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Coil Coated Prints

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

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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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NCCA Color Experiment at NCCA’s Fall Meeting and METALCON 2017

NCCA has been investigating an alternative method for color measurement for the coil coating industry. As part of this investigation, NCCA is coordinating a visual assessment experiment. In a nutshell, we are attempting to assess the human response to slight color differences between pairs of panels and to correlate that response to a color instrument’s reading. Of course, people see color and color differences differently, and color instruments have a host of setup options from which to choose, so this is hardly a straightforward experiment. But if it were simple, it would have been done decades ago. Continue reading


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Tips for Prepainted Metal Maintenance

For most buildings, the exterior is designed to be its most important eye-catching feature. While we’re wired to be extra mindful of the cleanliness and maintenance of the interior of our homes and offices, we sometimes neglect to remember to give the outside of our buildings the proper care. One of the biggest advantages of prepainted metal is its easy maintenance, but there are a few easy steps to make your metal panels shine bright.

Rinse the surface with water.

This sounds like a no-brainer, but this is one of the easiest ways to clean coated metal panels. Dirt and debris built up over time can affect the quality of the panel’s appearance and potentially reduce the lifetime of the coating. Simply rinsing the surface with a garden hose or pressure spray system will clean most buildups on a coating surface, allowing the panels to look brand new.

Clean with soap or water for difficult areas.

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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