Would it be allowed to Powder coat metal pieces in the metal fab area?
Compared to spray painting or other painting methods, Powder coatings contain no solvents and release little or no amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere Source Wikipedia
It involves using a special spray gun to spray statically charged powder onto a metal piece. The powder then clings to the part. The excess powder then falls to the ground and can be swept up and disposed of similarly to common dust. (No sticky mess)
The coated parts are then placed into an electric oven (in my case a goodwill toaster oven) and cured at 450 for 10-15 min. Just a regular consumer 110v electric toaster oven. No gas. No open flame.
I have all the equipment; I just do not have a place at my house to do so.
So would this be okay to do in the metal fab area?
I told Seth that it sounded fine to me, but I thought we should double check with higher authority.
I don’t have any objection, with the typical caveats that everyone cleans up after themselves and takes everything home when they’re done.
Brendan has a partially-baked proposal to add a powder coating setup to the metal area. I don’t know if it’s happening any time soon, but it’s not a nonstarter.
It’s not a great idea just out in the shop, and I wouldn’t feel great about letting people do it out back either. I’m all for a powder coating booth, but solvents and VOCs aren’t the only concern. With powder coating, you’re spraying just that, a really fine, often toxic, powder. If it’s not contained in a booth, it’s going to get everywhere. And that fine powder is both a respiratory hazard and skin irritant. Some powder coating formulations are quite toxic.
That is a very good point. Then I guess the question is, can the dispersal be well contained somehow?
In my experience at home, you dont want to do this inside. The powder is sprayed as a fine mist and is hard to contain without proper ventilation. It is a fine powder, so it doesn’t seem like it, but it does build up on surfaces.
I wouldn’t be opposed to it being sprayed outside, and cured afterwards, but at that point you could use a small oven outside as well.
It seems that this has become a “no”, unless you can satisfy people about how you would contain the powder.
I’ve had success with an enclosed box fan and AC filter.
Got it. No for now. I’ll check back if I devise a way to build a small booth. Maybe with a box fan and filter like @tomthm
The parts I’m trying to coat are only 2.5” round and 1/2” thick. So a small booth might be feasible.
I would love to see the ‘Space’ build a dedicated PC booth AND oven large enough for decent sized projects, bike frames, Car parts. Sadly, I doubt the dynamics of the space create enough demand.
I would note that, while people have actually taken to calling the former bio lab / former fiber laser build room the “finishing room”, there’s no concrete proposal for doing anything whatsoever with it. What would actually go in such a room and whether it would include powder coating equipment is therefore up to whoever actually writes a proposal for that area and gets the board to approve it.
Sounds like it would be feasible for parts that small. Keep in mind, if you go that route you’ll need something like a Merv 16 or HEPA filter to trap the smallest of the powder coating particles. And obviously good sealing around any joints. It’s the smallest particles that you can’t even see that are the most hazardous.
Alternatively, if you want to use this project as a springboard to design a larger powder coating booth and submit a proposal, I think quite a few people would make use of it. And there should be room in the “finishing room” for one, like Ethan said.
There really isn’t much to them, but commercial ones seem to be pretty overpriced for what you get. Just a blower, a decent enclosure, and some good filters. If we want to add a cyclone for filter life and powder recovery we can. And the same booth can also be used as a paint booth, if we add some kind of split exhaust so that it can be exhausted outside the building when used as a paint booth.
To add on to Ethan and Matt’s points about using this as a starting point for (some/all of) the finishing room, I point to the Electronics and Textiles proposals that were approved over the past year.
Is an exhaust through the roof possible with our lease? Because we kind of need one in the welding area. Oxy-acetylene welding is a no-go but the electric welders produce a fair amount of ozone.
There is a HEPA welding fume extractor under the welding table.
For the finishing room there is a penetration above the woodshop bathroom already that can be used
The exhaust over the bathroom is pretty puny, but we could also plumb out through the overhead door like we do for the lasers.