Fluoropolymer coatings can be applied to most solid materials as long as they are clean, dry and free from oils or silicone based substances.
The main limiting factor with substrate materials is the temperature that the part can withstand. The vast majority of fluoropolymer coatings need to be cured at an elevated temperature. Most coatings are cured between 220°c and 420°c, depending on the type of coating system selected. Some coatings designed for flexible finishes can be cured as low as 80°c.
Almost all metals can be easily coated. Copper and other alloys such as brass and bronze with a high copper content can cause issues. Copper will oxidise at the elevated curing temperatures and form an oxide layer between the substrate and the coating. In such circumstances, a layer of electroless nickel will stop any copper oxide forming on the surface. Some high nickel alloys can also present adhesion issues but effective blasting is normally a good solution.
Many plastics can be coated but the system has to be carefully selected as solvents can attack plastics and physical properties can be affected by curing temperatures. Pre treatments are available for temperature sensitive substrates which are particularly useful where grit blasting would affect the mechanical properties of the substrate material.
Some rubbers and elastomers can be coated, such as EPDM, HNBR, NBR amongst others.
Ceramics and glass can be coated. Due to the nature of these substrates, there are limited opportunities to prepare the substrate with a key, but coating systems that are loaded with highly adhesive resin systems can be used to great effect.
Carbon fibre and composite materials are increasingly being used and the unique properties of such materials can be further advanced by the application of a non stick or low friction coating. We have seen increasing demand for this type of service where tangible benefits have been gained, particularly in the motor racing industry where discarded tyre rubber and track debris can have significant effects on aerodynamic performance.