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Plastic Applied to the Picnic Table?

There are many styles of picnic tables on the market, but what kind of material is best for durability and safety? Powder coating has been an accepted coated finish for years and there are several reasons why. The coating look great, you can have most any color you want, they are friendly to the environment and efficient to produce. The powder is applied in liquid form so it goes on similar to painting. If you need to have flexibility and strength against impacts, this type of finish would no be the best. Some type of PVC coating is the finish of choice when flexibility is key.

A picnic table is a good example of needing strength and durability. These are left out in the elements probably all year. The corrosion from acid rain is only one issue faced by furniture left outdoors. Powder coating is safer for kids and adults because there is no chance of getting slivers you know where when sliding across the picnic bench. Parks and Recreation departments can't take in the picnic tables every year so they are left outside. A consumer just leaves their picnic table outdoors because they are so heavy to haul into storage. Some set them up on their sides so the snow won't accumulate on top, but they are still left exposed to the elements.

PVC coatings aren't as environmentally friendly and the odor upon application is really strong. Some PVC coatings aren't allowed into European countries which is also a problem when you are trying to sell your picnic tables or patio furniture in other countries. Thermoplastic coating is a good alternative to the PVC. It meets all the requirements demanded for the elements, and it is cleaner and healthier for the environment. These new coatings can also be shipped anywhere so your market isn't limited. These new finishes also can be applied at a lower cost. That is music to the ear of any manufacturer. The product seems to last longer and the customers love it.

This coating can be applied in one layer instead of the traditional 3 layers so scratches just blend in and the application is half as thick as the old coating. The material itself is more expensive, but less is more in this case. The thermoplastic also weights less also decreasing the cost. This type of coating application is easy to maintain when it comes to quality control. That is a crucial element in manufacturing.

You will have unhappy clients and customers if there is no consistency to your products.

Another feature of the thermoplastic is that it can be reheated. This is a huge cost savings because there never has to be a rejected piece of patio furniture. If the finish does not meet quality control standards, just reheat it, melt off the plastic and go again. This also promotes other applications as well other than the patio furniture industry. The automotive industry has used this technology in car parts as well.

As the research is done on other coatings and applications, there is always a better more durable product just around the corner.

Bev Hlavka is a successful freelance writer offering guidance and suggestions for consumers buying patio furniture, gas grills, picnic tables and more.

Her many articles can be found at

She gives information and tips at to help you save money and make informed buying decisions.

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