Powder Coating and it’s Environment Impact

Interested about powder coating your next project but are hesitant about the environmental impact this finishing process has? At R.R. LeDuc Corporation, we want to reassure our customers that powder coating is one of the most environmentally friendly techniques available today.

Reasons to Choose Powder Coating:

  • Powder coating is virtually free of hazardous air pollutants and has been proven to have negligible VOCs and HAPs (known hazardous chemical pollutants). There are no solvents in powder coating which means it’s impossible to pollute the atmosphere with VOCs.
  • The entire powder coating process is as clean as it gets. Unlike other coating methods (such as using paint), powder coating allows exhaust air from the coating area to be returned to the plant to be further filtered — which means less oven air is released outside the building. The costs for oven temperatures are also minimized.
  • R.R. LeDuc Corporation’s powder coating room is quite large and able to accommodate multiple parts at once due to our conveyorized system. During powder coating, overspray occurs. However this overspray can be retrieved and reused for future projects.
  • The unused powder that is retrieved can be reclaimed and returned into a hopper and thus circulated through the system again without causing much waste in the process. This reuse reduces overhead costs and can lead to lower costs for the customer.

Unlike lead paints, gilding and other coating techniques, powder coating is a safer, more reliable approach to finishing a project. The powder also sticks to just about any surface due to the preparation process and materials used.

Contact R.R. LeDuc Corporation today to discuss your ideas for your next sheet metal project.

R.R. LeDuc Corporation Welcomes Springfield Technical Community College Students

The entire sheet metal fabrication and powder coating process is an intriguing sight to see in person, yet not many people have this opportunity to see a piece of metal turned into a finished, functioning product or work of art. However, a unique opportunity presented itself for 17 students from Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield, MA.

A GLANCE INTO THE SHEET METAL FABRICATION WORLD

On Friday, November 4th, 17 students and three faculty members from Springfield Technical Community College’s (STCC) Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) department headed to Holyoke to see R.R. LeDuc Corporation’s sheet metal fabrication and powder coating processes. The half day tour took the students through R.R. LeDuc Corporation’s entire facility where they got to witness a piece of metal transform into a functioning product.

The point of the visit to the sheet metal fabrication facility was to get the students excited and interested in the sheet metal fabrication process. The students were broken up into two groups, each starting in the design office where all the sheet metal product design work is laid out and programmed on one of many CAD software programs. Next, the groups moved to the fabrication section of the facility and witnessed both the CNC punches and the laser cutters in action (CNC punching and laser cutting is pertinent and normally the first operation performed on the product). The students then followed the parts through the robotic press brake cell where the parts are formed, then to the welding area, and then the grinding area where the parts are prepped for powder coating. Finally the two groups moved to the finishing section where the products are powder coated on R.R. LeDuc Corporation’s custom powder coating conveyor belt and then sent to final assembly.

The importance of teaching the next generationSheet metal fabrication

Both R.R. LeDuc Corporation and STCC both realize how important the sheet metal fabrication industry will be in the following decades. As the technology continues to advance, it’s necessary to find the next generation of students who will propel the industry into the future.

“We plan on doing this annually,” said Eric LeDuc, Head of Sales at R.R. LeDuc Corporation, “and hope to further educate students about the fabrication process. In the future we will be working with STCC to generate co-op programs.”

The purpose of a co-op program would be to expose freshmen and sophomore MET students to sheet metal fabrication techniques and practices before students graduate. R.R. LeDuc Corporation is also hoping to bring in students for summer internships for some hands-on experience before heading back to school in the fall semester.

“The tour was warmly received by all the students and faculty,” said Joe Sipitkowski, PE, MET Associate Professor, “It triggered a lot of enthusiasm and interest with the MET students regarding the fabrication of sheet metal parts and sheet metal manufacturing processes.”

The R.R. LeDuc Corporation is a family owned and operated sheet metal fabrication and custom powder coating facility based in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The company has customized thousands of projects in various industries such as the medical, telecommunication, military and point of sales industry. Questions or comments? Contact us today at 413.536.4329

When it Comes to Sheet Metal, Looks Really are Everything

Oftentimes we don’t realize how much work is put into creating a customized piece of sheet metal. There are numerous steps that need to be taken in order to achieve perfection, but the metal finishing process is probably one of the most important steps when it comes to improving the aesthetics of a sheet metal project.

At R.R. LeDuc Corporation, our Western Massachusetts-based company provides customers with in-house powder coating and has an extensive network of NADCAP certified vendors for all other metal finishing needs. Below are a few of the most common forms of metal finishing procedures.

Types of Surface Metal Finishing

  • Sand Blasting. This is the most common type of metal finishing available for stainless steel, aluminum and copper. The sheet metal is exposed to a powerful yet precise jet of fine sand to create a corrosion-resistant surface. After sand blasting, other finishes can be applied.Gold metal plating
  • Metal Plating. Another common metal finishing technique, metal plating is the process of covering a metal product with a substrate of another metal. Nickel, silver, gold, zinc and other “soft metals” are used to coat harder metals. The idea is to make the product more resistant to environmental factors as well as improve aesthetics.
  • Brushed Metal. Normally used to remove imperfections on the surface of metal products, brushing the surface with abrasive bristles can often restore metal to it’s original functionality. For example, brushed metal can restore gears or other moving mechanical parts. The technique is also used to create a scratched, textured surface.
  • Metal Polishing. Mostly used on stainless steel, copper or aluminum, metal polishing is what gives each product it’s shine and shoot surface. At R.R. LeDuc Corporation, we will often polish our sheet metal products in order to prepare them for metal plating. The result? A glossy, gorgeous finish.
  • Powder Coating. As R.R. LeDuc Corporation’s specialty, powder coating serves two purposes: aesthetics and functionality. The powder can be customized to any color, and in turn the product also serves to protect the underlying metal beneath. Although the color may not be as vibrant as regular paint, the coating will stay on much longer and protect the finished product from corrosion.

Have a project in mind that requires the sheet metal fabrication expertise of R.R. LeDuc Corporation? Contact us today for a free project estimate.