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Powder Coating vs Thermoplastic - What's the difference?

Steel frame benches and picnic tables are the gold standard of durability, economics, stability and aesthetic appeal in metal outdoor site furniture. In recent years, advancements made in the coatings applied to steel frame outdoor furniture have improved their lifespan and resistance to all manner of wear and tear, especially rust and environmental conditions.

Powder coatings and thermoplastics are superior to liquid coatings in many ways.

– Liquid paint coatings can give off harmful chemicals when exposed to high temperatures, while powder and thermoplastic coated benches and picnic tables emit no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
– Powder and thermoplastic coated site furnishings will stay cooler in the sun than tables and benches with liquid coatings. These coatings also produce more consistent finishes, free of (most) drips and irregularities that can occur with liquid coats.
– Powder and Thermoplastic coatings are also help make the underlying steel rust resistant, even when they are exposed to salt water, making them ideal for use near beaches or areas high in moisture.
– Thermoplastic and powder coating can be applied in a variety of colors and color combinations and can even feature specialty effects. This can be used to match color schemes or create fun and attractive designs.
– These two coatings are more environmentally friendly than their liquid counterparts due to the superior recyclability of the compounds used in their production.

While Powder coatings and thermoplastics both hold a great deal of advantages over liquid coatings, they each possess their own unique benefits and are suitable for different applications.

Here are some features that distinguish the two.

Thermoplastic Coating

Thermoplastic is a thicker and more durable than powder coating that has become more widely used in recent years as costs associated with their production have fallen.

Thermoplastic coatings perform at the absolute highest level and ensure that outdoor site furniture will last for years and require very little maintenance.

This strong and flexible coating is often used on bench seats and backs as well as on picnic tabletops because of its thicker, softer coating, and superior durability.

To save on cost, benches or tables coated with thermoplastics can be paired with a powder coated metal frame. Because frames often receive less wear and tear, and are less exposed to the elements there is less need for the thicker more durable thermoplastic coating.

Thermoplastics are resistant to chipping, and any tears or cuts to that do occur can be easily repaired using a heat gun, whereas traditional powder coatings require more intensive repairs.

Thermoplastics are also extremely resistant to corrosion and exposure to chemicals and their slick surface repels mold or other organic material that attempt to cling to it.

Thermoplastics feature UV inhibitors that ensure that all tables and benches coated in it will maintain their bright color and pristine finish for many years to come. The plastic coating also helps keep benches and picnic tables cool on sweltering summer days.

Powder Coating

Generally speaking, powder coating is the more cost effective option in comparison with thermoplastics.

Powder coated benches and picnic tables are extremely durable. They are resistant to scratches and scuffs and maintain their pristine finish even under adverse conditions.

Their hard finish also performs extremely well in heat and is perfect for areas that receive a great deal of sunlight.

Powder coating protects the underlying metal from rust and corrosion even when exposed to detergents, or other corrosive liquids.

An epoxy primer can be used under the powder coat layer.

This kind of coating requires sand-blasting to ensure a smoother finish.

Powder coatings are mold resistant and their surfaces are easy to clean, however they can not be repaired with a heat gun as thermoplastic can.

Powder coatings can be applied in a thinner coat than thermoplastics.

If you want add your team colors to bleachers, powder coating is what will always be used.

Many people find that because of the feature above, powder coating makes a bench slightly less comfortable than the thermoplastic, as there is no plastic in the formula so it will not have the same padded feeling.

Whether you choose powder coating for its excellent heat resistance, or thermoplastic for its rugged durability and easy repairs, these coatings will make your steel site furniture beautiful and long lasting.

Through heat and cold, rain and salt water, food and drink spills, and repeated impacts. Powder coating and thermoplastic can help ensure that your outdoor site furniture stands up to the elements while maintaining its original appeal.

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