Building Enclosure features “Preventing coating failures”

Helping ensure the best finish for architectural aluminum products, Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder recently authored “Preventing coating failures.” Published in the July issue of Building Enclosure magazine, the article addresses the benefits and cautions of selecting paint and anodize finishes.

5-webWith proper consideration and application, finished architectural aluminum will retain its intended look and long life with minimal maintenance. A durable finish helps provide the desired performance in the harshest environments, including the highly corrosive seacoast. These qualities reduce the need to replace materials and components, conserve resources, optimize labor and save money.

Click here to read the online article.

Need help selecting the right coating for your project? Please contact us for personalized service.

Anodize Nickel Test

Linetec-dark-bronze-Ano-nickel-rub-2blue-web

Nickel Test

When extreme hardness is required for aluminum building components, such as in high-traffic areas, like entranceways and railings, an AAMA 611-14 anodized aluminum finish should be specified.

The hardness of anodized aluminum rivals that of the diamond.

This “Nickel Test” demonstrates why a Class I high-performance anodize coating is the perfect choice for exterior architectural applications.

How does aluminum become anodized?

LinetecAnodize_web-300dpiAnodizing is the most durable and long-lasting option for finishing architectural aluminum building products. An electrochemical process, anodizing produces a finish that resists the ravages of time and environment. However, there are important things to note about color selection for anodized aluminum.

Linetec’s two-step electrolytic anodizing process , where the anodizing and coloring of the aluminum occur in two separate steps, involves:

  • first placing the aluminum in a solution of sulfuric acid and water, then charging it with electrical current to form aluminum oxide on the surface.
  • then after anodizing is complete, parts can be immersed in a bath containing an inorganic metal such as tin, cobalt or nickel, which is deposited in the anodic pores to achieve color.

anodize-ring2-webAs a result, anodized finishes’ color choices range from clear to champagne to a variety of bronze tones to black. Linetec also offers a copper anodize, which involves an additional color tank, using actual copper to color the aluminum while isolating the copper in the coating. This process makes the copper color very stable and consistent.

Anodic oxide is not affected by ultraviolet light and is resistant to scratches, which help ensure color stability.

Due to the chemical process used to create an anodized finish, the possibility of color variation can be a concern during its application. Here are some factors to keep in mind to minimize the variation from your desired color:

  • Single source it. While the aluminum is anodized during the process, other metals (silicon, zinc, magnesium, etc.) present in the aluminum alloy can respond differently, resulting in unwanted variation of color. Reduce this risk by having all metal used for a project come from a single source/extruder, and from one lot of material. Also, avoid using aluminum with different alloys, as it will not yield uniform results.
  • Request a range sample. Because it is impossible to know the effect non-aluminum metals in the material will have on the final product’s color, be sure to ask your anodizer for a range sample before sending them your product for finishing. An anodize range sample is two anodize color chips for the same color, with one showing the lightest extreme of appearance to be expected on the finished parts and one showing the darkest. Be aware that the lighter the anodize finish, the more noticeable the range. Be sure to speak with any potential anodizer to see what range of variation they can guarantee. AAMA’s industry-leading standards specify that the range should not differ by more than 5 Delta E. A quality anodizer may be able to keep the range of a color even lower.
  • Bend then finish.  Anodic films are very hard, and as a result, most post-production bending causes a series of small cracks in the finish that give it a spider-web appearance. To avoid this, have as much bending and forming of the material completed before it is sent to receive its finish.
  • Weld with care.  If your metal has any welds on it, the anodization process can cause a halo effect of localized discoloration around them. Welding with the proper 5356 alloy welding wire and the lowest heat possible helps minimize this.

Select an aluminum finisher that utilizes automation in its anodize process to reduce inconsistencies. An automated system controls and monitors the process, including tank sequencing, chemical add, voltage, current, time and temperature, which ensures the most consistent anodize finish possible.

Learn more about anodizing by clicking here. For personalized assistance in choosing an anodize color for your aluminum building products, please contact Linetec’s regional sales managers, email sales@linetec.com or call 888-717-1472.

Construction Specifier shares Linetec’s anodizing expertise

Flapper2-webThe April issue of Construction Specifier features “Five Factors for Variation in and Anodize Finish,” authored by Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder.

The six-page educational article describes the anodizing process and key considerations to minimize color variation. These essential factors include:

  • Aluminum alloys and their alloying elements
  • Mixing aluminum alloys means mixed results
  • Primary vs. secondary aluminum
  • Chemistry of the anodize process
  • Surface preparations

Construction Specifications Institute members received the printed magazine, and all can view the feature online, page 62.

After April, please visit https://www.constructionspecifier.com to create a free account and access the archived digital editions.

Follow the links to learn more about Linetec’s anodize process and how we ensure the most consistent color.

Linetec honors Mark Hall for 50 years of service

50yr-sign3-webWausau, Wisconsin (May 2017) – In 1967, future president Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as governor of California, The Beatles released “Magical Mystery Tour” album and Mark Hall began his career with what would become Linetec. Reagan left the governor’s office in 1975 and The Beatles broke up in 1970, but Hall is still happily at work today.

“I was 19 years old and a year out of high school when I started at Wausau Metals (now known as Wausau Window and Wall Systems), making $1.75 an hour,” Hall says. “I was part-time at first and worked in shipping, crating windows and loading them onto the truck. For extra hours, I’d clean anodize tanks. In May 1970, we added color to the anodize tanks and I moved to third shift. I’ve been there ever since.”

Continuous Improvement

In 1968, Apogee Enterprises Inc. was formed as a holding company to oversee a growing number of profit centers including Wausau. In 1983, Apogee founded Linetec with a single paint line. When it added the anodizing line in 1986, Hall officially became a Linetec employee.

According to Rick Marshall, Linetec’s president, “Linetec is honored and thankful to have someone of Mark’s loyalty, commitment and expertise. He was the beginning and foundation of the anodizing business for Linetec.”

Hall has seen significant changes at Linetec throughout the half century. He continues to be amazed at the growth of the company and the pace of technology that has improved efficiency and quality. “I used to have four people working with me to manually move the anodize loads from tank to tank. We’d set timers for each tank load to move to the next tank. Buzzers were always going off. Now, it’s just me running the line and everything is automated. The loads are bigger, but they take less time.”

He continues, “Back then, normal rework was 30 to 50 percent. A day with just 25 percent rework was great. Today, our rework goal is less than one percent!”

Tankline2-webDependable Teamwork, Consistent Quality

One thing Hall says has not changed during 50 years is the quality of the people—something that, along with a reliable paycheck and good benefits, has kept him loyal and happy at Linetec for so long. “I’ve always worked with great people,” he emphasizes. “I appreciate our teamwork and have enjoyed training many of our current tank operators.”

“Mark has set the standard for not only tenure at Linetec, but also in quality and consistency of our color anodizing. He remains the most consistent quality anodize line operator Linetec has in its ranks,” praises Andy Joswiak, vice president of operations.

Tank-operator-web“During my 11 years as Mark’s supervisor, he has always been very professional and does his job very well,” reiterates Tim Lynn, “Drawing from his many years of knowledge and experience, he matches the customers’ requested color with one of the highest accuracy rates of all the tank operators throughout the anodize plant.”

Keep on Workin’

Outside of his work at Linetec, Lynn says many people in the Wausau area also know Hall as their former school bus driver. For 28 years, he drove for the Marathon School District as bus driver on the kindergarten route, after school routes and sometimes took teams to athletic events at night. It is highly possible that Hall transported multiple generations. In addition to driving the school bus, and never missing a single child on his route, Hall also drove an oil truck for several years.

Between his part-time driving jobs and his full-time position at Linetec, Hall has not found much time for hobbies or travel. Instead, he enjoys watching NASCAR and the Green Bay Packers, and focusing on his family.

“I have a lovely wife, two daughters and two sons. I worked so many hours my kids would want pizza for Thanksgiving so they could have an ‘everyday meal’ with their dad,” he says.

Hall has no plans to slow down or retire, but says, “If I ever retire, I’d probably help out at the Humane Society.”

Mark-Rick-TimLynn-webHall’s 50th anniversary celebration breakfast was held May 4. Jane Kessel, vice president of human resources, notes, “The 50 years of knowledge that Mark has helps us ensure our customers get the highest quality anodize finish. It’s also a tremendous asset to our newer team members—especially during the extraordinary growth the company is experiencing.”

 

Contact Linetec for your flat sheet needs

Linetec is a full-service quality source for your flat sheet and brake metal projects.

Some of the benefits you’ll receive by taking advantage of Linetec’s flat sheet service include:

  • Over 20 sizes of sheet in stock, and the ability to special order nearly any size and thickness required. Linetec Stock Sheet List
  • Both paint and anodize quality sheet available
  • Order in any quantity needed
  • Finished in nearly any color required, including custom color matches with Linetec’s in-house blending capabilities
  • Freight managed by Linetec through common carrier trucking. All sheets are protected with custom skids and polymask.

QUICK SHIP PROGRAM

  • Available in stock sheet sizes
  • Over 30,000 in-house blendable paint and anodize colors, including some mica and metallics
  • Orders less than 25 sheets

    Request Quote     –     Questions

shutterstock_flat-sheets-website

Architectural Anodize Data Sheet

Process  .  Warranty  .  AAMA Specifications  .  Guide Spec

Download Complete Data Sheet

architectural-anodize-data-sheet-1Architectural Anodizing combines science with nature to create one of the world’s best metal finishes. The coating produced is extremely durable, and the second hardest substance on earth.

The typical anodizing employed in the architectural industry is called two-step electrolytic.” The actual anodizing and coloring of the aluminum occur in separate steps…    read more

Class I and Class II Anodize

Class I and Class II anodic coatings are designations created by the Aluminum Association for the purpose of codifying the specification of anodized aluminum.

Class I coating has a mil thickness of 0.7 (18 microns) or greater
Class II coating has a minimum mil thickness of 0.4 (10 microns)

Class I coating is a high performance anodic finish used primarily for exterior building products and other products that must withstand continuous outdoor exposure. read more

Strengths of Anodizeimg_0137

  • Durability, abrasion resistance
  • Metal appearance
  • Excellent weatherability (Class I)
  • Color stability
  • Non-hazardous, produces no harmful or dangerous by-products

Anodize Warranty

Linetec’s documented testing allow us to offer warranties of 5 years, on Class I Anodize finishing, with confidence that your product will perform as intended.

In some cases, with prior approval and a minimal up-charge, Linetec can offer an extended anodize warranty up to 10 years.  read more

AAMA Specifications

In order to ensure the anodize performance expected for an architectural / commercial application, AAMA 611-14 specification should be referenced along with the anodize color.

Beyond the stringent standards and regulations, Linetec offers a downloadable guide spec with specifiable differences that contribute to a project’s long life, durability and sustainability.  read more

Cleaning and Maintaining your Aluminum Finish Guide

damaged_anodize-mcdonalds-door-brickwashThis paper discusses the recommended care of painted and anodized finishes on architectural metal and examines three levels of concern: care and cleaning, minor repairs, and more complex refinishing.   read more