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POWDER COATING ROSE to prominence in the early 1970s when there was both an energy shortage accompanied with high costs and a move by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce markedly the amount of certain organic solvents, now known as VOC or volatile organic content, in coating formulations. Powder coatings are solvent-free coatings that can be thermoplastic or thermoset in nature. Thermoplastic powders can be applied to substrates by fluidized bed or electrostatic spray techniques. These powders only require heat to liquefy the particles and make them flow into a smooth coating. The coated object then cools to ambient conditions to form the coating.