Aluminum powder was originally produced by crushing the metal in a stamp mill to get aluminum flakes. Later on new methods came and now the whole process is far much easier. The powder is produced by using a gas furnace to melt aluminum ingot. The molten metal is then sprayed into a fine powder under high pressure. The metal has a silver-white color that is a found in group 13 in the periodic table. Aluminum is a good conductor of both heat and electricity. This method of production gives two types of the powder which depend on the type of atomizing gas used on the nozzle of the blower while blowing the molten metal.
Uses of Aluminum Powder
Aluminum powder uses include the production of a diverse assortment of products such as solar panels, suntan lotion and lightweight concrete. It is also a key ingredient in the production of fireworks and explosives. It is also included in a myriad of paints and sealants.
Aluminum powder is used most impressively when its ability to produce exothermic oxidation-reduction reactions is exploited. When mixed metal oxide is mixed with aluminum powder it gives a powdered compound that can burn brilliantly and produce a lot of energy in a short span of time. This is the concept used in producing flash powder which is a mixture of potassium perchlorate and aluminum powder. The two have a vigorous reaction which produces a flash and a bang.
Explosives that use the powder for its vigorous reactions when mixed with other compounds are much safer to handle. This is the reason why fireworks use aluminum rather than any other metal.
Rocket fuel is also produced using aluminum powder. A lot of times solid rocket fuel is usually aluminum mixed with other chemicals that will produce the right kind of reaction. It can also be added to liquid rocket fuel as well.
Aluminum powder is also used as a key component in metallurgy. The method basically involves addition of the powder to a molten metal. High-tech equipment the powder can also be used to manufacture component parts directly.
A lot of paints also use aluminum powder. Its purpose when used with such paints is to give the paint a metallic sheen. Aluminum can make the paint look more appealing by producing a spectacular silver appearance.
Aluminum Oxide Powder
The compound is a result of mixing aluminum powder with oxygen and has the following chemical formula; Al2O3. It is found more abundantly than other oxides and is specifically referred to as aluminum (III) oxide. Aluminum oxide is the key component that stops metallic aluminum from weathering. As a metal aluminum is very reactive with atmospheric oxygen and reacts to form a small layer that stops further oxidation. A number of metal alloys use this property and are coated with the compound for protection.
Dark Aluminum Powder
Is also known as flash powder and is mainly used for the explosive effect of the reactions of its compounds. The powder can be made using potassium chlorate, potassium nitrate and sulfur. These mixtures are mixed in different ways to produce varied effects. Some are used for the loud bang produced when the reaction occurs and some are used for the light they produce. As such, flash powder can be used for illumination and was used in cameras in the past.
This can be done for reasons such as protection or a shinny appearance. For all said uses the aluminum powder is mixed with compounds to form oxides which in the case of protection react poorly. Powdered coating for paints is usually meant to give the paint in question a shiny look such as that used for car paints and such. If you are asking yourself the question ‘can you powder coat aluminum?’ then by now you have a clear answer. Powder coating aluminum is possible the only difference between what kind of chemicals you use is the final effect.
Powder Coating Equipment
Powdered coating is done using spray equipment since the powder is blown as a fine mist. The most important things to have for such a task is a paint gun with the right kind of nozzle, an overall and goggles. This kind of spray coating is usually done in industries.
Powder Coating Colors
There is no limitation as to the type of color one chooses to use for spray painting. The variety of colors is only limited by the individual’s taste and preference. However, one thing that is important to note is that these colors are not always suitable for any kind of spray paint job. For instance a color that would look amazing on a car may not necessarily work as well for a building.