Powder Coating vs. Frame strength - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-22-2015   #1
 
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Powder Coating vs. Frame strength

I found this thread (here) which highlights issues with powder coating Al. It refers to a website (here). I've seen a ton of frames powder coated but was wondering if this is at all an issue. The frame in question is 6063 alloy Schedule 40 T6 Al (with Hollaender Al-Mag 535 fittings).

Should I be concerned about this at all?

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Old 09-22-2015   #2
 
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Powder coating has less effect on the on the structural integrity then the welding process. Once you've heated the aluminum to welding temps you can kiss that T6 rating out the door. But in the real world you can powder coat any welded frame with out fear as long as the welder knew what they were doing. It's not like your going to put a rocket in space. Its a frame!
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Old 09-22-2015   #3
 
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My concern is with this statement:

"..... Do not confuse this with clear powder coating. Powder coating pre-heating destroys the temper of the substrate aluminum and renders aluminum frames in an annealed state. This means a 20-40% reduction in strength."

40% seems like a big loss to me.
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Old 09-22-2015   #4
 
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FWIW - I know a few folks that have powder coated 1.5" Sch 40 6063 T6 DRE frames (white and on 16' boats) and have run the GC (heavy load) multiple times with them.
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Old 09-22-2015   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Read_N_Run View Post
My concern is with this statement:

"..... Do not confuse this with clear powder coating. Powder coating pre-heating destroys the temper of the substrate aluminum and renders aluminum frames in an annealed state. This means a 20-40% reduction in strength."

40% seems like a big loss to me.

Power coating does not heat the material any hotter then the welding process. And yes you may lose 20 to 40% of your T6 rating just through the welding process. But if welded and powder coated properly the frame will still be 100 times stronger than it ever needs to be for a frame. It is very rare for tube metal to break in rafting conditions. Its the welds that usually break.

I am of the opinion that worrying about reducing the strength by powder coating is like worrying about the load stress of a Ford f350 full of empty beer cans.
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Old 09-22-2015   #6
 
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Keep in mind that once you powder coat the frame it is nearly impossible to repair any weld failures due to contamination issues. There are many frame builders that will not work on powder coated and consider powder coating to void all warranties.
Frames.
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Old 09-22-2015   #7
 
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Originally Posted by oarboatman View Post
Keep in mind that once you powder coat the frame it is nearly impossible to repair any weld failures due to contamination issues. There are many frame builders that will not work on powder coated and consider powder coating to void all warranties.
Frames.
Hmmm...good point. Very little welding on mine. Some for the diamond plate and the foot bar but other than that it's mostly fittings and bending.

But it's good guidance to make sure it's all how you want it before doing the coating.
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Old 09-22-2015   #8
 
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Pretty sure my drings or straps would give out long before the aluminum.

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Old 09-22-2015   #9
 
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R N R, have you vetted the source of the link? Is the claim of 20-40% loss correct? I have my doubts that it is, but as DBK so elegantly points out, even if it is true, does it matter?

I'd like to powder coat my frame, but I truly don't believe I'll ever be done tinkering with it and doing so post powder coat just seems like A PIA. I'm waiting on my first powder coated piece and at this point I'm leaning towards powder coating certain pieces, but not the whole frame. I guess I'll see...

Anyways I like a lot of what row-frame has to say and his stance in general, but I'm not convinced that all of his opinions are based on reality. I'd be curious what other metal minds think of the concept.
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Old 09-22-2015   #10
 
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Originally Posted by oarboatman View Post
Keep in mind that once you powder coat the frame it is nearly impossible to repair any weld failures due to contamination issues.
Nope. All you need is a grinder and 10 minutes. You don't really even need remove that much material. All aluminum gets dirty covered or not. Plus most welding shops would be happy to repair a weld. The trick it finding a good welder!
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