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Polyester powder coating (PPC)

The following factors should be taken into consideration to help determine the most appropriate finish on steel products:

  • Enviroment
  • Design life
  • Durability
  • Aesthetics
  • Design limitations
  • Lead time
  • Cost
  • Likelihood of damage / ease of repairs
For all-steel products, or products containing steel components we generally offer 3 finish options, the main performance and visual characteristics, and advantages / disadvantages of which are summarised on the quick comparison chart below.

Mild steel finish options – quick comparison / summary:
We suggest that this guide is used on a product-by-product + site-by-site basis to help determine the most appropriate coating for specific schemes. If you are unsure as to which finish is best for your product application, please call Furnitubes Technical Department to discuss these options in more detail.

PPC on bare steel Galvanising + PPC
 Aesthetic character

 Metallic / industrial, variable surface 

 High quality smooth surface finish 

 Variable quality surface finish 

 Corrosion resistance
High Medium High
High High Medium
 Surface quality
Medium High Medium
Medium Low High
 Ease of repair
  • Small areas of damage will self-heal 
  • Larger areas can be over-painted with a zinc-rich paint application
  • If base metal is exposed, coating 
    needs to be repaired before corrosion sets in
  • It is unlikely that galvanising will be damaged and corrosion should not  occur, so repairs can be undertaken at any time 


 Main advantages 
  • Longevity / minimal maintenance 
  • Compatible with stainless fixings
  • Compatible with stainless fixings

 Points to consider 

  • Generally a less smooth and potentially variable quality surface finish
  • Welds become visually prominent
  • Only compatible with BZP fixings which have shorter life than stainless
  • Corrosion of steel can set in if PPC coating is penetrated and not repaired quickly
  • Blemishes in galvanising can show through on PPC and potential for gassing reaction on PPC
  • PPC is more vulnerable to chipping than on bare steel 
 Best suited to:
  • Tubular / products with internal cavities
  • Products with root sections that are fixed in-ground
  • Aggressive environments
  • Low maintenance sites
  • Where a high quality surface finish is more important than long 
    term durability
  • Well managed sites where products are less likely to suffer damage
  • Less aggressive environments
  • Where long term performance and (overall) aesthetic are equally important 
  • Aggressive environments
 Not suited to:
  • Lightweight &/or heavily welded fabrications vulnerable to distortion
  • Tubular / products with internal cavities
  • Products with root sections that are fixed in-ground
  • Lightweight fabrications vulnerable to distortion



Other more specialist finishes – such as polyamide or plastic coating - are also available on selected products and components.

A galvanised finish does not generally require any specific maintenance in normal situations. Minor areas of damage through general wear and tear do not necessarily need repairing as the sacrificial action of zinc means that corrosion protection is not compromised. For more extensive and / or unsightly damage a zinc rich paint can be used as a means of repair. The Engineers and Architects Guide: Hot Dip Galvanising produced by the Galvanisers Association http://www.galvanizing.org.uk/ offers useful information on the performance and repair of galvanised surfaces.

For powder coated finishes it is important that the coating is cleaned regularly using a solution of mild detergent in warm water in order to retain the aesthetic qualities and the expected long term durability. Surfaces should be cleaned using a soft cloth, sponge or a natural bristle brush, avoiding abrasive materials that may damage the coating. The frequency of cleaning depends upon the environment in which the products are placed but as a general guide an annual clean will suffice in most urban environments. In areas of high pollution, such as marine and swimming pool environments, cleaning should be carried out on a monthly basis. 

Localised damage to powder coated finishes can generally be successfully repaired. The exact techniques depend on the nature and extent of the damage but all typically involve the following processes:

  • Clean the surface with a solvent-based degreaser
  • Locally abrade the area to be re-coated with an abrasive paper and wipe clean
  • Application of a thin coat of suitable primer
  • Application of suitable top coat(s), matched to shade and gloss level of orginal coating by brush or spray  

To ensure compatibility of the original and repair materials for as neat a repair as possible, Furnitubes is able to supply suitable coating repair products


Address: 3rd Floor, Meridian House, Royal Hill, Greenwich, London SE10 8RD

Telephone: +44 (0)20 8378 3200

Email: sales@furnitubes.com

© Copyright Furnitubes International Ltd, 2010-2016

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