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New technique for painting plastic hailed "revolutionary"

A Canadian company, Alliance Surface Finishing, along with a number of strategic partners, has developed a new meth...


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May 21, 2004 by Canadian Plastics

A Canadian company, Alliance Surface Finishing, along with a number of strategic partners, has developed a new method for applying powdered paint to plastic. According to Alliance president Robert Langlois, Alliance holds worldwide patents on the process and is currently involved in a number of development projects in the electronics, recreation, automotive and appliance markets.
Automotive companies and other manufacturers have used powdered paint for years to paint on metal. Compared to liquid paints, powder has much better transfer efficiency (99%) and zero emissions. The process, however, has been difficult to apply to non-conductive plastic.
"Our powder painting process is poised to revolutionize the way painting is done on plastic," says Langlois. "This has been the Holy Grail for finishers."
The new process was invented by Langlois. Perfecting the formulation and production process took over three years of development work between Alliance and its partners, Nordson, a supplier of powder coating equipment, PPG, powder supplier, and Bayer, a supplier of resins.
"Conventional wisdom held that you had to have a conductive surface in order make powder stick to a part," says Langlois. "But how do you get electrical attraction between powder and a non-conductive material, such as plastic? Our process gets around this."
Langlois says the key to the process is the powder, and does not involve doping the plastic with conductive materials.
Alliance operates a 17,000 sq, ft facility in Vaughan, ON. It is currently in the process of negotiating a lease for a full-scale 80,000 sq. ft. production plant in Concord, ON.
Langlois, who has been in the finishing business for over 10 years, says the first commercial applications are likely to be on nylon used to make the bases of office chairs and furniture.
"The days of the all-black office chair are numbered."