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When “Just Right” Means “Uh-Oh”

nccaA while back, I wrote about the “just right” conditions necessary for the formation of fog. That particular post discussed the scattering of light, which is done by materials such as titanium dioxide (the principal pigment in white paint) and clouds (where water droplets do the scattering). The birds are chirping at sunrise and the vernal equinox has already passed, which means the sun is finally in the Northern Hemisphere and the days are getting longer and warmer—and all of this points to the beginning of another building season. That got me to thinking about a few other “just right” conditions that seem pertinent for this time of year. And, once again, water comes into play. Continue reading


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Science and ASTM

ASTM logoYou may think that that standards development in ASTM is a slow process—as it tends to be in most associations with volunteers. You may think ASTM-ers talk endlessly about the stickiness of tape or the problem with the precision of the pencil hardness test. Yes, there is plenty of that. There is also the development of new standards when new technology becomes established.

Anyone developing a piece of testing equipment in the paints and coatings industry—or the medical industry or the building and construction industry—can see the value of having an ASTM standard available to clarify its use and to describe its precision. While all of these things are important, I have found that ASTM is also the one association where science can “happen” most readily. Hard to believe? Read on! Continue reading


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The Next Great Thing: Part Two

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We left off last time mentioning two research reports, both of which discuss a functional material that might—someday—serve as a cooling device. No moving parts and no energy required to operate this device. Science fiction? Definitely not, but there is still much to be done before such a device becomes a commercial reality. But, for the moment, let’s not worry about such details.

At the 2015 CRRC Membership meeting, Aaswath Raman, Ph.D., from the Ginzton Laboratory at Stanford University, presented his work on sub-ambient cooling of sky-facing surfaces. To understand Dr. Raman’s work, picture a sheet of material with an exceptionally high solar reflectance (around 97%), mounted in a fixture on a roof in Phoenix. It has a shiny metal appearance. (Super-high reflectance is only possible with mirror-like materials.) Because the material has such a high reflectance, it will not absorb much incoming IR radiation, but it certainly will be heated by the surrounding hot desert air (convective heating). Since this shiny material is hot because of the desert heat, it is emitting plenty of IR radiation. Here is the actual installation. Continue reading


Textured Metal Building Products Part Two: Benefits

maricopa-image_valspar

Image via Valspar

As discussed in Textured Metal Building Products Part One: Growing Trend, textured, prepainted metal building products are being specified and demanded more for a variety of building projects.

These products provide a wide range of benefits when it comes to building design and function, including: aesthetics, durability and environmental.

Aesthetic Benefits Continue reading


Three Benefits of Prepainted Insulated Metal Panels

insulatedmetalpanelsArchitects and building owners continue to expand the use prepainted metal  for its long-term durability, specifically its excellent  chalk, fade, and adhesion performance. The use of Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs) is also on the rise in a variety of roof and wall applications due to its sustainability and versatility. Combining the two, prepainted IMPs provide  superior energy efficiency and durability, both of which are necessary  in today’s competitive marketplace to comply with ever-evolving building codes and customer expectations.

1. Many Design Options Continue reading


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