The appearance of powder-coated films is dependent upon powder chemistry and spraying parameters. One of the most important physical factors controlling the powder film appearance is the microdeposition of the powder particles on the grounded substrate. During the electrostatic deposition of powder, the formation of dendrites and agglomerates was observed; these formations have an adverse effect on the final film appearance and their elimination may result in smoother and glossier films. Dendrites are generated due to bipolar charging and inter-particulate electrostatic attractive forces. The corona charging technique is mostly used in industrial powder coating applications. At low corona voltages (- 40 to - 60 kV) a greater degree of bipolar charging was observed compared to that at higher voltages (- 80 to - 100 kV). At the higher voltages, the increase n number of ions produces a more unipolar charging and higher charge-to-mass ratios. As the film builds up, the powder transfer efficiency decreases as the repulsion forces between oncoming charged particles and the already deposited powder layer increase. By controlling the deposition patterns, the final film appearance can be improved. The smoothest films were obtained when the voltage was ramped from - 60 to - 100 kV. Another method to reduce dendrite formations was to deposit powder particles charged unipolarly by first separating them from the oppositely charged ones by using a charge separator.
Biris, Alexandru S.; Yurteri, C. U.; Mazumder, Malay K.; Sims, Robert A.; and Williams, P. H.
"Reduction of Dendrite Formations to Improve the Appearance of the Powder Cured Films for Automotive Industry,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 56
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol56/iss1/6