coating parts on your pride and joy-and the price and prep difference is mild compared with the properties of these two powders. All three powders can be ordered as low-cure (which means they flow out at around 400 degrees F) for use on temperature-sensitive automotive parts.

As an added bonus, all powders are now ordered with an industry-standard numbering system called a “ral” number for the color. For example, ral 5008 = blue gray. This will make it much easier to shop for a powder coater, as you’ll be able to pick your color and get the ral number for it, along with the powder type (standard, enhanced, or super polyester) so you can easily compare the quality, timeliness, and price of coating among powder coaters.