Powder coating

alwin

New Member
Hi all,

I wanted to know about the different powder coating solutions. I am planning to customize my bike, and for that, I am planning to use powder coating instead of the usual spray painting. Since I am not very well versed with all this I wanted to know from all of you about the pros and cons of this. Will it be more durable, please help me here.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Powdercoating is going to be more durable, but it's a more elaborate process to apply. I would recommend using a professional to powdercoat especially considering you need to bake it in and most bike frames won't fit in the standard kitchen oven; not to mention that it might impact the taste of your baking in the future.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
DIY powder coating aluminum can be problematic, as you'll approach annealing temperatures which can dramatically change the strength of a bike frame.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
DIY powder coating aluminum can be problematic, as you'll approach annealing temperatures which can dramatically change the strength of a bike frame.
I went through this on Modernvespa and I never found definitive answers, if you have, would you mind sharing? I've read quite a few DIY threads wher it has been done. Does it reach anealing temperatures?

Thanks,

TD
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I went through this on Modernvespa and I never found definitive answers, if you have, would you mind sharing? I've read quite a few DIY threads wher it has been done. Does it reach anealing temperatures?

Thanks,

TD
There are a lot of studies done on the subject of powder coating hardened aluminum, and altering the hardness of such. Even in commercial or industrial operations, the loss can be as much as 5-10%. Often tests are done only on single gauge aluminum and don't include welds or hydroforming. Annealing aluminum takes place between 300-410°C (depending on alloy), and cooled at a controlled 20°C per hour to 290°C. Powder coating requires temperatures in excess of 200°C.

I used the phrase 'approaching annealing temperatures', due to the discussion being for DIY. The temperatures in the 200's are the danger zone. DIY powder coating is often done with little or no real controls or testing. There's also the added danger of the DIY oven not being properly preheated, for the proper amount of time. Controls of the process and testing of the finished product are all important. Most DIY'ers powder coating aluminum won't have a Rockwell hardness tester, so then the testing becomes the use of the bike. How much hardness loss is acceptable? Even with best practices, hardness will be lost. I'm not sure any loss is acceptable for a more durable finish on a bicycle. To me (for me) it would be better and safer to get the bicycle with a proper finish from the factory, or use a quality paint that doesn't require baking. There are some amazing acrylic polyurethanes used in automobile and other industries, that come close to and in some ways exceed powder coating.
 
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Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Thank you that is one of the best and most concise explanations I've read. Very good. The custom powder coated bikes I've seen form 3 builders are all butted steel, another animal.

You bring up another question. Will OEM bikes not sell harnesses? Are they crazy difficult to replace? Having seen a couple of harness failures, internal, THAT seems it could be a nightmare. Maybe Ann or one of the dealers will read and chime in. OR is harness failure something more likely seen in kit builds?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Thank you that is one of the best and most concise explanations I've read. Very good. The custom powder coated bikes I've seen form 3 builders are all butted steel, another animal.

You bring up another question. Will OEM bikes not sell harnesses? Are they crazy difficult to replace? Having seen a couple of harness failures, internal, THAT seems it could be a nightmare. Maybe Ann or one of the dealers will read and chime in. OR is harness failure something more likely seen in kit builds?
At first I couldn't figure out why you were talking about harnesses!? I reread my post and noticed one word in the first sentence misspelled. Harness was to be hardness...edited.

As for steel, I wish there were more and better steel options in ebikes. The weight savings of aluminum is minimal and all metals suffer corrosion. Maybe titanium is the answer. I also like hard anodized aluminum. Every metal has its downside, for some it's cost.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I got VERY close to a custom frame with a local builder. Unfortunately situations changed and it's not going to happen, however with the right frame builder a custom built frame is possible with an exorbitant expense. But I'm busy upgrading my Smoothie brakes and derailleur and fat bike discs. Lots of chores before spring with the BBSxx motors.
 

galvinro

New Member
Powder coating is durable but durability depends if you have the skills or the shop who will do it is very competent.