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Prepainted Metal: Today’s Innovations Bring Beautiful Advantages

The old saying, “As exciting as watching paint dry” could not be further from the truth when it comes to coil coatings. First, the paint that is applied to a metal coil during the coil coating process dries (bakes, really) in just 15 to 30 seconds. A lot takes place in that short period of time: 1) the solvents evaporate (they are captured and destroyed in this environmentally friendly process), 2) the coating flows to produce a smooth surface, and 3) a chemical reaction takes place to create a cured, hard, scratch-resistant yet flexible coating. To the chemists who create this magic, it’s exciting stuff, but it’s difficult for the consumer to appreciate since the process takes place in a factory setting. What consumers can appreciate is what they see when the product reaches the marketplace. So … let’s see what’s innovative these days!

First, let’s talk about beetles. Yes, beetles. Especially the ones that have that cool iridescence. They create that effect by … well, it’s complicated!

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Can’t Take the Heat? “Cool Walls” Can Reduce Energy Costs, Pollution

A nationwide study by Berkeley Lab details benefits of lighter-colored, solar-reflective walls

As you likely know, NCCA members and their customers along the prepainted metal value chain have been supporters of “cool roofs” for 20 years. Without question, this technology effectively reduces energy consumption during the hot months of the year. So, what’s next?

“Cool walls”! Wait, what? Cool walls? Cool-roof technology is intuitive; roofs face the sun, but walls are vertical structures. How much solar energy can they possibly be exposed to? Well, you’ve come to the right place to find the answer.[i]

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Busting Coil Coating Myths: The Five Misconceptions About Prepainted Metals

If you are a manufacturer or designer, there are five common myths about coil coating or prepainted metal you might have heard. We’re going to bust those myths one by one and show you why prepainted metals are your best choice. Here are the facts.

Myth 1: Prepainted metal is expensive.

The truth is, utilizing prepainted metal saves you money by eliminating the costs associated with an in-house paint shop. When you post-paint, you have the added expense of labor, materials, scrap, and inventory. Plus, there are numerous costs (and headaches) when you’re dealing with EPA and OSHA compliance. It can cost big bucks to make sure you’re properly handling waste, emissions, and cleanups. In addition, storing paint in your facility can cost you in higher insurance premiums. To determine whether prepaint is for you, download the cost analysis form under Education on the NCCA website.

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On the Road with Prepaint

Prepainted metal is all around us. You are probably familiar with its many uses in the building and construction and appliance markets, but you may not be aware that prepainted metal is also important in the transportation sector.

Think “transportation,” and your mind typically leaps to cars and trucks—and from there to the beautiful body panels that are an aesthetically important part of these vehicles. Spoiler alert: Painted automotive body panels require specialized coatings and application techniques and, as a result, are not ideally suited to the use of prepainted metal. Nonetheless, there are plenty examples of coil-processed material used in the transportation sector.

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Coatings Technology: Learning to Accommodate the Local Weather

We’ll confine our discussion here to obvious weather differences, but we won’t get into how coil coatings formulators accommodate those differences. That’s a discussion for another day. Just know that steel and aluminum companies, pretreatment suppliers, and coatings chemists are working hard to formulate a coil coating system that provides the necessary performance for a particular region.

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Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Effects

We begin with two strange words, which in some ways are opposites—and in other ways are similar.

Welcome to the fascinating world of wetting.

First, let’s keep this simple. Let’s only think about water—as opposed to oily materials—that is deposited onto coatings, windows, mirrors, the leaves of plants, etc. The water (in the form of rain, steam, fog, etc.) may form droplets on the surface, or it may spread into a thin film. A hydrophobic substrate causes the water to form droplets; a hydrophilic coating, however, causes the water to spread into a thin film. But how do you keep these two terms straight, given that they sound so similar? Continue reading


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Let’s Reroof Your House

image001I know you had a 30-year warranty, but—after 15 years—those shingles simply must be replaced. Anyone can call a roofer, but why not take a shot at making your own shingles? But first you need a formulation—the recipe—and I’ve got just the one for you. And while we’re at it, let’s compare shingle manufacturing to metal roofing manufacturing.

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The Doctor Has Called in a Prescription for You

Prescriptive Requirements vs. Performance-Based Testing in the Construction Market

image001Sometimes your doctor writes a prescription for your ailment, and sometimes your doctor wants to run some tests first. The first example is a prescriptive approach (do this and you will be okay), whereas the second example is a performance-based approach to solving your problem (take some meaningful measurements and then determine what to do). The same two options are also used in the metal building industry.

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Coil Coating: Then and Now

image1Announcer: There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly, and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. Continue reading


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Weathering Devices: Let the Sun Shine Down

imagesAbout 75% of the North American coil coating industry is dedicated to building products. Since the lifetime of these products is measured in decades, as opposed to merely years, the weathering performance of the coatings used for this market is critical. Understanding how coatings perform, therefore, is essential. There are many approaches to studying weathering performance, and one of the more interesting techniques to accelerate the weathering process involves the devices described in these two ASTM standards:

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