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Choosing a Coating: Nylon Coating vs. Polyester Coating

Powder coatings protect metal parts from weather, corrosion, and whatever else you throw at it. Two of the most popular powder coating options are nylon and polyester coatings, each of which have broad applications in a variety of industries. These are a few of the main considerations when choosing between nylon coating vs. polyester plastic coating.

 

Nylon Coating Powder

 

Heat Resistance

An important difference between nylon coating and polyester coating is how each material reacts to heat. Nylon is a thermoplastic, while polyester is a thermosetting plastic. While the two sound similar, the distinction is important if the part to be coated will be exposed extreme temperatures.

 

Thermosetting plastics start out as separate polymer compounds. When subjected to sufficiently high temperatures, these polymers react to form a strong chemical bond. This bond is irreversible, and the plastic coating will remain solid even under extreme heat. In other words, poly coating is a one-way street: once it hardens, it is not possible to reform or recycle it.

 

Thermoplastics like nylon coating are different. Although thermoplastic compounds also melt under high heat, there is no chemical reaction involved, so the process is reversible. You can re-melt and re-form nylon coating as many times as you require! It is even possible to recycle nylon and thermoplastic coatings.

 

To borrow a metaphor, where thermoplastics are akin to butter, thermosetting plastics are more like bread. A baker can repeatedly melt and cool the same stick of butter, but they cannot break a loaf of bread back down into its ingredients!

 

For this reason, poly coatings are more heat-resistant than nylon coatings, but nylon coatings have advantages in other high-performance applications.

 

Durability

Depending on the application, both polyester and nylon plastic coatings can protect the surface of metal parts from abrasions. Polyester coatings tend be flexible, with impressive impact and chemical resistance. However, this is an area where nylon coating wins out overall.

 

Once applied to a part, nylon coating flows out to form a continuous, protective bond to the surface. This creates a powerful, resilient barrier against salt, UV rays, and all manner of wear-and-tear. Nylon coating remains durable even in thin applications, making it ideal for tight tolerances. Arkema’s ® Nylon 11 coating, one of our products of choice at Plastico, is specially designed to give metal parts a longer shelf life.

 

A secondary advantage of nylon coating is its low friction coefficient. This gives it an ability to cut noise and vibrations from the parts it covers, contributing to a safer work environment and helping to prolong the life of the machinery.

 

Sustainability

Manufacturers are increasingly becoming mindful of their impact on the environment. For those who are looking to incorporate more sustainable practices, nylon offers a renewable and eco-friendly powder coating solution.

 

Nylon coating is derived from castor beans, the product of a perennial plant called the Ricinus or castor oil plant. In addition to being recyclable, nylon coating carries almost no carbon footprint! Choosing nylon coating signals to customers that you care about your impact.

 

Nylon vs. Polyester Coating

Your choice of powder coating will depend on the part’s application and the performance you desire from the coating. Here at Plastico, we are confident in the superior performance of nylon coating, but we are happy to recommend powder coaters who specialize in poly coating as well.

 

Learn more about our powder coating services in Cambridge, Ontario.

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Which Industrial Coatings are Considered Food Grade in Ontario?

Industrial coatings considered food grade in Ontario

Nylon powder coatings are as diverse as the many industries that use them. One often-overlooked application is that of food production and processing. From the farm to the dinner table, powder coatings help to ensure our food is safe to consume.


Of course, not all coatings are suitable for this purpose. Food processing equipment and containers must meet certain standards to be considered food grade in Ontario.

 

Specialized food grade industrial coatings are often necessary for both the longevity of part and the safety of the food it touches. The right choice coating can make the equipment easier to clean and sanitize. However, it must also be non-toxic, non-absorbent, and free from defects (like cracks or crevices) that could harbour bacteria.

 

Which Industrial Coatings Are Considered Food Grade in Ontario?


In Canada, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) set policies and standards to ensure a safe food supply, including the safety of the equipment we use to process food and the materials we use to transport it. The American equivalent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), oversees this area in the United States.


The choice of food grade powder coating for a part will depend on the manufacturing process. Parts that will be placed in an oven will have to withstand high temperatures; parts that will be submerged in liquid must have a high resistance to corrosion. Non-stick coatings with a low friction coefficient are often sought in the food processing industry as well.


The type of food ingredient in question may also play a role in the decision. For example, certain materials are more susceptible to corrosion on exposure to acidic foods like pickles or tomatoes.


The number of industrial coatings considered food grade in Ontario is too numerous to list. Below are some of the most common categories of food grade powder coatings in use:

 

  • Polytetrafluoroethylene coating (PTFE): A thin, non-stick coating that stands up to high temperatures. It does not absorb liquid and has a low friction coefficient. Non-stick cookware and bakeware often use PTFE coating.

 

  • Fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP): This food grade coating option is flexible and highly resistant to chemicals but lacks the high-temperature resistance of PTFE. Like PTFE, it is non-absorbent.

 

  • Antimicrobial coatings: A wide variety of food grade industrial coatings come with antimicrobial properties, which reduce the spread of bacteria and food-borne illnesses. Some contain an active ingredient that kills bacteria, while others resist them passively by preventing microbes from sticking to the surface of the part.

 

  • Rislan Nylon 11: This durable and versatile polymer coating boasts a low friction coefficient that makes it easy to clean. The main ingredient is Castor beans, which makes Nylon 11 100% renewable and environmentally friendly.


Here at Plastico, we’ve used Nylon 11 to coat everything from fryer baskets to pot handles to cutlery, food trays, and even seafood traps. While it doesn’t taste quite as good as it looks, it does qualify as food grade!

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Tim Keane
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July 17, 2018
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