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Surface finishes

Powder coating services

We offer several powder coating finishes that improve the strength and wear-resistance of your metal parts. Powder coating is compatible with all metals and available in glossy or matte gloss.

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Surface preparation Colors* Glossiness Cosmetic availability Thickness Visual appearance
As machined (Ra 3.2μm / Ra 126μin) White, Black, RAL and Pantone Glossy (Above 70 GU) No 50μm to 150μm Parts are powder coated directly after machining.
As machined (Ra 3.2μm / Ra 126μin) White, Black, RAL and Pantone Matte (Below 30 GU) No 50μm to 150μm Parts are powder coated directly after machining.

Color options for powder coating

Black powder coated part
White powder coated part
RAL color powder coated part
RAL color
Pantone color powder coated part
Pantone color

Gloss options for powder coating

Matte black powder coated part
Smooth matte

16 to 25 units

Black powder coated part

80 to 95 units

Example of a powder coated part

Blue powder coated mild steel part
Detail of blue powder coated part in mild steel

Design considerations for powder coating

Design considerations for powder coating

Hanging and jigging marks:
Powder coating involves suspending parts via a “jig” or “rack.” This will leave marks on your part where powder coating wasn’t possible. If there are areas where you can’t accept “jig” marks, please remember to include a technical drawing indicating these areas.

Remember to indicate in your CAD file whether you want specific part areas to be masked or plugged.As material is applied to the surface during powder coating, all threaded and reamed holes or other critical-to-function surfaces are plugged or masked as standard.

Tolerances are met before the coating finish. We recommend that you ask for clarifications about masking as needed.

The Protolabs Network powder coating process

The Protolabs Network powder coating process

Powder coating is a strong, wear-resistant surface finish that is compatible with all metal materials.

Here’s how to apply powder coating:

Clean parts to remove inorganic contaminants To enhance performance and quality, pretreat parts with a conversion coating Rinse and dry parts in an oven Mask critical areas to prevent tolerance issues Coat parts with an electrostatic spray gun Dry parts in an oven to cure the coating

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How does powder coating work?


When should you apply powder coating?

Powder coating provides a cost-effective, tough and durable finish on your parts that increases their longevity and resistance to harsh environments. This makes it idea for marine applications, for instance.

What are the best applications of powder coating?

Powder coating makes metal parts resistant to outdoor conditions, including heat, cold damage and corrosion. You’re likely to find powder coating on parts used in farming equipment, industrial machinery and high-usage automotive applications.

How durable and resistant is powder coating?

Powder coated parts typically remain resistant to wear for up to 20 years. Consistent exposure to UV light and outdoor environments, as well as general over-use, will break down powder coating faster.

How will powder coating affect the price of my part?

For a standard metal (such as Aluminum 6061), powder coating adds approximately 15% to the production price. This can vary depending on the complexity of the job.

What are viable alternatives to powder coating?

If you’d like to substitute another surface finishing option for powder coating, we recommend opting for wet painting.

Put your powder coated parts into production today

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