This paper deals with the analysis of the evolution of the surface morphology of metal substrates coated with high-performance thermoplastic powders, namely PPA 571 H, by using electrostatic fluidized bed (EFB) process. Attention has been particularly focused on the relationship between baking time and temperature of EFB coated substrates and the morphological characteristics of the resulting polymeric films. First, thermal behaviour of PPA 571 H polymeric powders was characterized by using standard calorimetric techniques. Accordingly, PPA 571 H melting kinetic was experimentally deduced. Based upon experimental findings, predictive analytical model was also developed and employed to trace 'iso-conversion' curves out. Second, metal substrates, made from low carbon steel (AISI 1040), were EFB coated and baked at several baking time and temperatures. Combined analyses of scanning electron and confocal microscopes were led to measure the evolution of the films surface morphology under different baking conditions. Accordingly, a relationship between film morphologies and melting degree was sought. Consistent trends of roughness parameters versus baking parameters were found, with smoother finishes of the polymeric films being achieved for higher degrees of melting, that is, for higher baking temperature and time. Full maps and related analytical models of the finishing levels according to baking parameters were also built up, hence providing first useful indications to powder coaters on how to best deal with their settings. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Barletta, M., Gisario, A., Guarino, S., Rubino, G. (2006). Development of smooth finishes in electrostatic fluidized bed (EFB) coating process of high-performance thermoplastic powders (PPA 571 H). PROGRESS IN ORGANIC COATINGS, 57(4), 337-347 [10.1016/j.porgcoat.2006.09.018].