Stretch Forming by Linetec curves and finishes architectural aluminum products in one location

Originally posted on Linetec:

curved-metal-rackStretch Forming by Linetec allows our customers to have their metal building components curved and finished in one location. Half-circles, eyebrows and Gothic arches are popular architectural applications.

Customers can ship their aluminum to Linetec for bending and finishing to retain the full finish warranty.

Utilizing Linetec’s dedicated fleet of trucks saves customers shipping costs and transit time, as well as reduces material handling and packaging to minimize the opportunity for damage.
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Linetec’s full scope of bending capabilities includes annealing and tempering to soften and harden aluminum. Born from the aerospace industry, stretch forming maintains precise dimensions throughout a curve. The extrusion is kept under constant tension, while wrapping it around a form, or die. This produces perfectly contoured products, while limiting or even eliminating wrinkling inside the arc.

McDonalds interior dispay2 Jay&Kay mfgIn addition to stretch forming, Linetec offers a broad choice of paint, anodize and powder coat, plus field repair and restoration, thermal…

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Washington University’s Olin Business School’s new buildings feature Super Sky skylights finished by Linetec

WA-Univ-Olin-Bus-03Washington University in St. Louis celebrated the 97th anniversary of Olin Business School with the dedication of two new buildings: Knight Hall and Bauer Hall. Creating a welcoming atmosphere and a lasting impression, a five-story glass atrium crowns the two buildings. Linetec finished Super Sky Products Enterprises, LLC’s skylight systems’ aluminum framing using a 70 percent polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) resin-based coating. The resulting combination achieves the project’s goals for transparency, durability and sustainability, including LEED® Gold certification.

Olin Business School’s new buildings were designed by California-based Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners as the architect-of-record and Mackey Mitchell Architects of St. Louis serving as the associate architect. General contractor, Tarlton Corporation, oversaw construction of the 177,000-square-foot, $90 million project.

WA-Univ-Olin-Bus-01It is the largest single project completed on the Washington University Danforth campus in the shortest span of time, nearly doubling Olin Business School’s footprint on the campus. The aggressive construction schedule began in May 2012 and concluded in March 2014. The buildings’ dedication ceremony took place in May 2014. The inviting space unites the ensemble of buildings housing 11 classrooms, study rooms, a 300-seat auditorium, 75 faculty offices, lounges and other spaces to foster interaction.

“Olin’s student body has more than doubled since we built our first building in 1986, and we have twice as many faculty and degree programs,” said Olin Business School’s dean Mahendra Gupta. “We wanted these buildings to make a statement, to inspire everyone who is going to walk through these corridors, not just today, but for years to come. The world-class facilities give everybody a confidence that the university is committed to create a world-class program.”

WA-Univ-Olin-Bus-07Central to this inspirational facility is the Frick Forum, as described by James Kolker, assistant vice chancellor of campus planning and director of capital projects: “The atrium has become a vertical town square, while the open, flexible spaces that surround it invite connection and collaboration.”

Ryan Navis, Super Sky’s project manager, agreed and elaborated, “Tarlton and Washington University are fantastic customers, some of the best we’ve worked with. That’s vital on a challenging project like this where quality and productive collaboration is the key to working out all of the difficult intricacies.”

Super Sky met the project’s challenging goals, and its aesthetic and performance requirements by manufacturing and installing the skylight systems in three sections. The largest section is an 88-by-91-foot custom vault skylight. A single slope skylight caps another section measuring 5 feet by 46 feet 5 inches. The final skylight is a 29-by-20-foot, custom curved, single slope system.

Navis continued, “Super Sky is only a piece of the puzzle though, and it’s a sum of the parts that brings a project like this to fruition. One of those key parts is our finisher, Linetec. As a national and international company, Super Sky is accustomed to seeking out the best from around the country. Luckily, we have the best right in our backyard. Linetec makes the finishing process an automatic.”

WA-Univ-Olin-Bus-15Sent in 11 separate shipments over several months, Linetec finished Super Sky’s aluminum-framed, custom vault and curved skylights in Ivory, and the narrow, single slope in Bistro Bronze. These systems were painted using PPG’s Duranar®, a two-coat 70 percent polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) resin-based coating. These high-performance architectural coatings meet the industry’s stringent requirements set by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, AAMA 2605. This standard ensures the coatings exhibit outstanding resistance to humidity, color change, chalk, gloss loss and chemicals for long-lasting performance that requires minimal maintenance throughout the buildings’ lifespan.

While the durable, painted aluminum skylight systems offer natural light and views with a connection to the natural world, the low-e insulated, laminated, silkscreened Viracon VUE1-50 glass keeps the occupants comfortable. In total, the skylights’ total glass area is 11,150 square feet, with each of the hundreds of glass lites averaging five feet in length. “This is a building that is all about natural light – we wanted light to penetrate all five floors,” added Kolker.

Viracon’s high-performance glass also assists in lowering energy use by managing the unwanted solar heat gain and glare. Combined with daylight, views and durable finishes, these attributes can contribute to the project’s LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.

As an environmentally responsible finisher, Linetec captures the liquid paints’ volatile organic compounds (VOCs) content to eliminate the exhaust of potential pollutants. The primary environmental concern with liquid paints is the solvents, which may have VOC content and must be destroyed safely. Linetec uses a 100 percent air capture system and destroys the VOCs with a regenerative thermal oxidizer, so there is no adverse environmental impact. Linetec then re-uses its heat energy byproduct to improve process energy efficiency. This process of re-use is completed before the material exits the paint line.

WA-Univ-Olin-Bus-06Recognizing the project’s green design and construction, LEED-NC Gold certification was awarded to Olin Business School’s Knight Hall and Bauer Hall in November 2014. In addition, Tarlton Corporation’s work on the project earned the Associated General Contractors of America’s 2015 Alliant Build America Award.

Hank Webber, Washington University executive vice chancellor for administration, concluded, “Anytime you work on an iconic university, you face the challenge of how do you meet 21st-century needs in a campus whose physical form was established in the beginning of the 20th century. There is a practical set of needs for classrooms and offices in a modern business school. There is also a fundamental need to create great spaces that build a sense of community.”

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School, Knight Hall and Bauer Hall; Throop Drive and Snow Way; St. Louis, MO 63130;

  • Owner: Washington University in St. Louis;
  • Architect-of-record: Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners; Santa Monica, California;
  • Associate architect: Mackey Mitchell Architects; St. Louis;
  • General contractor: Tarlton Corporation; St. Louis;
  • Skylight systems – manufacturer and installer: Super Sky Products Enterprises, LLC; Mequon, Wisconsin;
  • Skylight systems – glass fabricator: Viracon, Inc.; Owatonna, Minnesota;
  • Skylight systems – finisher: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin;
  • Skylight systems – coatings manufacturer: PPG Industries; Pittsburgh;
  • Photographer: William Lemke, courtesy of Super Sky Products Enterprises, LLC

Linetec’s founder and past president, Scott Platta, retires

Platta-webScott Platta celebrated his retirement on June 25, following a 40-year career that includes founding Linetec in 1983 and serving as its first president. Thanks in part to Platta’s vision and leadership, Linetec is now the nation’s largest independent architectural finisher providing paint and anodize finishing services for such products as windows, curtainwall, entrances, hardware and other components.

“I started my career as a part-time kid, low man on the ladder, and worked my way up to president. I was always given the opportunity to improve and advance in the company. Mistakes were tolerated as long as you were focused and your heart was going in the right direction,” Platta remembers. “I feel very fortunate to have worked for a very competent group of managers and associates. Linetec and Apogee Wausau Group is world-class, and a wonderful company to have spent my career.”

When Platta became president, he oversaw 20 employees and a new aluminum-coating facility in Wausau, Wisconsin. Supported with the financial stability of parent company, Apogee Enterprises, Inc., he helped grow Linetec’s business to the 450 plus employees of today. Platta and Linetec’s team achieved this success by helping manufacturers meet architects’ increasing demand for aluminum windows in a wider variety of colorful, durable finishes.

“He was one of the first in the industry who identified the need for fluoropolymer paint,” praises Linetec’s current president, Rick Marshall. “It was Scott’s initial vision to have Linetec be more than just a finishing company. He added value by expanding services for its customers. Among his many ideas that we continue to build upon are our on-site field service, our in-house paint blending laboratory and capabilities, our Linetec Managed Inventory and our Linetec designated route trucks.”

Understanding customer needs came easily to Platta. Prior to joining Linetec, he worked for its first customer Wausau Window and Wall Systems, then known as Wausau Metals. He continued to grow this and other customer relationships at Linetec. Platta was responsible for acquiring the Polywood Shutter painting business, which for many years, was Linetec’s largest customer. He continued to manage Polywood Shutter’s fabrication facility located in Wausau, in partnership with owners Sunburst Shutters of Las Vegas, and served as its liaison with Linetec.

“Scott’s legacy is more than professional success,” emphasized Marshall. “His accomplishments have benefited thousands of people across our community and our industry. And he has done it along with a great sense humor and humility.”

For more information about Linetec’s history of success and finishing services, please visit

Located in Wisconsin, Linetec serves customers across the country, finishing such products as aluminum windows, wall systems, doors, hardware and other architectural metal components, as well as automotive, marine and manufactured consumer goods. The company is a subsidiary of Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOG). Linetec is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA), the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).


Linetec offers antimicrobial protection in 30,000 colors for architectural metal products’ high-touch surfaces

ArchResourceImage-arch resource centerLinetec offers the use of antimicrobial protection for architectural metal products’ high-touch surfaces such as handrails, entrances systems, window frames, panels and column covers. These high-performance coatings are available in more than 30,000 color choices.

Linetec provides architectural coatings in nearly any imaginable color with protection that exceeds other conventional finishes on metal building products’ interior and exterior surfaces. Anywhere the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria is a concern, projects can benefit from this extra level of protection. We understand that this is especially important for those working on health care facilities, educational campuses and other public building projects.

Providing further description of the uses and advantages of antimicrobial coatings, Linetec co-authored a white paper titled, “Antimicrobial Protection for Public Building Applications.” According to the paper, “The need for microbial control stems from the fact that there are an estimated 4.5 million bacterial and fungi species throughout the planet, many of which travel and migrate via the constant ebb and flow of human foot traffic through an ever-changing population of people visiting public buildings. Under the right conditions, some microbes can double in number every 30 minutes or faster.”

ArchResourceImage-LinkedInAt Linetec, antimicrobial protection is infused into select polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) finishes to inhibit the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria on the coating of aluminum surfaces. As a fluoropolymer finish containing a minimum of 70 percent PVDF resin, this three-coat system meets requirements of AAMA 2605, the most stringent specification for architectural coatings.

An environmentally responsible finisher, Linetec safely captures and destroys the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in liquid paints at the factory before arrival on the building site. These industry-leading practices complement other health-conscious and green building choices such as maintaining indoor air quality (IAQ) guidelines, using recycled aluminum content, and ensure a long-lasting, durable and sustainable finish.

For more information about our high-performance finishing services, please visit The white paper is available free for download at

Working on a coastal project? Start with the right finish

CA-BrenHallPayamRahimian-webCoastal areas are beautiful locations for commercial and residential buildings. They also pose the greatest challenges in protecting exterior-facing architectural aluminum products from corrosion. Windows, storefronts, entrances and curtainwalls, sun shades, canopies, skylights, column covers, rain screens and exterior panels all commonly are manufactured from aluminum and integrally connect to a building’s façade. Without proper precautions and finishes, corrosion to these components ultimately can damage the structural integrity of the building envelope and can lead to systemic failure.

PortCanaveral1-(1web)As a prominent part of the buildings’ exterior, the coated aluminum adds color and design to the project; this coating also protects the building from unsympathetic surroundings. When selecting a coating that will be required to stand up to harsh coastal or corrosive environments either the highest-performing organic paint coating, that meets the AAMA 2605-11 specification, or a Class I anodize coating that meets AAMA 611-12 should be selected. AAMA continues to set the highest standard for architectural coatings, especially in a coastal or highly corrosive environment.

High-performance 70% polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) coatings give architects, specifiers and building owners the capability to select nearly any conceivable color or combination of colors, while shielding the building against weathering, pollution and aging.

PVDF is known for its exceptional chemical stability and excellent resistance to UV radiation. It is used in architectural applications as a coating on aluminum where it provides exceptional resistance to environmental exposure. The chemical structure of PVDF is:chemical structure PVDF

The carbon-fluorine bond, used in the 70% PVDF, Kynar 500 resin-based, coating is one of the strongest bonds known. These paint coatings have the ability to withstand enduring and intense UV radiation, attributed to long-term color- and gloss-retention, and chalk-resistance.

TampaMuseumArt-AccuratePerforating-webThese highest-performing 70% PVDF coatings meet the most stringent, exterior, architectural specification AAMA 2605-11. This specification requires paint coatings to meet rigorous testing performance standards including more than 4,000 hours of salt spray, and heat- and humidity-resistance.

Section 8.8 of AAMA 2605 refers to the corrosion resistance requirements of all coating that must pass these stringent guidelines:

  • Humidity –The sample is exposed in a controlled heat and humidity cabinet for more than 4,000 hours at 38ºC (100ºF) and 100% relative humidity. No formation of blisters to extent greater than “few” blisters, as defined by ASTM D714.
  • Cyclic Corrosion Testing (previous referred to as salt spray resistance) – Score the film sufficiently deep to expose the base metal. Expose the sample for 2,000 hours according to ASTM G85, Annex A5, dilute electrolyte cyclic fog/dry test. The sample must score a minimum rating of 7 on scribe or cut edges and a minimum blister rating of 8 within the test specimen field, as defined in ASTM1654.
  • South Florida exposure – The coating shall maintain its film integrity, color retention, chalk resistance, gloss retention and erosion resistance properties for a minimum of 10 years on the south Florida on-fence testing site.
  • Color retention – Maximum of 5ΔE Units (Hunter) of color change after the minimum 10-year exposure test. A ΔE unit is the variance or color difference measured on a vector scale from a specific point in the color space.
  • Chalk resistance – Chalking shall be no more than that represented by a No. 8 rating for colors and No. 6 for whites after 10 years of test fence exposure. Per ASTM D4214, chalking is measured on a numerical scale with higher numbers representing better chalk resistance.
  • Gloss retention – Gloss retention shall be a minimum of 50% after the 10-year exposure testing, as described by ASTM D 523.
  • Resistance to erosion – Less than 10% film loss after the 10-year exposure testing.

Linetec, and the leading paint manufacturers, recommend the use of a PVDF-based paint system on aluminum material for all coastal and corrosive environments.Offering the longest lifecycle and true sustainability, a 70% PVDF (Kynar) coating system, pretreated with chrome phosphate, along with an inhibitive chrome rich primer should be used. This coating type meets or exceeds all the requirements of AAMA 2605 the highest performing “Voluntary Specification for High Performance Organic Coatings on Architectural Extrusions and Panels.”

To ensure your finish offers specifiable differences that contribute to your project’s long life, durability and sustainability, download a free copy of “Section 05 0513 Shop Applied Coatings for Metal 3-part Guide Specification”

A Cleaning and Maintenance Guide for aluminum coatings

High quality architectural painted and anodized finishes are extremely durable. But even the best finishes still need a little TLC.

Even with the most careful treatment of the windows, curtainwall or storefront during installation and in their daily use, occasional damage will occur.

This Protecting-your-aluminum-finish guide shares recommended care of painted and anodized finishes on architectural metal and examines three levels of concern: care and cleaning, minor repairs and field touch-up, and more complex refinishing caused by severe damage.  read more

Recommendations from the Paint Manufacturers

PPG and Valspar – offers two main precautions: (1) do not use wire brushes, abrasives or similar cleaning tools which will mechanically abrade the coatings surface, and (2) certain cleaning agents (listed in full article) should be tested in an inconspicuous area before use on a large scale.

Download the full paper here

PPG’s full cleaning and maintenance guide can be found here.

Valspar’s full cleaning and maintenance guide can be found here.

Linetec’s Paul Bratz honored with Patriot Award

Award-Veteran PresntationThe Wisconsin Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, honored Linetec’s paint operations manager Paul Bratz with a Patriot Award. Sgt. Bradley Pochinski nominated Bratz for “extraordinary support” of employees who participate in military service.

Pochinski serves in the Wisconsin Army National Guard assigned to the A Company 1-128th Infantry Regiment, 32nd lnfantry Brigade Combat Team, based in Menominee, Wisconsin. On April 22, John Rhyner, area chairman of the Wisconsin Committee for ESGR, presented the Patriot Award to Bratz at Linetec’s facility in Wausau, Wisconsin.

“It is a true honor to be nominated by Bradley. We are so proud of him and grateful for the many who serve our nation through their military service,” said Bratz.

“Paul Bratz and Linetec have provided outstanding support and cooperation, and have exhibited a patriotic spirit recognized with this award,” emphasized Mike Williams, chairman of the Wisconsin Committee for ESGR. “The Patriot Award is only presented to employers who not only hire Guard and Reserve members, but also demonstrate superior support to military employees and their families. The National Guard and Reserve forces are the cornerstone of our national defense. They perform an increasing number of unique missions that require extraordinary actions on the part of everyday citizens.”

The U.S. National Guard and Reserve currently includes 1.3 million members. As of March 2015, the number of Guard and Reserve component personnel on active duty totaled 23,871. The ESGR accepts Patriot Award nominations from all members of the National Guard and Reserve. Learn more at

For more information about Linetec, please visit us at

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