There are many finishes available when it comes to the manufacture of parts. These finishes are used across industries, including agricultural, automotive, sports and fitness, and home improvement products, just to name a few. One of the most popular finishing methods is EPD coating. EPD stands for electrophoretic deposition. In this article, we’ll describe what EPD is, how this coating is applied, and the benefits of this finishing method over other common finishes.
What is EPD Finishing?
Electrophoretic deposition finishes, or EPD coatings, are finishes that provide a consistent and precise coating of parts. This finishing method is commonly used on small or highly complex parts that may have tight contours, recesses, or perforations that may make it difficult to use other methods to provide a finishing coat to the part.
EPD finishes are sometimes referred to as “e-coats” or electrocoating. The process is similar to the electroplating process for finishing metals, and in fact can be used to give metallic objects a coat that mimics another type of metal. In the home improvement and automotive industries, electrocoating is often applied to metal parts, giving them a look like more expensive metals. For example e-coating can be used on an aluminum substrate, giving it the appearance of brass, stainless steel, or chrome. This finishing method is less expensive than electroplating, giving it an advantage in cost for industrial applications. In the automotive industry, EPD finishes can be applied to metallic parts as a sort of primer before traditional wet painted finishes are added. This helps the parts withstand corrosion and exposure to environmental elements.
Another benefit is the coating thickness of EPD finishes. The thickness can be precisely controlled, evenly coating all surfaces of a part to be finished right down to the recesses and fine contours. The result is a well-finished and attractive part that resists corrosion.
How is the EPD Coating Process Done?
Professional EPD finishing service providers, such as PowderCoat Services Inc. out of Orange County, CA, know that these finishes differ from powder coating or paint application. Unlike powder coating, EPD finishes are applied in a wet process. The EPD process starts as a bath of epoxy resins, liquid paint, and carrier solutions, usually water-based. The parts to be coated are suspended in the bath and an electrical charge is applied to them. The electrical charge attracts suspended paint particles to the parts being coated. By adjusting the time and the voltage applied to the parts, the professional EPD coating service can vary the coating’s thickness. This level of control is unrivaled in the finishing industry, and results in a precision coating tailored specifically to the parts.
Once the desired thickness is achieved, the EPD-coated parts are removed from the liquid bath and are then cured in an oven, much like powder coated parts are cured. The end result is a durable, attractive finish.
EPD Colors and Finishes
Professional EPD coaters provide their customers with a wide array of options when it comes to color and level of gloss. Most EPD services stock a huge selection of colors in flat, semi-gloss, matte, and gloss finishes. If the desired color isn’t available stock, custom formulations can be prepared. EPD can be matched to specific color needs, such as a company’s distinctive trade dress. As mentioned earlier, less expensive metals can be e-coated to appear like fine metals, with gold, stainless steel, bronze, and chrome finishes possible. The choices are nearly endless. Once the desired color and gloss is selected, the process is applied, and the coated parts are ready for years of great looks and durable protection from the elements.