This photo shoot from material  PU leather pump carbon fiber pattern.

Powder Coating Composites

There are many types and grades of carbon fiber and carbon fiber composites that can be successfully coated with UV-cured powder coatings.

Powder Coating Carbon Composites

Demand for energy efficient, electric and alternative use vehicles is accelerating the use of lightweight materials in the transportation industry. Manufacturers are switching from steel and aluminum to carbon fiber and carbon fiber composite materials. These materials are lighter, stronger, and more resistant to corrosion than metals.

This transformation started in the aircraft industry; less weight increased fuel efficiency. Unlike metals, carbon materials do not require corrosion protection, but they do need to be finished for aesthetics and appearance.

Lightweight carbon fiber and carbon fiber composites are being used in:

  • Automotive
  • Alternate use vehicles
  • Aerospace
  • Industrial vehicles
  • Bicycles
  • Motor sports

Benefits of UV Powder on Composites

UV-cured powder coating is a solution for finishing carbon fiber and carbon fiber composite materials that is fast, uses low amount of heat energy, and is durable.

UV-cured powder coating needs only enough heat and time to melt the powder, 110°C – 130°C for 1-2 minutes, and then it is instantly cured with UV light energy. The fast process time and low temperatures ensures that the integrity of the material is not compromised.

UV-Cured Powder Coating on Carbon Fiber Tubes

Plasma Treating Composites

Adhesion of the coating to the substrate is the first and most critical performance aspect of any coating; liquid or powder. “Does it stick? and “how well?” The surface condition prior to finishing is a major factor for adhesion. The surface must be clean, free from any contaminants, and be able to respond to the application of the coating; allowing it to flow, adhere, and then bond as it cures.

Plasma pretreating composites prior to coating removes contaminants that are unseen to the naked eye. It also modifies the surface of the substrate, improving flow, adhesion, and appearance of the coating.

How It Works

Plasma is a gas that carries an electric charge. When it is introduced onto the surface of the substrate any surface contaminants are removed. Plasma also changes the surface energy of the substrate, improving the flow and adhesion of the applied coating.

Parts are placed inside the plasma chamber and air is evacuated; producing a vacuum. The selected gas is injected into the unit and electromagnetic (RF) energy is applied across the electrodes producing the plasma that is equally imposed across the entire surface of the part.

Vaccum Plasma Photo

Vacuum Plasma Technology

Various conditions and processing variables can be changed according to need and part configuration including processing time, RF power and vacuum pressure. A successful treatment can be designed for the substrate by modifying these parameters.

Benefits of Plasma for Carbon Fiber and Carbon Fiber Composites
  • Improves coating adhesion
  • Removes contaminates prior to coating
  • Allows carbon fiber and carbon fiber composites to be finished with UV-cured powder coating

There are many different types of carbon fiber and carbon fiber composites. Please contact us to determine if your materials can be plasma treated and finished with a UV-cured powder coating. Our chemists will work with you to design a plasma pretreating process and UV-cured powder coating formulation for your material.

Fill out our Finish Requirements Form if you have a project for plasma treating and UV-cured powder coating.