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Bending Powder Coated Extrusions

May 6, 2021 | News

Can you bend extrusions after powder coating?

 

A great way to finish an metal part is with powder coating. The process is relatively easy to do and there are a number of colour, texture and gloss options to choose from. This makes it a fantastic option for parts like window frames or other outer facing surfaces.

Ritver Paints and Coatings have a great video showing the full powder coating process.

 

The question we need to ask is, when is the best time to powder coat a part set for bending?

Bending pre or post bending can have an impact on the general workflow of a project and can determine what extra steps must be taken during the bending process. We will always advise bending before powder coating but we know this wont always ben an option and so have worked to design our machine sin such a way as to allow for bending after powder coating.

 

Powder Coating After Bending

 

 

Powder coating a curved part is essentially the same as bending a straight extrusion, the only difference would be the shape. Most powder coaters will have ample capacity to coat already curved sections and the bending process will not impact the effectiveness of the powder coat.

This is the most straight forward option as it does not require any extra steps during the bending process.

 

 

Powder Coating Before Bending

 

 

If material comes in pre-coated there are a few steps you can take to ensure the finish remains untarnished. Generally our Aluminium bending machines are supplied with tooling that is designed for gentle bending that will limit the damage done to the surface of the sections. This means that in most cases simply taking a little extra care during bending will result in an undamaged finish. There are however a few potential risks involved to the powder coat.

 

 

Potential Risks

Cracking

The powder coated surface does not have the same elasticity as aluminium, this raises the chances of cracking in the coating.

Because of this tight radii might not be possible, depending on the extrusion, alloy and coating. The bending process must also be slowed down somewhat to allow for more careful alterations to be made while maintaining the undamaged finish.

 

Chipping

Aluminium Bending is a very manual process, and can be somewhat rough on the sections at times. If the pre-coated section were to be bend as is, it is highly likely that chips or scratches would occur on the powder coat. To counter this, special films and coatings can be used to protect the surface from damage.  With these precautions in place, it is possible to bend powder coated aluminium extrusions without damage to the finish.

 

These risks have been mitigated during our machine design process as our aluminium bending machines have been developed to be as gentle as possible on the surface of the section during the bending process.

If you have questions regarding bending powder coated sections or about bending aluminium in general, please get in touch.

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