Powder Technology, as part of a program to provide better service to our customers, uses a battery of tests to measure product capabilities, lifespan, and product failure. We strive for excellence in quality assurance, and whenever new testing methods become available, PTI will invest in them. And when we invest in quality, we invest in you, our customers.
South Florida Exposure
Natural exposure testing is an essential part of any well-rounded weathering or light stability test program. Powder Technology uses the Q-lab outdoor exposure site at an internationally recognized benchmark location in Florida, in the only true subtropical region in the continental United States.
This site has high-intensity sunlight, high annual UV, high year-round temperatures, abundant rainfall and very high humidity. When combined, these factors create the harsh climate that makes Miami the ideal location for testing exterior durability. Powder Technology has been using this service for over ten years.
Powder Technology performs weathering resistance testing using QUV/Basic Test Chambers using UVA-340 light bulbs. UVB-313 bulbs are also available for specialized testing if required. Ultraviolet light causes almost all the photo-degradation to materials exposed outdoors. The UVA-340 lamp is widely recognized as the best available simulation of this short-wave sunlight. It is especially useful for comparing the performance of different types of polymers and stabilizers. Test panels are exposed in accordance with ASTM G53, Standard Practice for Operating Light and Water Exposure Apparatus.
Xenon Arc Exposure
Weather testing is also simulated using Q-Sun Xe-3 Xenon Test Chambers. The Q-Sun tests materials for photo-stability by exposing them to ultraviolet, visible and infrared light. It uses filtered xenon arc light for the ultimate correlation to the full spectrum of sunlight. Test panels are exposed in accordance with ASTM G155 Xenon Arc Test Apparatus for Exposure of Non-Metallic Materials.
Salt Fog Exposure
Corrosion testing is done using Salt Fog Chambers. Continuous exposure to salt spray has been widely accepted as a standard method to simulate corrosion in a laboratory. Test panels are exposed in accordance with ASTM B117, Standard Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus.
Cyclical Corrosion Exposure
Additional corrosion testing is done using Q-Fog CCT 1100 Cyclic Corrosion Testers. Cyclic corrosion testing allows specimens to be exposed to a series of different environments in a repetitive cycle that reproduces outdoor cyclic conditions. The Q-Fog can cycle through three functions: Fog, Dry-Off, and Humidity. Simple tests may consist of cycling between two conditions: Fog and Dry. However, more sophisticated procedures call for multi-step cycles incorporating humidity or condensation, along with salt fog and dry-off. Test panels will be exposed in accordance with ASTM G85 Standard Practice for Modified Salt Spray (Fog) Testing.
Powder Technology measures color with state of the art desktop and handheld color spectrophotometers. A handheld is useful for checking color on site on customer parts.
Powder Technology performs adhesion testing using Defelsko PosiTest Adhesion Testers. This is a hydraulic pull off adhesion tester that utilizes an aluminum plug glued to a coated surface with two-part epoxy. After the glue cures, the force required to pull the plug off of the test surface is measured. This test is especially useful with multi-coated substrate where it is easy to identify the point of failure: top coat to primer, or primer to substrate. Test panels are processed in accordance with ASTM D4541 Standard Test Method for Pull-Off Strength of Coatings Using Portable Adhesion Testers.
Chip resistance testing is measured through using Multi-Test Gravelometer Chip Impact Testers. The Gravelometer was designed by an SAE committee comprised of major automotive manufacturers and suppliers. For more than 30 years, it has been used to accurately reproduce the damage caused by flying gravel. Test panels are processed in accordance with ASTM D3170 Standard Test Method for Chipping Resistance of Coatings.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry is a new, state of the art testing method that analyzes how a material’s heat capacity has changed by temperature. Paint samples are heated or cooled, and the changes in heat capacity are measured as changes in heat flow. This process gives PTI the capability to analyze material transitions such as melting, phase changes, and curing. This allows us to measure the purity of ingredients, product efficiency, and the bonding ability of the paint. Finally, DSC can often be used to forensically determine the cause of the product failure in the field.
Using the same type of machines that NASA utilizes, PTI can measure the exact volume and density of all powder paint. This process employs the principles of fluid (gas) displacement and gas expansion. Gas, specifically helium, can penetrate even the smallest of pores, guaranteeing maximum accuracy of testing. If any deviation of volume or density occurs outside of the product’s regulated level, PTI will review the product until the cause of deviation is found and eliminated.
EDX and SEM Analysis
Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis is a technique used for identifying the elemental composition of a sample. EDX works in conjunction with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). SEM’s are extremely powerful microscopes that can magnify up to 300,000X. They are used to inspect topographies of samples for any defects or anomaly.
When used together, the SEM bombards a sample with electrons, and when the sample’s electrons yield to the SEM’s electrons, they give off x-rays, which can then be analyzed to determine exactly what elemental composition, either ingredient or contaminant, was present on the sample.
EDX and SEM is yet another way that PTI maintains product integrity.
A stereo-microscope can magnify an image from 50X to 1000X, and is used to visually inspect a sample for defects (orange peel, dust, solvent popping, cratering, etc.). This microscope is also often used to measure the dry film thickness of paints on a variety of substrates and surfaces. Also, cross-sectional cuts are made on sample parts so that the product can be examined sideways, which allows for a much more thorough look at the product's performance on the part.
Though this method is not as complex as others, it does allow PTI to once again strive towards absolute product quality.
Impact Test per ASTM D2794 (2010) - Standard test method for resistance of organic coatings to the effects of rapid deformation (impact); PTI can test direct and reverse impact up to 400/inch pounds.
Taber Abrasion per ASTM D3451 - Standard practices for testing powder coatings with Taber Abrasion resistance.
Gloss Test per ASTM D523 - Standard test method for Specular Gloss measurement at geometries of 60, 20, and 85 degrees.
Cross Hatch Adhesion per ASTM D3359 - Standard test method for measuring cross hatch adhesion by tape test, method B.
Halogen Moisture Analyzer to test exact moisture levels in powder paint.
Laser Particle Size Analyzer which is fully compliant with ISO standard particle sizing.
Digital Utility Bath measures the storage stability of powder coating.
Ultra Sonic Bath testing
Freeze thaw testing – Freezer capable of reaching -80° F
A Note on Quality
Powder Technology prides itself on our ability to deliver highly tested powder paints that are of the utmost quality to better protect and enhance your products. However, PTI does not just make powder coatings - we make powder that saves you money in the long run. Do your current suppliers share this view on quality?