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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:25 pm 
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Hello,

I'm thinking about getting one of my frames stripped and then.... one of these options...

A few questions to the more knowledgable among us to separate the Powdercoating vs. Painting vs. Anodizing debate.

Powdercoating - it is considered more durable than Painting, but how much more or less does it weigh in comparison to painting? With the assumption that a basic, single-colour paint job on a 53cm frame would be ~100g to ~150g in weight penalty. Does powdercoating weigh more, or less than painting? How much more or less.

Powdercoating is, reportedly, the most environmentally friendly of the three options. Is this actually true?

Anodizing - the lightest of the options, is also the most toxic/least environmentally friendly.
That being known, how well does a professionally done anodizing job last under sunlight (day in, day out riding) ?
Does the anodizing rub off on a frame? Does it fade? (Assuming that the pro job includes sealing for UV)

Painting: will a good paint job + clearcoat sealant be any more durable than Powdercoating or Anodizing for off-road use? Which is more likely to show weakness from the throngs of dust, sand, or occasional small pebbles that may fling their merry way towards the frame?

Thank you

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:54 am 
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Wow lots of questions, this could go lots of ways. First confirm you are talking about an aluminum frame, cause that is the only material I am familiar with commonly used on bikes that is truly anodized. If not Al what material, cause that will narrow down the options/reasoning.

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Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:54 am 


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:19 am 
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Aluminum frame - the only kind that can go all for each of these options.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:21 am 
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Also if it is painted aluminum the ano process and final outcome will be different. To that I am not 100% sure if you can strip the paint (by either chemicals or blasting) and get the ano process to work with good results. In my experience ano has always been on new clean aluminum. Ano can eventually fade(remember all those cool purple parts in the early 90's? ya they turned pink)

Paint when done correct in a booth is not all that bad for the environment as most of the chemicals are filtered out of the air before it reaches the outside.

Pure guess, powder would weight more, as you spray a solid that then melts to a liquid. If your frame is bonded or composite you will most likely not be able to powder it. I would talk to the coater directly to see if they have any experience in this area. I know in my general area there are a few guys who work on things like custom motorcycles, and their answers on what they can do are a lot different then the industrial type coaters I have talked to.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:14 am 
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I thought titanium can be anodized too, but the technology is a bit different than alu and more costly.

prendrefeu wrote:
Aluminum frame - the only kind that can go all for each of these options.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:15 am 
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Well, yeah, duh. :mrgreen:
And Ti anodizing has fewer options/less control for colour.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:24 am 
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Powdercoat is a type of paint. It can be pretty durable but not always, and wet paint can be just as durable and just as crappy. The biggest advantage of powdercoat is that it takes very little skill to do a pretty decent job. Liquid paint is much more difficult to apply. As far as finsh quality a good (expensive) liquid paint can be more glossy and just as durable, but you'll pay big $$ for that finish.

Both Ti and aluminum can be anodized, but they are a bit different. For aluminum the issues are the welds (they can be a different alloy than the tubes and will come out a different color), and some welds are finished with filler that can't be anodized. Iwouldn't recommend anodizing a previuously painted frame without the manf saying it will come out fine.

Anodizing on al is dyed, and the dyes can be very color fast, but not all are, check with the anodizer and see if they use inorganic dyes, those tend to be colorfast, and wont fade, but they don't come in all colors. Anodizing is scratch resistant, generally more scratch resistant than powder or liquid paint, but paint is much thicker and scratches wont show as easily.

My take away is if you want the prettiest finish and are willing to pay for it go with a liquid paint. If you are hard on bikes and want it to look decent, but don't want to pay a lot go powder with a clearcoat over it.

If you like the looks of anodizing and the builder says its a go, it will be the lightest by about 200 grams or so.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:05 am 
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styrrell wrote:
If you like the looks of anodizing and the builder says its a go, it will be the lightest by about 200 grams or so.


That alone may be worth it. I'll ask the mfg. :beerchug:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:02 am 
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Some anecdotal evidence that powder coating is more durable than wet paint. I have a 1999 aluminum Kona cyclocross frame. I purchased it new in 1999 and almost immediately had it re-painted matte black by a well know and highly regarded east coat bike painting company. The company used wet paint. After many good years of service, the paint job was beginning to show its age. I have a friend who has a sandblaster cabinent, powder coating equipment and an industrial oven. One of his side businesses is powder coating. My friend let me use his equipment to sand blast off the old paint and re-paint the frame in matte black again using his powder coating equipment.

It took me about two and a half hours to completely remove all the wet paint from the frame and fork. After cleaning the frame, I powder coated it and baked it. Unfortuntaly, I screwed things up and the paint bubbled in the oven. I had to re-sand blast it and repeat the cleaning, painting and baking process. It took me almost four hours to sand blast the powder coat paint off. Where the wet paint seemed to quickly melt away under the sand blasting, the powder coating took its sweet time. I had to hold the nozzle on each area much longer to get the same effect when removing the powder coat.

To me, this indicates that the powder coat finish is more durable than the wet paint.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:32 pm 
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Careful with powder coating and AL. Some tubing using solution hardening technique to give strength. Bake temps with PC will effect this property. Most likely not enough to impact function as there are plenty examples of PC frames and other structural applications out there, but if are considering things like environmental impact of ano or paint, this could be a similar deciding factor. Also ensure oven doesn't over temp with frame etc.

Don't forget to consider polish and clear as an option. I had a cdale in the 90s that was polished looked killed and no weight penalty. Labor intensive though. Could do a brushed or blasted look a bit more easily.

Gluck

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:16 pm 
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I would be careful with anodizing a frame.

The process used will have an effect on the material (alu and welds) and measurments, up to what point ? :noidea:

I would go powder coat, in fact I was going to send my frame to this shop, but sold it before (In french, but you can read it, no ?). The guy told me it would weigh approx. 50-60g per coat. They charge $160CAN for a bike frame (1 coat):

http://www.electro-spray.com/fr/a-propos.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Check the pics. the matte black is nice IMO, but look out the Candy cooper finish :unbelievable: . But it's three coats (2 paints and a clear), so not a WW option, and expensive !!!

Louis :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Thanks Louis!
(Oui, je peux lire)

The weight penalty for powdercoating concerns me though - but your quote seems less of a penalty than I originally thought. 60g isn't bad, I'm wondering if it is possible to get away with one, maybe two coats. Two coats - 120g (?) that's not too bad over a wet paint job.

There are a few local places out here in Los Angeles, I'll look them up to see their costs & weight estimates.

I'm thinking Mexico/Riviera Blue. (mixed with black & silver components--- sweet!)
Image

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:33 pm 
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Anodized finishes are the way to go, my mountain bike frame is anodized and it has taken plenty of rocks without chipping. Compared to the previous frame that was painted and beat up after a year and a half of riding :| Powdercoat seems like the easiest and cost effective way of doing it. I was looking into it and it seems a single color powdercoat will run you ~100. Interested to see what your weight gain will be 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:56 pm 
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You'll only need one coat for PC. Looks up some videos on how PC works, powder particles are applied to the object with electrostatic charge, then heat is applied to cure the plastic particles. This cycle is not repeated. The thickness of the powder layer is what will determine the weight of this coating as well as its ability to withstand abrasion.

Edit: here is a pic showing rear skewer I PC'ed which happened to match the paint pretty well (since have been blasted and pc'ed black to
match my Tarmac).

Image

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Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:56 pm 


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:52 pm 
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I've got a brand new, raw aluminum frame coming from a builder. It's a BMX frame for my son. In the spirit of keeping it lightweight (I'm a weight weenie after all) I decided not to have it painted or powder coated. I was planning to leave it raw but I'm going to take a shot at polishing it. There's no prettier (or lighter) finish for an aluminum frame. Of course, it will require maintenance, but it's a small frame so it shouldn't be too labor intensive in my case.

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