Powder-Coated Steel Furniture
Is Good for the Environment
By Charles Brown

 

 

I walked into a contemporary home on a dead-end street, and quickly took note that the owner of this modern ranch had an insatiable desire for steel furniture. The dining room table was constructed from steel, along with the sturdy-looking kitchen island. When I entered the living room, I surmised the owner was the heiress of a steel fabrication company. However, that was not the case.

She did have modern taste in furniture, but was also aware of the numerous environmental benefits of powder-coated steel furniture. Her choice of powder-coated steel furnishings was doubly beneficial. The interior of her home was beautiful. In addition, she had made a decision that protected our environment.

After this experience, and because of my love of steel furniture, I founded PK Steel Designs LLC in April 2005. Based in Kansas City, Missouri and co-owned by Jakob Goldman, our company manufactures custom powder-coated steel furniture to fit any space in a customer’s home. I knew steel and the process of powder coating are good for the environment, which unequivocally affected the way Jakob and I moved forward in our approach to our business plan.

PK Steel Designs manufactures custom steel furniture for the modern lifestyle. We incorporate stone quarried from Israel, kiln-formed glass, and other materials to create unique pieces for any space.

The Steel Can Recycling Institute, now named the Steel Recycling Institute, was formed in 1988 to promote recycling of steel cans. The institute has progressed toward its vision at a fine clip. Among the metal objects it now recycles are automobiles, appliances, and construction materials. When one considers the vast amount of items made from metal, it can become quite overwhelming.

According to The Steel Recycling Institute, steel is the No. 1 recycled material in the United States. Every year there is more steel recycled than glass, aluminum, and plastic combined. All of this steel is melted into new steel. This is the quintessence of recycling and protecting our environment.

Among many other environmental benefits of steel recycling is that each year it saves energy equal to powering one-fifth of the households in the United States. According to The Steel Recycling Institute, citizen efforts to reduce the solid waste stream result in more landfill space and the conservation of natural resources, which is of extreme importance today.

Steel, as opposed to wood, is not flammable. The strength of steel has more resistance to earthquakes, hail storms, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Utilizing steel versus wood in construction saves our rain forests. In addition, steel does not attract termites. Steel is a resource with many uses in many different industries. When the material is powder coated, environmental benefits increase dramatically.

Powder coating is a process where paint is broken down to a powder and sprayed onto a steel surface with an electrostatic charged spray gun. It is then baked at 400 degrees — the result is a uniform finish that is consistent and durable. Numerous colors are also available. Street signs, refrigerators, automobiles, and steel furniture are among the steel items that are powder coated.

Liquid paint contains solvents which are filled with pollutants known commonly as volatile organic compounds. According to The Powder Coating Institute, powder coating contains no solvents and releases few, if any, volatile organic compounds into the environment. When powder coating steel, the overspray of the paint resin can be reused, avoiding much of the waste that often occurs with liquid finishes.
Due to the regulations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the powder coating market has increased over the last 30 years. Ultimately, it saves companies money and makes it easier to comply with the EPA.

Thanks to the efforts and measures promoted by The Steel Recycling Institute and The Powder Coating Institute, our environment has been buoyed in a very unique way. As more people become aware of and care about the environment today, the future will look brighter with all of our efforts.

Recycling is continuing to become a very necessary action across the nation as many metropolitan areas have started programs in the last ten years. However, very few realize the positive effect of recycling steel, along with the countless benefits of powder coating versus liquid finishes. The next time you walk into someone’s home and see a piece of powder-coated steel furniture, make them aware of the impact they are having in creating an environmentally safer world.

For more information about PK Steel Designs LLC, please visit www.pksteelfurniture.com

For additional information about the environmental benefits of steel and powder coating, visit websites: www.recyclesteel.org and www.powdercoating.org
 


Return to the March/April Index page