Anodic finishes continue to gain popularity with specifiers for architectural aluminium rainscreen cladding and features on new and refurbishment projects, undoubtedly more recently this popularity could be associated to its inherent A1 fire rating; making anodising eminently suitable for use on buildings at any height. Aesthetics are also a key factor, natural anodised aluminium is a robust, attractive finish, but anodising is also used to create unique gold, bronze, blue grey and black hues, as well as various coloured variations. Because anodising is a natural process, it is vulnerable to variation in terms of surface appearance and colour fidelity. In response to this, many leading powder manufacturers have developed ‘look-a-like’ finishes to Anodised colours. These finishes are growing in popularity as they accurately simulate the natural reflectance of anodised aluminium, and are particularly effective in imitating ‘coloured anodised’ material.
Project: Courtyard By Marriott, Heathrow. Finish: Anodic Gold & Anthracite Grey Powder Coatings
What are the advantages of Anodic Powder Coatings?
Whilst anodising an aluminium surface offers a ‘natural’ colour and appearance which changes with the direction of light and the type of processed aluminium used, it may present colour inconsistency or ‘shading’– particularly between extrusions and sheets. The anodic powder coating alternative, by contrast, provides a consistent colour, shade and reflective appearance, making it easier to match other sheet and extrusion on site. Another significant benefit is that anodic powder coatings are not limited to being used on an aluminium substrate as it can also be used on other materials substrates such as steel.
Durability is a key factor in specifying architectural finishes, and with this in mind the latest ranges of ‘Anodic’ powder coat finishes are typically manufactured to either SUPERDURABLE or ULTRADURABLE standard, providing an extended service life when compared with most powders. A popular range offered by Interpon D2525 uses ultra durable polyester technology that meets the demanding weathering requirements of the leading industry specifications Qualicoat class 2, GSB Master, and AAMA 2604-05, as well as BS EN 12206.
A2 Fire Rating
All Ash & Lacy Powder Coatings have been classified to the latest EN13501-1 standards by UKAS accredited bodies. When applied to aluminium, our powder coatings achieve the classification A2,s1-d0, which meets the requirements of the latest Building Regulations for use on buildings over 18m in height.
Consistency of quality for architectural powder coatings continues to be highlighted by QUALICOAT UK & Ireland, which includes third party testing of all certified powder formulations and pretreatment systems that make up the QUALICOAT approval process. For specification support, as a member of the Qualicoat Association and an Approved Qualicoat Applicator, Ash & Lacy can provide this assurance and guidance for all architectural powder coatings produced at our in-house facility.
Minimal Environmental Impact
Because powder coatings contain no solvents, the process releases negligible amounts of VOCs into the atmosphere. This means that the whole process generates little to no pollution and means that there is no need for costly pollution control equipment. The powder coating process is totally free from hazardous air pollutants. VOCs and HAPs can be dangerous to your health, so other coating processes that do emit them have to implement expensive respiration and filtration systems to protect from this. Additionally, any overspray that occurs during the powder coating process can be collected up and returned to the hopper to be reused, reducing waste and saving costs.
Reduced Lead Times
By its nature, the anodising process is very specialised and so there are a very limited number of these production facilities based in the UK servicing a wide range of end user markets. During busy periods, lead times for anodised finishes can therefore be extensive. In comparison, powder coating is a quick and efficient process, with a typical lead time of approximately 7-10 days. In cases where coated panels or components have been scratched or damaged on site, a quick turnaround can facilitate replacement or simple remediation within a short timeframe.
In addition to the Anodic ranges, complimentary colours are available in their thousands, in varying gloss levels and textures, presenting huge opportunities for creativity and flair.
The choice really is yours – contact us to request samples, or to make an enquiry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.