Manufacturers have long benefitted from the speed, precision, and non-polluting aspects of using coil lines to make prepainted metal panels. However, some manufacturers are unaware that coil lines can perform a variety of functions on metal coils, from reclamation to pretreatment to simply giving them a better-looking finish. Here are four ways manufacturers benefit from using coil lines as an effective first-step operation beyond prepainting. Continue reading
In Part One, we discussed The Hidden Strength of a prepainted metal system (the base metal, the metallic layer, the pretreatment and primer). In Part Two, we examined The Visible Beauty of prepainted metal: color, gloss, texture. Strength and beauty—not to mention durability and sustainability—are important features, but the coil-coating industry also offers The Functional Capability that sets prepainted metal apart from other products, and most of this functionality can be built into the coil-coated topcoat. This topcoat layer, compared to the base metal, is thin—about 2% to 4% of the total thickness of the prepainted article. But what an incredible layer it is! In addition to providing the aesthetic properties (color, gloss, texture, etc.), coil-coating topcoats can be formulated to provide many functional properties. Continue reading
In Part One, we discussed The Hidden Strength of prepainted metal. It’s easy to take for granted all that lies beneath the surface of prepainted metal: the cleaning and pretreatment of the base metal, the metallic coating, and the continuous process that prepares the metal strip for primer and topcoat, all in one pass through the coil coating line. Here in Part Two, we’ll learn about the only feature that is actually visible in a prepainted part—the topcoat; that is, The Visible Beauty. There is, however, more to it than meets the eye. Continue reading
Part One (of Three)
When you look at a piece of prepainted metal, what do you see? Certainly a colorful article that may or may not have some shape to it. Often the metal is fabricated with “ribs” to add structural strength to the panel, or it may be flat, as is the case with a metal composite material (MCM) panel. The surface of the prepainted article might be a smooth, homogeneous surface, or it may have a wood-grained pattern, or it might have a subtle pebbly texture. The color of prepainted metal ranges from whites, grays, and blacks to neutral earth tones to saturated, brilliant colors. Some of the colors have metallic or color-shifting effects. But this layer of color is only what you actually see. What you don’t see is all that is under the surface. Continue reading
By Kelvin Russell, Precoat Metals
Chances are, if you’re reading this blog regularly, you already know that prepainted metal is the substrate of choice for metal buildings, HVAC products, appliance products, and more. The list of applications for prepainted metal is endless, as are the reasons why prepainted metal is the substrate of choice for so many products. To be honest, this long list of reasons is not the subject of today’s post, save one: aesthetics. So many beautiful colors! Color and texture can make blockbusters out of the ordinary products we take for granted. In addition to the performance benefits of prepainted metal, its almost limitless beauty is quickly rising to the top of the list of reasons why consumers choose it for any number of applications. But then tradition steps in and says, “You can’t use metal here, it has to be wood!” Well, phooey. Now what? Continue reading
It’s just another fact of life—sooner or later, all coil-coated metal is going to be fabricated (cut, punched, bent, stamped, etc.), and as a result there will be, in most cases, an exposed edge that one would think would be susceptible to corrosion. Given that long-term durability and corrosion resistance are key performance properties of any painted metal product, this is a big deal.
The type of metal and its coating type have a major impact on the prepainted metal’s ability to follow through on its promise of long-term durability. Decisions made at the beginning of the manufacturing process dictate whether the metal will last or start to corrode after just a few short years. NCCA has studied the long-lasting performance of cut edges on prepainted metal; more details on the study can be viewed in Tool Kit #5, Cut Edge Protection Using Prepainted Sheet. Continue reading
Several years ago, scientists hypothesized that a narrow spectrum of ultraviolet light called far-UVC could kill microbes without damaging healthy tissue. Far-UVC light at about 222 nanometers (nm) has a very limited range and cannot penetrate through the outer dead-cell layer of human skin or the tear layer in the eye, so it’s not a human health hazard. But because viruses and bacteria are much smaller than human cells, far-UVC light can reach their DNA and kill them. In the study, aerosolized H1N1 virus—a common strain of flu virus—was released into a test chamber and exposed to very low doses of 222nm far-UVC light. A control group of aerosolized virus was not exposed to the UVC light. The far-UVC light efficiently inactivated the flu viruses with about the same efficiency as conventional germicidal UV light. Continue reading
In NCCA Tool Kit # 26, “Factors Influencing the Long-Term Performance of Prepainted Metal Building,” an emphasis was justifiably placed on the selection of materials. That selection process starts with a substrate that must provide the corrosion-resistant properties for the environment in which the prepainted product will be used, probably for decades. Whether the specifier is considering steel or aluminum, the mechanical properties of the material are of paramount importance. After all, all prepainted metal is post-formed, so the substrate, as well as the paint system, must be able to withstand the rigors of the fabrication process. With a steel substrate, it’s the thickness of the metallic coating layer; with hot-dipped galvanized steel, it’s the zinc; and with Galvalume®, it’s the Zn-Al metallic blend that needs to have an adequate thickness to provide the necessary lifetime and level sacrificial of galvanic properties. There are many parameters to consider. Continue reading
Thanks for sticking with us—this is the sixth and final post about the NCCA Color Project experiment we conducted at METALCON. In the previous five posts, we presented our analyses of the 28 observers’ ratings to see how discerning and consistent they were. We concluded that human observers see color differences differently; some see a lot of difference, some just a little. This was not unexpected. Finally, it’s time to look at the observed color differences plotted against the machine readings for color difference.
Let’s quickly review the previous two posts on NCCA’s “The Color Project”:
- In Part Three, we showed that about 20% of our observers fell into an “extremes” category (i.e., they were either notably far less critical or far more critical); but the majority—80%—of the observers were more or less in agreement.
- In Part Four, we concluded that most of the people, most of the time, were not fooled by the identical-pair panels. Only 9% of the time were there notable color differences declared, and half of the observers saw no difference at all. If you expect to see a color difference, by golly, you will!