What works best when coating metal surfaces, and what processes are involved between powder coating vs. anodizing? Do you know the essential safety guidelines for machine shops and safety regulations? Personal protection equipment is essential to enhance employees’ safety, efficiency and productivity and meet legal requirements.
This article looks at powder coating vs. anodizing processes, safety guidelines for machine shops, and the PPEs needed to ensure team member safety and enhance productivity.
Powder Coating vs. Anodizing: What Is the Process Difference?
Here is the difference between powder coating and anodizing processes;
Powder Coating Process
Powder coating is a finishing process involving the application of dry, free-flowing thermoset or thermoplastic powder onto a surface in an even layer.
Powder coating is a multiple-step surface finishing process for metals and non-metal substrates. The process involves three stages: preparation, application, and curing, and involves using a spray booth, spray gun, and curing oven to treat the coating.
Anodizing Aluminum Process
It’s an electrochemical process involving the submersion of aluminum alloys, aluminum, and nonferrous metals into an electrolytic bath. The bath acts as the paint and is electrically charged through a cathode. The anode (aluminum) reacts with the charged particles to form an aluminum oxide layer on the metal surface.
General Safety Guidelines for Machine Shops
Here are the general safety guidelines for machine shops that employees must observe to prevent injuries.
- Never disable or remove guards or safety mechanisms.
- Do not operate or set up machines you’re not trained for or familiar with the set-up.
- Do not operate machines unless authorized by policy and procedure.
- Only one person should operate a machine and its switches.
- Never stop a machine with your hands or body.
- Safely clamp cutting and work tools before starting to work.
- Do not clean, oil, repair, or adjust a running machine. Always stop the machine and secure the switch in the “OFF” position.
- Do not lean against a machine.
- Inspect tools and machines to ensure they are safe before use.
- All set screws should be of the recessed or flush type.
- Switch off the machine and remove any tools from the workbench in case of power failure.
- Use a brush to remove any stuck chips – avoid using fingers, rags and hands.
- Do not talk to a person operating a machine. Distractions can lead to injuries.
- Do not walk or approach a person operating a machine from behind. You might bump into them and cause an accident.
- Do not leave work or machines on the machines table. They may fall and cause injuries.
- Always remove gloves when turning on or operating a machine. If you must handle sharp or rough material with gloves, power off the machine first.
- Never handle chips with bare hands.
- Always use a pair of pliers to remove long and stringy chips.
- Never clean any machine with compressed air. When cleaning a part with compressed air, point the hose downwards away from you or other persons.
- Do not talk unnecessarily when operating a machine.
Powder Coating Safety Regulations
Powder coating in an uncured state presents safety and health hazards that can impact a person’s health and the environment. Always use low-risk powder coating products to enhance employees’ productivity, safety, and health and protect the environment.
Here are the powder coating safety regulations that businesses can adopt to lower risks;
- Minimize or limit manual spraying and use automatic coating booths
- Enclose all the designated spray areas and spray booths to control the release of particles
- Always keep the spraying booth doors shut to control particle escape or release
- Never spray toward another operator working in opposite or tandem
- When using a conveyer spray booth, do not lean inside. Always stand outside the booth
- Outline proper storage and disposal procedures
- Avoid manual transfer of powders from the packaging box to the hopper
- Optimize the spray gun settings to control spray discharge
- Always use personal protective equipment
Powder Coating PPE Requirements
Here are powder coating personal protection equipment requirements.
Respiratory protection protects employees from hazardous chemicals, debris, and dust. There are two types of respirators employees can use during powder coating;
- Supplied Air Respirators (SARs)
- Air-Purifying Respirators (APRs)
Other items include breathing masks and air filters.
Skin and Body Protection
Protects a person from biohazards, electricity, chemicals, and physical objects that can result in injuries. Skin and body protection PPE includes:
- Face shields
- Hard hats
- Breathing masks
- Leather or powder-free nitrile gloves
- Protective shoes or boots
- A protective suit
Protect the eyes from dust, projectiles, radiation, droplets, and splashes. Eye protection includes safety glasses and polarized sunglasses.
Anodizing Aluminum Safety Regulations
The adonizing process involves using very toxic products, which one must handle with care. Here are some safety regulations to observe;
- Always seek authorization to obtain special instructions before use
- Read and understand all the safety precautions before handling
- Store in a dry and controlled environment
- Always use personal protective equipment as prescribed at all times
- Follow the prescribed treatment and disposal procedures per the applicable laws and regulations
- In case of an accidental spill or release, notify the relevant authorities immediately
- Do not distinguish the fire with water to minimize the spread in case of fire – use the appropriate fire-extinguishing media
- Always observe personal hygiene
Anodizing Aluminum PPE Requirments
Different shops have different requirements regarding their safety protocols and the chemicals they handle.
Here are the standard personal protective equipment requirements:
- Face shield
- Leather apron
- Rubber gloves
- Googles shield
- Breathing masks
- Cool and clean air supply
PPE Design Requirements
Here are the requirements of personal protection equipment:
- Must have a safe design
- Must be of appropriate size
- Must be made of safe material
- Easy to clean
Choose a Coating Service Provider That Puts Safety First
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