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The Color Project: Part Three

Part 3Parts One and Two of this series of posts on NCCA’s “The Color Project” discussed why we needed to run a visual assessment experiment and how we structured the study. You may recall that we created 54 panel pairs, and within this set there were 15 repeats (i.e., pairs that were shown to the observers—unbeknownst to them—a second time to see how closely they would rate the pairs), as well as 8 pairs of identical panels (i.e., take a panel, cut it in half, tape the halves together, and call it a color difference pair). I also mentioned the tedium of collecting data for 13 solid hours. And lastly, I teased you with promise of revealing data here in Part Three. So, without further ado, let’s dive in. But first, let’s discuss the visual observations. We’ll talk color data later. Continue reading

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The Color Project: Part Two

Part 2In the last post, Part One, we left off with two facts: We depend on a numerical description of color and color difference rather than judging a sample vs. a standard visually; and NCCA began to investigate ΔE2000 to determine how well it might work in the coil industry.

Let’s start Part Two with a short discussion on ΔE2000. It is way more than the usual ΔE with a little “2000” as a subscript. (If only it were that easy.) Our current ΔE is a straightforward root-mean-squared calculation, as shown here:

ΔEHunter = [(L2-L1)2 + (a2-a1)2 + (b2-b1)2]1/2
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The Color Project: Part One

Part 1The National Coil Coating Association Technology Committee has been investigating color measurement, color difference, and how best to establish meaningful color tolerances. “Color” is a small word, but one with lots of tentacles. You see a blue car, you call it a blue car. The person you’re walking down the street with also describes this same car as blue. So you both call it “blue.” What’s the big deal? Seeing a “blue” car as it travels down the street is one thing. Putting two metal panels next to each other and comparing their colors closely and carefully is quite another thing. It’s all a matter of perspective. Continue reading


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Can Self-Healing Coatings Ever Become a Reality?

Dry field and small green plantIt seems so simple: We cut a finger or bruise a knee, and a week or so later we’re all better. You snip a small branch of basil leaves to make pesto, and before you know it there is another branch of basil leaves sprouting from the cut. If plants and animals can heal and thrive, why not other organic material, like polymers used to make coatings?

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Whatever Happened to … UV-EB Cured Coatings for the Coil Coating Industry?

photo3Whatever happened to UV-EB (ultraviolet-electron beam) cured coatings technology? The simple answer is, “Still there. Doing just fine.” For the coil coating industry, the answer is even simpler: Never left the starting block, even though a great deal of effort went into the development of UV-EB coating technology suitable for the coil-coated building products industry. I’ll get to those developments in a bit, but first, a little history.

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Four Ways Coated Metals Improve Sustainability in Construction

These days, it’s not uncommon to hear businesses from nearly every industry discuss “sustainability” or plans for a more sustainable future. As the term becomes more ubiquitous in today’s business planning, its definition can be somewhat vague. For our purposes, sustainability refers to a company’s efforts in reducing its environmental impact through the use of more environmentally-friendly building materials and less consumption of natural resources. While the coating industry works diligently in manufacturing products that adhere to high standards for sustainability, there are several ways to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious.

1. Reduce the use of volatile organic compounds.

For a long time, volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, played a large role in the coating industry because they contain properties that assist in applying coatings to a surface. Continue reading


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Three Growing Trends in Coated Metal Color and Aesthetics

Year after year, the coated metal industry continues to innovate and inspire designers and architects with new aesthetical and color options that have reshaped consumer expectations. More than ever, buildings have the ability to stand out, while reaping the durability and environmental benefits of using prepainted metal. Here are just a few of the latest trends in coated metal that define why there’s never been a more exciting time in the industry.

1. Textured Products

Textured, painted metal products were introduced in the 1980s to expand the visual, durability and eco-friendly possibilities of incorporating these products into commercial and residential applications. Continue reading