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What is Vinyl Dip Coating, and What Items May Benefit from It?

An open dishwasher with the bottom rack pulled out.

Tool handles, automotive parts, picnic benches, and deep-fryer baskets made from metal have a sturdy structure. That structure is necessary for all of these tools to manage the demands of jobs across industries. However, the environments in which we use these parts can wear down the metal, leading to a structural decomposition over time. Even the acids on the human hand can erode metal tools, and any metal object exposed to the elements will almost certainly develop rust.

That’s why product designers and OEMs turn to vinyl dip coating to protect metal objects. Precision Coating Technology and Manufacturing (PCTM) uses plastisol powder for our vinyl dip coatings, providing a strong, even finish that can be customized to a unique color. This type of powder coating provides a soft yet durable outer layer that protects against corrosion, oxidation, and abrasion.

Learn more in today’s blog post about vinyl coating and how it can benefit your project. Then, contact our team for a quote on your next vinyl plastisol dip-coating project!

What is a Vinyl Coating?

A vinyl coating is a unique formulation of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) particles in a plasticizer. When the particles are heated, it creates liquid plastisol, which heated objects are then dipped into for coating. Multiple dips can achieve the desired thickness—from 1/16” to 1/4” thick. When cured, the metal objects have a soft, but strong finish.

The vinyl plastisol forms a coating during the three-step dip-coating process. First, in the immersion step, we fully or partially immerse the heated part in a tank containing the liquid vinyl at a constant speed. Next, the substrate remains motionless during the dwell time for the liquid to gel while the plastisol fuses to the item. Lastly, the withdrawal stage removes the item from the coating material at a constant speed and we allow the item to drain.

What Does Dip Coating Do?

Vinyl dip coating creates a plastic layer around a metal object to provide a relatively smooth, even coating. This protective plastic exterior gives the metal object desirable properties, like corrosion, abrasion, and wear resistance. In addition, it makes the item easier to grip and gives it a softer surface. It can also add unique colors to the item, such as black, red, blue, orange, yellow, and green.

At PCTM, we only do dip coating for these vinyl coatings. Others use a plasti-coat liquid vinyl spray, which requires an additional step in the molding process.

When using a spray, you must first deburr or remove any imperfections from the substrate. Otherwise, these imperfections appear in the final product. With precision dip coating, the liquid vinyl fills those imperfections to create an even surface.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Vinyl Plastisol Dip Coating?

If you’ve been reading our blog, you know that we previously talked about the advantages of vinyl dip coating. But because they’re so great, we’re going to reiterate a few many points here:

  • It’s versatile, quick, and environmentally friendly
  • It creates a tough, durable synthetic rubber coating on various metal molds and substrates
  • Because of the dipping process, it’s easy to coat oddly shaped objects
  • The barrier it provides is abrasion-, corrosion-, and wear-resistant
  • Vinyl plastisol is fire-retardant

However, as with any coating, there are a few disadvantages you should know, such as:

  • Difficult to remove once it’s cured, especially in crevices, corners, and edges
  • If you do decide to remove it and had previously painted it, it can damage that paint job
  • The process requires specific tools and machinery, so only professionals like us here at PCTM can do it
  • It’s easy to get an uneven coating thickness

And while you should note these disadvantages to plastisol dip coating, they should deter you from wanting to get a quote for your item. Compared to the weaknesses of some other materials, these are pretty mild and shouldn’t be much of an issue if you plan on a permanent PVC coating.

Is PVC Coating Waterproof?

This question is one of the most common ones we get about vinyl plastisol dip coating. It is resistant to water and creates a waterproof barrier on the object, so water won’t leak into the metal and create corrosion underneath the layer. In fact, professional roofing contractors often use PVC because of its ability to create a waterproof seal and its other beneficial properties, such as durability and fire resistance.

What Products Benefit from Vinyl Dip Coating?

Common objects you use everyday benefit from hot-dip molding—everything from home improvement items to military equipment and furniture. Here are some of the everyday things that have vinyl dip coatings:

  • Tool handles and grips
  • Any type of metals exposed to the elements
  • Hardware and handles for the military
  • Wire insulation
  • Automotive parts
  • Small animal cages, which creates a surface that is resistant to chewing
  • Dishwasher racks
  • Picnic benches and tables
  • Deep fryer baskets
  • Wheelchair rims
  • Hangers
  • Playground equipment—no more burning legs on metal slides!
  • Outdoor furniture

Need Vinyl Plastisol Coating? Contact PCTM!

While vinyl plastisol isn’t a suitable coating for every object, as you can see from the list of items that benefit from it, it has many uses. When you need to protect a metal substrate from rust, create a durable item with a surface that is soft to the touch, or need to coat an oddly shaped object, vinyl dip coating is a fantastic solution. Don’t waste your time with manufacturers who use plasti-coat liquid vinyl spray, as this coating won’t give you the smooth, even desired coating.

Instead, trust the experts at PCTM for all your vinyl coating needs! For over 30 years, we’ve invested in the best workers and technology to make your powder coating projects quick and easy. Just contact us for a quote, and we’ll take it from there! Plus, we love taking on new challenges, so get in touch with us for your unique jobs that no one else will take!

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Tim, our founder, created this business by searching for one-of-a-kind projects that nobody else was performing in the area. We take pride in specializing in these types of unique jobs that you won't find anywhere else.