Abstract A modified Wilhelmy balance technique using thin fibers as solid probes has been applied to study the effect of silicone additives in acrylic resin-based powder coatings on the surface tension of non-reactive binder systems. By measuring the temperature dependence of the surface tension in the temperature range between 140 and 180°C, it could be shown that the silicone additives investigated had a very different surface activity in the molten acrylic resin. Due to the high accuracy of the measuring technique and the good reproducibility of the experiments the influence of different additive concentrations on the surface tension was detectable even at very low concentrations (below 1 wt.%). Compared to the pure powder coating binder which has a surface tension of about 30 mN/m the values decreased between 2–15 mN/m depending on the type of the silicone additive. In addition, the temperature coefficient −(d γ/d T) of the surface tension of the binder melt was changed. In the case of two additives, the surface tension of the powder coating and its temperature coefficient were lowered considerably. This effect of additives is desirable to reach good wetting and leveling of the powder coating.