Simulation of Powder Coating

T. Johnson, F. Edelvik, FCC Technical Report 1/2022


Surface treatment is an important process, which impacts the properties, appearance, and durability of the treated object. There are many different treatments such as electroplating, electrocoating, powder coating, and spray coating. Powder coating is common in many industries from furniture manufacturing to truck cabs. Powder coating is usually applied by powder guns, but rotary powder bells also exist. The guns can be handheld, mounted on robots, or in reciprocator setups. A key aspect of powder coating is electrostatics; the powder is charged and attaches to the target object with electrostatic forces. In contrast to wet paint powder cannot be applied without electrostatics and does not stick permanently to the surface until after curing.

In this technical report we describe a theory and simulation model for powder coating and give an example for how this model can be used to generate input for industrial scale painting simulations aiming to compute the thickness profiles and size distributions on the target object.  A complete industrial scale validation is outside the scope of this report. The models and methods presented herein have been developed in the Vinnova funded project Quariapro (Optimize powder coating quality and material efficiency by connecting process actuators and a digital twin, Dnr 2019-05224) and extend on previously performed research on the virtual paint shop for: wet paint (Edelvik, Mark, Karlsson, Johnson, & Carlson, 2017), sealing (Ingelsten, Mark, & Edelvik, 2019), and oven curing (Johnson, et al., 2022). The development of the models was supported by measurements performed by the project partner Fraunhofer IPA.

See full report here.

Photo credits: Nic McPhee