ISSN: 0169-4243 (Print) 1568-5616 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tast20 Abstract In the powder coating of non-conventional substrates such as engineered wood, natural fibre composites or synthetic polymers, several technological problems must be resolved which result from the substantial differences between such coating substrates and metallic ones. Unlike metals, non-conventional carrier ma-terials show low temperature stability, much rougher and more irregular surface texture, large dependence of their dimensional stability on the moisture content of the surrounding environment and significantly less electrical conductivity. Hence, when powder technology is transferred from coating metals to coating fiber-boards, for example, the surfaces of the boards need to be engineered in order to provide ideal adhesion for the coating layer. One major problem is the lack of electrical conductivity. Since the powder coatings are preferably applied using electrostatic spraying equipment, sufficient electrical conductivity of the surface is a major requirement and the correct moisture content plays an important role as well. In the present study, a pre-heating process was used to improve the powder application during powder coating of medium density fibreboards (MDFs). Electrical resistance, treatment temperature and moisture content were systematically studied to better understand the complex physical mechanisms leading to an improvement in powder appli-cation by such a pre-heating process. To this end, a new sophisticated procedure was developed to measure the electrical resistance (surface and core resistance) during pre-heating. The results show, that the electri-cal resistance of MDF is influenced by board temperature and moisture content. Moreover, it is confirmed that pre-heating proves to be an efficient method to improve the powder application onto non-conventional substrates.
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