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Textured Metal Building Products Part One: Growing Trend

Image via Steelscape

Image via Steelscape

Prepainted metal is a popular choice for consumers, architects and specifiers who are looking for environmentally friendly, durable, and aesthetically pleasing options. The National Coil Coating Association’s (NCCA) members are seeing a growing trend for textured, prepainted metal products in commercial and residential building design.

While the use of textured paint in coated metal building products is often found in roofing applications for its environmental benefits, the visual and textural innovations of recent years have opened up textured products to a number of applications. Continue reading


Color and Appearance

Source: Columbus Museum of Art Facebook

Source: Columbus Museum of Art Facebook

I recently attended a Konica Minolta seminar on color and color instrumentation, held at the Columbus Museum of Art. What a great idea, discussing the science of color in a building where color is critical and has been used to express so many concepts, ideas, and ideals. Konica Minolta holds these seminars around the country, and this one in Columbus had 50+ people in attendance.

The seminar was three-hours long, and there were two main takeaways:

  1. Color is a very complex topic.
  2. There is a big difference between color and appearance.

Many attending this seminar were from the automotive industry. Continue reading


The Growing Popularity of Metal Roofing in the Residential Market

The Metal Roofing Alliance estimates that more than 750,000 U.S. homeowners chose a metal roof to protect their families in 2015. The Metal Roofing Alliance reports that demand for sustainable, eco-friendly and energy-efficient home improvement materials continue to grow in North America.

According to a new study conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics, the residential metal roofing industry saw a big jump in market share last year, moving from approximately 8 percent in 2014, to 11 percent in 2015. The independent survey showed that between 2014 and 2015, the total demand for metal roofing increased from 11.7 million squares to 17.7 million squares. This is the second time residential metal roofing has achieved double-digit market share in the re-roofing segment. Metal roofing is second only to asphalt shingle roofing in the remodeling market. Asphalt market share dropped 2 points overall, and it now makes up 78 percent of the U.S. market.

When the Metal Roofing Alliance began its national consumer awareness campaign in 1998, metal only made up 3.7 percent of the re-roofing market. The organization’s consistent effort to educate consumers about investment-grade metal roofing has helped to build this market.

Survey Data Continue reading


And the Nobel Prize for Industrial Coatings Goes To…

red-coilIt’s the 2016 Nobel Prize season, and there’s a prize for:

  • Chemistry: Molecular Machines (sounds cool, batteries not included)
  • Physics: “…for theoretical discoveries of…” (What on earth is a theoretical discovery? Aren’t there any actual discoveries to award?)
  • Physiology: Understanding the mechanism for the degradation of cells.

There is never a Nobel Prize given for Technology. But, if there were, let’s consider some candidates in the area of factory-applied coatings for metal:

  • Automotive Coatings—dazzling finishes, robotic painting, with coatings that last a lifetime (10 years, in this case)
  • Powder Coatings—0 VOC technology, high-temperature bake, thick films (2-5 mils)
  • Aerospace Finishes—must function under demanding applications
  • Metal Furniture Coatings—no particular demand placed on the coating, other than wear resistance
  • Coil Coatings–an area near and dear to our hearts

And the Nobel Prize for Industrial Coatings goes to Continue reading


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Accelerated Weathering: Part One

“Not this topic again,” you might say. By “this,” you probably inferred that you are about to read a few hundred words describing the difficulties of meaningfully correlating accelerated weathering to real-time performance. Rest easy; that old topic is kids’ stuff compared to understanding the meaningfulness of corrosion testing.

The performance of coil coatings over the lifetime of a product is of paramount importance. Of the markets served by prepainted metal, the building products market poses the greatest challenges. During a recent NCCA meeting, there were plenty of conversations about accelerated corrosion testing, and this got me thinking about the similarities—and distinct differences—when comparing accelerated corrosion testing and accelerated weathering. Of course, corrosion is a form of weathering, but the term “weathering” commonly refers to what happens to a product’s appearance properties (chalk, fade, gloss retention) when exposed to sunlight, heat and moisture.  On the other hand, corrosion refers to the degradation of the metal substrate.

Great progress has been made over the last 20 years to understand how to model an accelerated weathering test to better simulate the environment in which a product will be placed. We now have a better understanding of the need to duplicate the solar power distribution, the unrealistic effects of <295 nm UV wavelengths, and, most recently, the importance and necessity of coating moisture imbibition in the physio-chemical degradation of coatings. This level of understanding is mostly absent when it comes to accelerated corrosion testing.

What makes corrosion testing so difficult? Let’s start with the chemistry of corrosion versus accelerated weathering. Don’t worry; I do not intend to get into the chemistry and physics. We’ll leave that to the researchers, but it is important to know that these researchers are always striving to duplicate in an accelerated test cabinet the same chemistry that is taking place in the real world. When done effectively, new products can be introduced with an assurance that they will perform suitably in the field.

As demanding as it is to understand the degradation reactions of an organic coating during typical weathering, understanding corrosion reactions is way more convoluted! Continue reading


Fun Facts: Know Your Sun

The Autumnal Equinox is upon us.

Okay, we know that this means that there are equal amounts of daylight and nighttime. We know that winter is coming to the Northern Hemisphere and that summer is coming to the Southern Hemisphere. But there are other Fun Sun Facts worth mentioning…

At the risk of sounding like a geocentrist, it is easier to describe the movement of the Sun as if the Earth were stationary and the Sun revolved around it. On the Autumnal Equinox, the sun is directly above the equator for this day. If you were standing on the equator at the Equinox, at noon, you would see no shadows, since the sun is directly overhead. The same thing happens on the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. If you want to check this out yourself, catch a flight to Quito, Ecuador, which is right on the equator. The official name of Ecuador, by the way, is the República del Ecuador, which translates into “Republic of the Equator.”

The sun is now making its visit to the southern Hemisphere, and has been doing so since the Summer Solstice (June 22 this year), that day when the sun is as far north as it ever travels. Its “equator” that day is the 23.5°N latitude, also called the Tropic of Cancer. Six months later the sun is as far south as it goes, and—you guessed it—the “equator” on that day, the Winter Solstice (December 21), is 23.5°S latitude, the Tropic of Capricorn.

These Solstice days make for interesting times in those communities lying at or above the Arctic Circle 66°N latitude. On the Summer Solstice, they receive 24 hours of daylight; the Winter Solstice brings them 24 hours of darkness. Here is a good representation of the Sun and the Earth on the Summer Solstice. Continue reading


Cool Roofing: What’s New

We are now a few decades into the era of cool metal roofing. “Era” is probably the wrong word, because cool metal roofing is here to stay. Many coatings producers and metal roofing manufacturers in North America now offer the benefit of cool roofing as a part of their standard product portfolio.

As “special” becomes “standard,” it is easy to assume that cool roofing is on autopilot and that nothing more needs to be done. Although in a practical sense this is mostly true, it is good to remember that research continues wherever energy savings is the goal, and cool roofing is included in this research.

Consider the following: Continue reading