Powder Coatings: The Sustainable Choice

Cleveland Powder Coating

People are aware of the green credentials of aluminum¸ however, they might not be familiar with the fact that when aluminum is coated with powder coating, it enhances the green credentials. Powder coating also provides a wide range of vibrant color options for aluminum coating.

The starting

According to the US “Whole Building Design Guide”, powder coating is preferred to solvent based coating due to the fact that powder coating is environmental friendly. Powder coating is also a very efficient method on modern vertical coating lines.  Before being pre- treated using either organic or inorganic methods, the aluminum is hung vertically and very close to each other, ready for the spray process. Specially designed booths are used to spray the powder. These booths also collect the over sprayed powder and reuse it. In order to change the color, air knives are used to drive the excess powder out of the booths that are first sealed and then pressurized. The powder is sent to the recycling system for later use.

Currently being used

Initially, powder coating only protected the aluminum substrate from Filiform corrosion and oxidation, but due the advancement in the field, now it even offers a reflection of the solar radiation and this helps the metal keep the building cool. The US Green Building council’s LEED recognizes this impact of powder coating on aluminum. For some years now, this method is used on the aluminum present on the roof top. To achieve this effect, Novel Infra-red reflecting pigments are added the powder coating. The rates of IR can be increased up to 6 times, but this solely depends on the color that is to be used.

The long lifetime of modern powder coating is another attractive feature. Ultra durable fluorocarbon and polyesters powder offer a lifespan of more than 30 years on a building. Initially, only solid colors were offered by most powder coating suppliers, but with the increasing need, new and brighter colors are becoming part of the color palette.

End of life

People are under the wrong impression that coated aluminum is no longer recyclable. It is not true, organic coating can easily be removed without having any detrimental effect on aluminum. however, it is true that painted aluminum is not sold at the same price as uncoated yet, it is worth it due the environmental and energy savings it offers. 90 percent of the aluminum used in the construction is recycled at the end of the life and only 45 percent of new aluminum is used for construction.

Hybrids

It is widely accepted that PVCu is a very bad material for durable doors and windows, but there is a debate happening regarding the merits of using aluminum and wood. Wood might be cost effective in term of engineering, but it is very difficult to maintain. So, people have started to use wood in order to enhance the interior on the inside and aluminum on the outside to increase the durability and strength of the exterior. This idea is becoming common, however, there is only one downside and that is the wood has to be coated with liquid paint. The liquid paint is not environment-friendly; nonetheless, we are sure that very soon powder coating for wood would be introduced.