Holger

Powder coated front panels (pics)
« on: June 27, 2010, 03:11:07 PM »
I've already posted this in Frank's (NRGrecording) German Forum but i'd like to share it here.
Frank Röllen and me did some experiments with powder coating over the last weeks.
Edit: it wasn't me who did the powder coating, I just cooperated with a guy here in Hamburg.
The pros and cons of powder coating:
+ more durable than regular wet paint
- color tones not blendable/mixable, each color requires a dedicated powder  
- some coatings are not solvent-resistant

The first prototype was more a feasabilty study:



Then we've tried some different colors and finishes (glossy/matt)



From left to right:

1. Schaeffer (blue)

Schaeffer obviously mills before coating. This results in a very bad color filling.
A bad looking panel, it was their second attempt by the way. I can not recommend that service..
More details later.

2. Grey glossy

Maybe you can see the effect that the paint comes up at the edges of the panel. My powder coating guy said that this effect can happen occasionally.

3. (Center) One of Frank's prototypes, milled out of a larger panel. Sort of Neve blue/gray

4. Yellow glossy

Full color tone, currently my favorite...

5. (Right) Yellow matt

Not as intense as the glossy version.

Schaeffer versus Frank comparison:





zayance

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 03:52:03 PM »
Wow nice, is it one special order for you, or is it going to be one service Franck will want to share?

Holger

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2010, 03:59:34 PM »
zayance, this was a cooperation with Frank just to make some experiences. I will clarify here that this is not my intention to step into the panel business.
It was just to show how good or bad powder coating can work. The prices for coated panel are lower than for painted panels.
Maybe you can contact Frank directly for any engraving jobs.

zayance

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2010, 04:02:34 PM »
No i was not saying are you going to go in that business, Franck made some engraving for me, i was just curious if Franck will propose that kind of service meaning Powder coating, anyway nice pics, and nice experimenting.

Holger

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2010, 04:04:42 PM »
I'm sure that Frank will offer something in the future after the good experiences we've made.

zayance

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 04:34:46 PM »
 8)

jsteiger

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2010, 09:24:49 PM »
Very cool stuff Holger. Thanks for sharing.  :)

I agree, the Schaeffer panel does not look very good. Franks is much more crisp.

I tell you what, the yellow really caught my eye! I think it really looks cool. My favorite too.  8)

You are right the glossy yellow looks a little better straight on. I do however not like a gloss of any kind on a panel though. As another experiment, put these in your rack and look at them from different angles like if you were tracking/mixing. The glossy panels will wash out and you can't really see anything at the right angles. The matte will not do that. I put them in my console and found this immediately.

Thanks again for the pics!
Best, Jeff
Visit the CAPI store at http://www.capi-gear.com

CAPI is not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by API.

Gold

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2010, 08:38:13 AM »
There are a number of different powder coat types. Some are for indoor use and some are for outdoor use. I don't know what that means either. Is outdoor more rugged or does the color look better under natural light?

 There seem to be other differences too. Do you know what type you used? Is any type better for engraving through tan others? My emails to a manufacturer went unanswered and I haven't found anyone who knows.

johnR

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2010, 12:17:47 PM »
I'm guessing that the stuff for outdoor use is more resistant to UV. Powder coat tends to break down and fall off after prolonged UV exposure. Some types are more prone to this than others.

Holger

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2010, 02:44:44 PM »
The guy who did the powder coating is aircraft engineer and does some powder coating in his time off.
He usually coats motor parts, wheel rims and stuff like that.
That indicates that the coating is heat and UV resistant.
I'll ask about the powder coat manufacturer the next time I'm there.


Gold

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2010, 02:21:17 PM »
Thanks Holger. I love learning about these manufacturing processes.

ddt

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2010, 04:20:24 PM »
Nice! :)

The second panel looks like a bit too much paint was applied, you could try doing just two smooth passes, starting with the powder gun not pointing at the panel, and then moving off the panel again before doing the second pass.

The outside paint type /should/ be fairly solvent resistant I think, another advantage of powder coating over painting is that you don't need a primer coat on an aluminium panel. Also, the powder paint can cover small imperfections in the surface of the metal, to an extent.

You should be able to get colours in matt versions too, or in semi-matt, and you could also try spraying a glossy panel with clear matt paint afterwards, this gives it an interesting texture as well as making it matt. There are also textured paints available, these look pretty cool but are not all that great for silk screening as the paint tends to run into the texture and the labels end up blurred, but this shouldn't be a problem when engraving.

All the best,
Dan

sgenevay

Re: Powder coated front panels (pics)
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2011, 04:43:56 PM »
Just a question...
What does look better for front panels ? powder coated ? or anodized ?
Btw i have see with Schaeffer for powder coated front panel... and what u see u this picture is normal, cause they said me that if u wanna have small size engravings on powder coated panels, you have to make 2 fpd files... the first one with your powder color paint...   and the second file with your engravings (specifying you are using consumer material...)....   then u have perfect looking...


 

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