Powder coat is the first thing you see when you use a locker, and the last thing you think about. Performance powder coats for lockers, on the other hand, are selected for their utility as well as their appearance. Performance powder coats are coatings with additional properties beyond their aesthetic. This article goes into more detail about what is available you when you are considering your next locker purchase.
From coating.com.au, Powder coat is a highly protective coating that is used to protect substrates from corrosion, chemicals, weather, and physical damage while providing an attractive drip-and-sag-free finish. The powder coating process produces little to no waste and emits almost zero VOCs, so it is also a cost effective and environmentally friendly coating option.
Despite being entirely responsible for the look and feel of steel lockers, powder coating options are largely overlooked by consumers when buying lockers and most sellers don’t put much emphasis on the powder coat other than it being available in different colours. While most locker users might only enjoy the aesthetic of their locker, buyers should actually consider the functional implications of the powder coat they choose. It can improve the lockers life, durability, prevent rust for longer or even deter graffiti.
Types of Performance Powder Coats
Once a colour is chosen, there are generally 4 performance powder coats for lockers that are sought after. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a great starting point for understanding what is available when your buying steel lockers.
- Anti-bacterial or anti-microbial powder coat: A powder coat that resists bacteria or microbes, resulting in a cleaner locker room.
- Anti-mar / ultra durable powder coat: A powder coat that limits the risk of scratches and marks from abrasive objects.
- Anti-Grafitti powder coat: A coating that stops vandals from doing lasting damage to coated lockers.
- Priming coat: A pre-coat that creates an additional layer between the substrate and the air or moisture of the environment, providing greater resistance to rust.
1.Antibacterial or antimicrobial powder coat for lockers
These kinds of powder coats are supplied by companies like Interpon or Dulux. They infuse their powder coats with antimicrobial or antibacterial additives that are made by companies like BioCote®.
Antimicrobial lockers reduce the risk of cross contamination in the work environment, which is perfect for hospitals, schools, gyms and offices with flu-prone employees. The best feature over just cleaning the lockers more, is that the powder coat covers every little nook and cranny of the locker. Super bugs like E. Coli or MRSA simply cannot spread. It also helps reduce the smell of lockers as things like mould and bacteria can’t grow and thrive (think sweaty gym clothes).
BioCote is actually the antimicrobial technology supplier that we support, although there are others available. The difficulty in this additive tends to be the cost, as to make a small batch counts as a “special order” which attracts large fees. Our range of antimicrobial lockers luckily avoid this fee, at the cost of being only available in White Satin.
2. Anti-graffiti powder coat for lockers
The anti-graffiti coating is actually quite an intelligent way to add more functionality to your locker room. Aesthetically, it makes no difference to your locker room. This is because it is a clear coat that goes on after the colour is applied. This is great news for schools wanting to dress up their hallways with lockers in school colours, whilst limiting the risk of vandalism. We wrote a recent article on how you can prevent graffiti on school lockers here.
The particular coat that we use is supplied by Interpon and is a polyurethane coat called Interpon EasyClean Clear.
3. Anti-mar / ultra durable powder coat for lockers
Another performance coating by Interpon, Interpon Textura® is an anti-mar powder coat that resists scuffs and scratches. It is perfect for areas where marring needs to be eliminated. The finish is a fine texture, significantly finer than gun metal or ripple finishes common in the office furniture world. Lockers protected with Textura are less likely to show scuff marks from wear and tear. In particular, half height lockers doubling as counter surfaces are far less likely to show imperfections. An added bonus is the reduced requirement for packaging which is a great environmental consideration. Because products coated in Textura are less likely to scuff during transit, less packaging can be used.
4. Priming Powder Coat for lockers
Priming has the same meaning in powder coating as it does in any other painting application. For lockers, it is a pre-coat applied to the substrate. What this does is extend the resistance to rust that the powdercoat naturally provides. Maybe a bit more detail is needed for this one.
Our Australian locker manufacturer partners use steel that is protected with a zinc-phosphorus coating. This inhibits the forming and spreading of rust on the raw steel. However, during the manufacturing process, welding, grinding and cutting are required to form the steel into a locker. This removes some of the protective coating, making certain points on the locker less rust resistant. The powder coat is generally immediately applied, providing some protection. However, sometimes, after enough time you will start to see rust stains on those weaker parts of the lockers. This is dependent on the environment, humidity and how rough the users are.
Priming with MetaPrep™ Primer (you guessed it, from Interpon) provides lockers or even locker stands with over 1000 hours of salt spray protection. Depending on where your lockers are going, this could be an essential consideration that you may not have thought about previously.
There’s so much more…
…But we can’t go into them all in one article. Since we referenced Interpon’s products so much, it’s fair to say we like their innovations. Their page on speciality powder coatings goes into some of their other, more extravagant powder coats. It might be worth a read if you are looking for something fancy. Whatever the powdercoat, we can get it on almost any of our range. If you have a question about our range please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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