You can powder-coat the aluminum bike frame because any metal surface can be coated. This process involves removing the old paint, sandblasting to prep the metal surface, applying a powder coat, and baking.
Powder coating is a fantastic way of protecting your aluminum bike frame from losing its appeal.
Since the aluminum frame is resistant to rust, moisture can force a chalky texture to grow on its surface. It is causing your bike to lose its natural appeal.
In this article, we’ll look at if powder coating is bad for aluminum frames and how much it costs to powder coat a bike frame.
Is Powder Coating Bad For Aluminum Frames?
Powder coating is not bad for aluminum. In fact, powder coating is a good way of refurbishing an aluminum bike frame.
The only time powder coating can become bad or harmful to an aluminum frame is based on the powder coating method used.
The aluminum will not be harmed when the powder coating process is performed perfectly.
Instead, the finish will improve the frame’s wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and aesthetics.
While aluminum is naturally corrosion-resistant, its surface finishing demands additional protection against corrosion. This can only be achieved through powder coating.
Does Powder Coating Weaken Aluminum?
Powder coating does not weaken aluminum. However, if it goes through pretreatment processes, it can weaken aluminum.
Some processes that can damage the surface of the metal include sandblasting or sweep blasting. This damage can happen if the part that gets damaged is fragile.
It can also happen with the way you strip the paint from your frame. If your knowledge of powder coating could be stronger, get an excellent local powder coater to help you strip off the old paint and mask it properly.
Any Reason Not To Powder Coat Aluminum?
Aluminum is one of the materials that can be hard to work with. If you want to get a perfect job done, you need to work with a professional or get appropriate knowledge of the process before proceeding.
With that said, there are some challenges you can encounter during or after the powder coating process.
Reason not to powder coat aluminum include:
You might suffer from peeling in your aluminum during powder coating. In the right sense, powder coating should not peel your aluminum frame. If it does, then something was wrong during the process.
Peeling of the powder cost would only occur if corrosion is underneath the powder coat. With proper pretreatment, you can avoid this peeling and corrosion.
Powder-coated aluminum can suffer color inconsistencies. These inconsistencies can occur when two of two powder coatings from two different manufacturers are used on the same frame at different times.
Even though adhesion failure is rare in powder coating, it still happens. This can happen due to failure during the pretreatment process or improper application.
Recommended Bike Fork and Frame
Benefits of Powder Coating Your Aluminum Bike Frame
If you still want to go ahead with powder coating your bike, here are the benefits you are bound to benefit from that move.
By spraying multiple layers of powder on your bike frame, you can create a tough finish on the frame that withstands scrapes and bumps and stays strong for a while.
2. Good Monetary Value
The huge amount you’re paying for retouching your aluminum frame is worth the service the power cater will offer. It will strengthen your bike frame and upgrade the bike.
3. Environmentally Friendly
The powder coating process is environmentally friendly. It is a solvent-free process that doesn’t involve any emissions. You can also scrap the leftover powder for these in the future, avoiding waste.
How Much Does It Cost To Powder coat A Bike Frame?
The basic cost of powder coating can be as much as $200+. This is the total of the process because the process is made up of different procedures.
A breakdown of the different procedures includes:
- Powder coating of a basic frame without a fork can cost you $90. This amount would cover the sandblasting of the frame.
- Powder coating of a normal frame will cost you $80+.
- The aspect where the majority of the money goes is in the addition of effects and colors.
- Metallic, flake or other multi-layer effects will add about 50% to your cost. A two-tone finish, whether faded or hard line, will add up to $150 – $180 + sandblasting. At the end you’ll need a seriously weird frame and a lot of imagination to get the total over $200.
- You can avoid this if you have no money to pay or have no specific color of your choice but that will mean riding your bike around without any finishing touch.
Preparing A Bike Frame For Powder Coating
To prepare your bike for powder coating, you would have to dismantle every part of the bike and remove all the accessories on the bike, leaving only the frame.
After stripping the bike bare, you have to start taking the existing paint off your bike. You can use scrap or sandpaper to remove the previous paint from the frame.
After scratching the surface, use a primer to smooth it and prepare it for further painting.
By this time, you would have selected your preferred new color and effects or put together a color combination that you fancy.
Get to work with an electro-plastic spray on the frame. Ensure you spray every inch and repeat it to bring out the main color.
You need to oven-bake the frame for the powder coat to settle fully on the frame. Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes and bake the frame. After that, you can bring the frame out and admire its top finish.
If you have a bike that you have kept mechanically sound for a while, but the dings and scratches have got the better of the frame, then you should think of getting your frame powder coated.
Powder coating your bike frame is something you can only do if you have up to $200 to pay for the process.
However, please let professionals handle the process to avert any damage that can happen to your bike frame.