Thermoplastic Coating Basics

Thermoplastic coatings are similar to powdercoating in that they can also be applied with an electrostatically charged powder, amongst other techniques. They are also quite different, due to the fact that thermoplastic coatings do not ‘set’ when heated, and can therefore be repaired with heat.

Many forms of plastic can be applied as a decorative or protective coating on metal parts. Generally there are three basic methods of application.

Fluidised bed application, where pre-heated parts are immersed in a bath of air-fluidised plastic powder. The heat from the metal part melts the plastic powder and coats the metal’s surface.

Spray application, where the preheated part is sprayed with the plastic powder and the retained heat melts the plastic powder.

Electrostatic Spray application, where the part is treated much like conventional powdercoating. A powder is sprayed through a special gun which charges the powder for electrostatic attraction. The dry film on the components is then heated to melt and flow. Note that not all plastics are suitable for this application method.

These coatings are generally thicker than conventional powdercoating finishes, with a thicknesses in excess of 200 microns not being uncommon.

Although most of these plastic materials can me made in any colour, stock lines are rather limited.

Plastic coatings can range from a common PVC, polyethylene and nylon to much more complex engineering formulations. There are a number of special formulations available that give improved adhesion, UV exposure or other specialised properties.

Typical applications for plastic coatings would be the ever-present supermarket shopping trolley, which is a great demonstration of the use of this tough coating. The trolley’s chemical, UV and impact resistance are all key properties possessed by thermoplastic materials.

Like most coatings, the preparation of the metal before coating is very important. This may range from abrasive blasting to special primers.

Why Choose Us?

  • Versatile size and batch capabilities with high quality pretreatment facilities.
  • Access to a world-wide thermocoatings knowledge base.
  • In-house quality team with corrosion testing facilities.
  • A true ‘one-stop-shop’ for all your coating needs.
  • Quality accreditation ensures superior results.


Wrapped in plastic

A true plastic film that is thicker, more flexible and more ductile.

More on Thermoplastic Coatings

Properties: Thermoplastic coating is a specialised industrial coating that has many applications from shopping trolleys to fencing panels. The coating can be formulated for both interior and exterior applications.

Thickness: 150—500 microns (subject to end use).

Uniformity: Coating can vary greatly in thickness.

Hardness: Generally low hardness, although some nylon plastic options can produce a harder coating.

Wear resistance: Again, this is subject to the material used. Some examples can have considerable wear resistance characteristics.

Gloss: Mostly glossy or semi gloss

Colours: The process has a limited range of stock colours, but large quantities can be ordered in almost any desired colour. We stock blue, black, white, red, green, and yellow.

Flexibility: Most of these coatings exhibit very good flexibility, generally exceeding most powder coatings.

Toxicity: Many thermoplastic coatings are approved for food contact.

Corrosion resistance: Depending on the type of plastics used, these coatings have excellent corrosion resistance.

Chemical resistance: Most thermoplastic coatings have very good resistance from both solvents and chemicals.

Standards: There are very few international standards for plastic coatings.

Conductivity: Most plastic coatings have excellent electrical insulation properties.

Cost: Generally, these engineering type coatings are more expensive than many other more common coatings. Our charges will be subject to a number of factors such as volumes processing conditions and rack requirements. Like many of our processes, the labour for racking, un-racking, inspection and packing play a very significant part of our overall charges. Please contact us to find out more.

Size limitations: Subject to the application method, Impreglon Australia can coat almost any sized components. Due to the nature of the process, fluidised bed applications are more restrictive on component sizes.

Recommended Uses

Plastic coating covers a range of finishes for many applications and it is best to talk to one of our technical experts on your requirements so we can choose a material that fully addresses your needs.

Before we process any work, we always provide a specification or a service requirement for the thermoplastic coatings so we can ensure our process meets all your needs, no matter how great or small.

Download our Thermoplastic Coating Fact Sheet

Want more information, or prefer to download something to read later? No problem at all.
Here’s a downloadable .pdf document that covers off all of our service details so that you can read more or share it with a colleague.


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