Coated Metal Not Just a Pretty Face

By Jeff Alexander, National Coil Coating Association

Pre-painted metal not only offers an impeccable finish and endless colour and design options, it is often more durable than post-painted metal.

Coil-coated metal can be made weatherproof, corrosion resistant, UV resistant, anti-bacterial and even smog-eating. It's more than just steel or aluminium coated with paint. It's the result of multiple layers and processes that provide durability and unique properties not possible with traditional coating methods.

Beyond the metal substrate, coil-coated metal involves a thorough cleaning and chemical preparation process, and two to four coats of distinct, often high-tech paint coatings. Because pre-painted metal is cleaned, treated and coated when flat - before it is formed - an extremely high level of control is possible, which results in superior uniformity across the strip and throughout the coil. The separate layers within the pre-painted metal system have been specifically designed and approved to work in concert to create a highly durable and robust product to meet virtually any requirement. For example, pre-painted solar panels include a synergy of precisely layered high-tech coatings that absorb and reflect heat to maximise the efficiencies in energy applications.

Pre-painted metal can also provide a highly flexible coating, capable of severe bends, while retaining an excellent degree of hardness and resistance to marking.

The coil coating process allows for distinct coatings on each side of the metal strip, so pre-painted metal products can vary greatly. In many cases, the top coat is specified on one side, with the back having a simple, low-cost coating.

In many applications, the demands on pre-painted metal are extremely rigorous. The finish must maintain its appearance for the life of the product by being able to resist colour fading, corrosion, chemical attack, dirt retention, high temperatures, various extreme weather conditions, and daily wear and tear.

No matter what the needs are, there is no comparison between the technical capabilities and durability of pre-painted metal compared with traditional painting methods. Pre-painted metal can extend the life of a product, provide cost efficiencies and even make certain high-tech products achievable. Learn more at www.coilcoating.org or call the NCCA on 216-241-7333.