Coating Options and the Environment: Why Powder Coat is the Way Forward

There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing a coating option, and you’ve done your research. You’ve evaluated the price, finished product, overall look and more of both liquid-paint and powder-coat options, and you’d likely consider your dive into the topic done and dusted. After all, you’ve found the best solution for your bottom line. However, have you considered the environmental impact of both options? Do you know which is better for the planet and which might align more directly with your ethics as a business? Let’s take a look.

Liquid Paint vs. Power Coating: The Tale of the Tape

While powder coating is more durable than liquid paint, the benefits of utilizing the process extend far beyond that. Powder coating is safer on several levels, both personal and environmental. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends powder coating as a sustainable coating option. Wet paint storage, especially when handled improperly, can lead to dangerous fires that are harmful for both workers and the environment. Wet paint is also unhealthy for those who work with it on a daily basis. However, the environmental implications of wet paint should also be considered. As it evaporates, liquid paint lets off volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs. VOCs not only lead to personal health issues like respiratory illness but are a tremendous source of industrial-based pollution and ozone damage. Chrome-based primers necessary when painting aluminum is also eliminated with the use of powder coating, which often requires no primer at all. In contrast, the powder-coating process doesn’t contain any liquids, thus avoiding any evaporation-related headaches. Waste associated with powder coating is also not directly hazardous to the environment, leading to easier disposal. There’s less overall waste, as well – overspray associated with powder coating can be reused and recycled, providing up to a 97% utilization rate from a box of powder. Liquid paint can’t be reclaimed in the same way. Powder coating is also safer for those completing the application as long as appropriate precautions are taken to ensure the powder isn’t inhaled or coming into direct contact with skin.

The Choice is Clear

While powder coating should likely already be your coating method of choice due to the benefits it provides in saving costs and lasting longer, its lower environmental impact is yet another way that the process is a step ahead of liquid-paint-based processes. At AZZ, we have an expansive network of powder-coating facilities with state-of-the-art, highly automated operations that enable quick turnaround and further promote environmental and personal benefits. Our powder-coating process is also ISO 9001 certified, and we’ve developed an industry-leading reputation for durable, attractive and long-lasting finishes for items ranging from small parts to items up to 60 feet in length. We’re also committed to sustainability that goes beyond the built-in benefits of powder coating. We also utilize 100% naturally occurring zinc in our hot-dip galvanizing process, part of a wholly recyclable process that involves no VOCs.

If you’re ready to up your commitment to environmentally sustainable coating options, contact us today at