Is there a real copper finish that holds its luster without high maintenance?

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Nash Women’s Center

The classic beauty of copper brings a rich distinction to architectural building projects – whether creating a dramatic new design, or conveying a historic depth and heritage. Today, you can achieve the look of real copper and lasting luster, without such shortcomings as salt run-off stains, galvanic corrosion, patina and intensive maintenance.

Nash_1617-lLinetec’s exclusive copper color anodize expands the typically limited color choices of anodize, while delivering the highest performance available. This proprietary, consistent, repeatable and warrantied finish is accomplished through a three-step electrolytic coloring method, rather than the standard two-step process. Material is anodized and then introduced into two separate coloring tanks where elemental metals are placed into the pores of the anodic coating. The first color tank contains tin, and the second color tank contains copper. Isolating the actual copper in the coating results in a striking visual effect that will remain stable to provide many years of low-maintenance service.

Nash_1522-lMany factors can affect the color and/or shade, in the copper anodize process, and should be taken into consideration when considering copper anodize. Four different lots of raw aluminum were used to create the extreme color range of copper anodize on Dri-Design’s wall panel system for Nash Women’s Center in Rock Mount, North Carolina.

Linetec’s copper anodize finish:

  • Appears as a bright copper color, with no patina over time
  • Does not require a clear coat or ongoing treatment to maintain color stability
  • Produces no harmful or dangerous by-products and is non-hazardous
  • Meets AAMA 611 Class I Specification
  • Is available for extrusion, stretch-formed and flat sheet aluminum
  • May be finished before or after assembly
  • Weighs less than half that of real copper, for easier transportation and installation
  • Can be designed adjacent to other aluminum materials, without galvanic corrosion risk
  • Will not leave copper run-off stains on a building’s exterior
  • Protects and maintains the structural integrity of the the aluminum
  • Retains exceptional hardness and lasting durability
  • Warrantied for five years, the same as our other Class I anodize finishing

Nash_1643-lAnodized aluminum resists the ravages of time, temperature, corrosion, humidity and warping, for a long product life cycle. Your copper anodize aluminum also may be specified with recycled content and is 100 percent recyclable.

Watch our “Linetec Anodizing – How Do They Do That?” video where Linetec’s vice president of operations, Andy Joswiak, explains the process, performance and durability of our eco-friendly anodize finishing.

To request color chip samples of Linetec’s copper anodize finishes or for personalized assistance in selecting a finish for your project, please contact us.

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About Nash Women’s Center

Linetec finished 6,214 square feet of an aluminum wall panel system by Dri-Design in copper anodize for the Nash Women’s Center in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The new, two-story, $25 million, 47,048-square-foot facility provides obstetrical and women’s services to the community. At the grand opening in May 2016, the Rocky Mount Telegram quoted Dr. Bill Roper, CEO of Nash UNC Health Care, “This is a beautiful facility that’s going to serve a lot of people.”

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Located in North Charleston, South Carolina, Trident Technical College’s Nursing and Science Building features 24,400 square feet of an aluminum wall panel system by Dri-Design as finished by Linetec in copper anodize. This distinctive façade clads the 119,000-square-foot building. Designed by LS3P for durability and sustainability, the project earned LEED® Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.

Tackling a transportation center or high-traffic, urban project? Consider corrosion-resistant finishes

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Orlando International Airport’s South Intermodal Terminal Facility.  Photos courtesy of Acurlite

Transportation facilities, transit oriented developments and other high-traffic city centers provide the connecting points and places that compose our urban landscapes and skylines. They also can present significant challenges in protecting exterior-facing architectural aluminum products. Without proper precautions and finishes, corrosion to finished aluminum components ultimately can damage the structural integrity of the building envelope and can lead to systemic failure.

 

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. In almost any city, these architectural aluminum products are continually exposed to not only weathering, but to pollution and chemicals, as well as bumps and scuffs of pedestrians. While salt spray performance considerations usually are reserved for coastal conditions, it’s important to remember that salt mixture often is used to de-ice roads making it an equal concern in colder climates.

As a prominent part of the building’s exterior, the finished aluminum adds color and design to the project; this coating also protects the building from unsympathetic surroundings. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) continues to set the highest standard for architectural finishes, especially in highly corrosive environments. When selecting a coating that will be required to withstand such conditions, select either the highest-performing organic paint coating that meets the AAMA 2605 specification, or a Class I anodize that meets AAMA 611.

Orlando-_-ITF-webHigh-Performance Painted Coatings

High-performance, 70 percent polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) resin-based 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 ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It is used in architectural applications as a coating on aluminum where it provides exceptional resistance to environmental exposure.

Cedar Avenue Transit Station-2

Minnesota’s Cedar Grove Transit Center Photos courtesy of Protean Construction & Mark Long

The carbon-fluorine bond, used in the 70 percent PVDF, including Kynar® 500 resin-based architectural coatings, is one of the strongest bonds known. These paint coatings can withstand enduring and intense UV radiation. Such attributes support long-term color- and gloss-retention, and chalk-resistance.

 

These highest-performing 70 percent PVDF coatings meet the most stringent, exterior, architectural specification AAMA 2605, “Voluntary Specification for High Performance Organic Coatings on Architectural Extrusions and Panels.” 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.

Protean - Cedar Grove TransitCorrosion-Resistant Requirements

Section 8.8 of AAMA 2605 refers to the corrosion resistance requirements of all coatings 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 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 percent 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.
  • Cedar Avenue Transit Station-1 399X440 Duranar MICAChalk 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 percent after the 10-year exposure testing, as described by ASTM D 523.
  • Resistance to erosion – Less than 10 percent film loss after the 10-year exposure testing
  • AAMA notes that high humidity environments such as, but not limited to, seacoast or industrial environments, performance of corrosion resistance may be diminished.

 

Metro Transit shelter

Metro Transit’s New BRT Shelters Photos courtesy of Duo-Gard

High-Performance Anodize Finishes

 

Class I anodize finishes that meet or exceed all requirements of AAMA 611 “Voluntary Specification for Anodized Architectural Aluminum” also resist the ravages of time, temperature, corrosion, humidity and warping. Anodized aluminum withstands extreme temperature changes and weather conditions, constant exposure to vehicle exhaust, and daily use by passengers. Over-sprayed salt de-icing can be managed with a simple rinsing as needed. With basic cleaning and maintenance, architectural aluminum products enjoy a long life cycle.

Metro shelte3The anodizing process, because it is an integral part of the substrate, produces an oxide film that is uniform, hard and protects the rest of the aluminum substrate from deterioration – providing excellent wear and abrasion resistance. The coating produced is extremely durable, and the hardness of the surface is comparable to a sapphire—the second hardest substance on earth. This characteristic makes anodize an ideal choice for use in high-traffic areas where resistance properties are important.

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New York’s The Forge.   Photos by Arch Photo, Inc., Eduard Hueber

In the most challenging applications, anodize aluminum will perform as specified and will not reduce the service life of the aluminum, but may affect the natural beauty of the surface finish. Avoid any conditions that quickly can corrode an anodize finish such as mortar, cement and other alkaline materials.

To meet AAMA 611 requirements, Class I anodize must have a dry film minimum thickness of 0.7 mils to pass these stringent guidelines:

  • Abrasion Resistance (Michael Clarke Test) – A go/no-go abrasion test using abrasive papers coated with silicon carbide, garnet and glass, respectively. This is used to discriminate between films of the correct hardness and those that may give poor service because they are too soft. The specification grade of abrasive paper is Abrasive Type: Glass, Grade: “Flour,” Mohs’ Hardness Scale Number: 4.5-5.5.
  • Corrosion Resistance testing (previous referred to as salt spray resistance) –Expose the sample for 3,000 hours according to ASTM B117 using 5 percent salt solution. Test samples shall show no more than a total of 15 isolated spots or pits none larger than 1 mm in diameter, in a total of 381 cm of test area grouped from five or more test pieces.
  • South Florida exposure – The coating shall maintain its color retention, 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.
  • Gloss retention – Gloss uniformity shall be within established gloss range.

 Durability and Sustainability

TForge_018-webAnodized aluminum is an inert, non-combustible material that is 100 percent recyclable and poses no health risks. At the beginning of the new millennium, Linetec and other environmentally responsible finishers, changed from the traditional caustic etching process to a more eco-friendly etch system allowing customers to use secondary (recycled) billet in the anodize process.

Small surface defects, such as those common in recycled material, are hidden by the eco-friendly anodize finish’s “frosty” matte appearance. Architects prefer the aesthetic of this matte finish. The resulting surface also reduces glare in bright sunlight. Gloss level reading is typically reduced from 15 to 25 with conventional anodize, down to a gloss level of 3 to 12 for eco-friendly color anodize.

The eco-friendly anodize process reduces landfill waste used with conventional etch processes by 75-80 percent. Landfill waste directly relates to the production of greenhouse gas. It also has the viscosity of water and will not collect in the small recesses of aluminum extrusions or narrow aluminum tubes, which enhances the durability and lifecycle of the finished architectural aluminum product.

cedar-ave-transit-berg-170607-8198-o.jpgFor painted architectural aluminum products, Linetec and the leading paint manufacturers recommend the use of a PVDF-based paint system on aluminum material for all corrosive environments. Offering the longest lifecycle, a 70 percent PVDF resin-based 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.

Beyond ensuring the highest quality application, Linetec also is recognized as an industry-leading environmentally responsible finisher. It also captures the liquid paints’ volatile organic compounds (VOCs) content using a 100 percent air capture system and safely destroys the VOCs with a regenerative thermal oxidizer. 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.

LinetecBrushedStainlessAnodize-web3Specification and Selection

To ensure the finish specified on your project’s architectural aluminum products contribute to its long life, durability and sustainability, download a free PDF of “Section 05 0513 Shop Applied Coatings for Metal 3-part Guide Specification.”

For personalized assistance in selecting the finish for your next transportation or high-traffic project, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

 

New York’s The Forge showcases distinctive, copper anodized, aluminum wall panel system

TForge_2400-webWausau, Wisconsin (June 2018) – Opened this spring, The Forge, a 272-unit luxury residential tower in Long Island, New York, features a façade of copper-colored anodized aluminum cladding. Designed by FXCollaborative, its distinctive, artistically inspired, industrial-influenced, exterior is composed of Dri-Design’s aluminum wall panel system finished by Linetec. The project is pursuing LEED® Silver certification.

Developed as a “village in a building” by Brause Realty Inc. and Gotham Organization, the wedge-shaped site and stringent zoning requirements led The Forge to take a slender form with stepped massing in a neo-modernist style. While it is a single 38-story, 266,000-square-foot structure, the property appears as if it could be three separate wafer-like buildings set side by side with a fourth, far shorter, one nestled at the foot of the other three.

On the south elevation, where the dominant street grid meets the elevated Thomson Avenue, the building’s thin slabs are stacked and angled to follow the diagonal avenue. Each of the south elevation’s slabs measures no more than 20 feet wide and stretches to the pinnacle uninterrupted by openings. The other elevations also showcase the copper-anodized cladding punctuated by julienne strips of windows to maximize daylight and views toward the East River and Manhattan, all while preserving outdoor zones. 

Entire elevation of copper-anodized aluminum cladding

It is on The Forge’s south side that the copper-colored aluminum wall system clads the entire height of the building, accentuating its vertical presence.

TForge_018-webTo create the industrial metallic look specified by FXCollaborative, Linetec finished more than 92,000 square feet of Dri-Design panels in a proprietary copper color anodize and painted an additional 4,800 square feet in a Black Iron color.

Dri-Design’s Tyler Fowler says, “Linetec’s copper anodized finish was the look that the architect designed around. The natural variation that is expressed on the façade through the copper anodizing process was a desired look.”

“Whether creating a dramatic new design, or conveying a historic depth and heritage, the classic beauty of copper brings a rich, distinguished look to architectural building projects,” elaborates Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder, LEED Green Associate. “Today, with our exclusive copper-colored anodize for aluminum, you can achieve the look of real copper and lasting luster, without such shortcomings as salt run-off stains, galvanic corrosion, patina or intensive maintenance. Anodized aluminum also weighs less than half of real copper, for easier transportation and installation.”

Linetec’s proprietary and warrantied finish is accomplished through a three-step electrolytic coloring method, rather than the standard two-step process. The resulting finish remains a bright copper color, with no patina over time. It does not require a clear coat or ongoing treatment to maintain color stability. It is available for extrusion, stretch-formed and flat sheet aluminum, before or after assembly.

Fowler continues, “The unique process that involves using real copper to anodize the aluminum makes for a warm and natural finish. Combining the durability and performance of the finish from Linetec with the functionality and endurance of Dri-Design panels is a façade that will last for many years.”

Sustainable, recyclable and durable

TForge_2300-webSupporting The Forge’s healthy, sustainable goals and LEED criteria, Linetec’s anodized services produce no harmful or dangerous by-products and is non-hazardous. Anodized aluminum is an inert, non-combustible material that is 100 percent recyclable and poses no health risks.

At the beginning of the new millennium, Linetec and other environmentally responsible finishers, changed from the traditional caustic etching process to a more eco-friendly etch system. Compared with conventional etch processes, this improved anodize process reduces landfill waste by 75-80 percent. Landfill waste directly relates to the production of greenhouse gas.

This change to eco-friendly anodize also made it easier for customers to use secondary (recycled) billet in the anodize process. The Forge’s aluminum wall system is manufactured with recycled content and, at the end of its useful life as exterior cladding, is 100 percent recyclable.

Fowler highlights other environmental aspects of the system: “Dri-Design purchases its aluminum from domestic mills, which saves transportation energy costs. Additionally, Dri-Design’s single-skin technology – which does not have a plastic core like our MCM [metal composite material] competitors – saves on fossil fuels. Lastly, Dri-Design uses no joint sealants or gaskets, which are made with petroleum, saving fossil fuels and future maintenance costs.”

Further contributing to The Forge’s long life cycle and minimal maintenance, anodize aluminum resists the ravages of time, temperature, corrosion, humidity and warping. Its copper anodize finish meet the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s AAMA 611 Class I Specification. Protecting and maintaining the structural integrity of the aluminum, it retains exceptional hardness and lasting durability.

Open communication and proven performance

To arrive at the enduring look of The Forge’s copper-anodized wall system, Dri-Design and FXCollaborative first began discussing the building’s design in 2013 during the earliest stages of the project’s conception.

“There was an abundance of collaboration between owner, architect, general contractor and Dri-Design to meet the design intent,” Fowler remembers. “With open lines of communications such as this, it makes for a better experience for all parties involved.”

He proudly notes that the two companies have a long-standing relationship and “the use of Dri-Design was a first choice based on many qualities.” Among these qualities, Dri-Design’s architectural metal wall cladding system is made form one single solid piece of aluminum; it is not a metal or aluminum composite material. Because it is not a composite material and is not laminated, the panels will not delaminate.

Engineered as a pressure-equalized rain-screen system, Dri-Design’s wall panel system complies with the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 285 standard. It also has passed the most stringent air, water and structural testing requirements in the industry, including AAMA 508 test protocol, as well as Miami Dade County’s hurricane testing.

“With the performance requirements along with the desired overall aesthetic of the façade, Dri-Design made the most sense,” summarizes Fowler.

Smooth, on schedule installation

TForge_010-webDri-Design’s rain-screen wall system attaches to nearly any substrate without the use of clips or extrusions. This quick-connecting, interlocking panel design helped installing contractor KNS Building Restoration stay on schedule.

KNS worked closely with general contractor Purves Street Development following The Forge’s start of construction in June 2015. In August 2016, the project “topped out.” The building was substantially completed, on time, in the summer of 2017.

“This was the first time Dri-Design and KNS Building Restoration worked together,” Fowler acknowledges. “It was a great experience for us. This was a group effort between both parties to make for a successful project.”

Eco-friendly, artistic amenities at The Forge

As a recognized part of The Forge’s success, residents enjoy 26,000 square feet dedicated to amenities and their own spacious outdoor park. A sunroom, lounge, children’s playroom, fitness center, business bar, workspace and local art installations are available throughout the interior. The property’s many outdoor areas include a pool, movie theater, sculpture garden, summer kitchen, and green roof with sky lounge and terrace.

The Forge also incorporates wind turbines and a solar power screen for supplemental power. An irrigation system captures rainwater and reuses it on the landscaped green spaces. Bike storage and on-site parking with electric charging stations also support a healthy, green lifestyle.

Within The Forge, residents and visitors are welcomed by a 24/7 concierge in an impressive, double-height lobby. The individual Feng Shui-certified residences continue the intended attitude of modern comfort and well being into the studio, one- and two-bedroom units. Delivering on these intensions, the building’s design and construction focuses on sound sensitivity and energy efficiency, as well as environmental responsibility.

Prospective tenants seeking to embrace the eco-minded, healthy lifestyle offered by The Forge still have the opportunity to lease a residence. Units currently available are listed as starting at $3,244 for a one-bedroom, one-bath.

The Forge, 44-28 Purves Street, New York 11101; https://renttheforge.com

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 Aluminum Anodizers Council (AAC), the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA), the Glass Association of North America (GANA), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA).

Construction Specifier column addresses “Avoiding Color Variation with Anodize Finishes”

champagne range sample

Linetec Champagne anodize range sample

Learning from failures are some of the most difficult and most valuable lessons. Many times, failures can be avoided if we turned to those with more experience for advice. The Failures column in the January issue of Construction Specifier takes this approach issue and shares advice on “Avoiding Color Variation with Anodize Finishes.”

Authored by Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder explains the variables affecting color in the anodize process, and the challenges of achieving an exact color from run to run and load to load.

To minimize color variation, she offers five tips:

  1. Maintain metal consistency – The easiest way to ensure this is to work with one metal source/extruder per project and request all metal come from one lot of material.
  2. Do not mix aluminum alloys, as even mixed tempers will not produce uniform results – For best results, use 6063 alloys for extrusions and 5005 for flat sheet stock and fabricated parts. When structural alloy is required, 6061 and 5052 can be used, but will not give similarly acceptable results.
  3. Perform as much bending and forming as possible prior to finishing – Anodic films are very hard, and as a result most post-production bending causes the film to “craze,” which produces a series of small cracks in the finish, giving it a spider-web like appearance.
  4. Be aware of anodizing’s effect on welds – The heat developed from the welding process changes the metallurgy on nearby metal or heat-affected zones, causing localized discoloration (i.e. halo effect), so one should use the proper 5356 alloy welding wire and lowest heat possible.
  5. Select an anodizer that uses automation – This helps to reduce inconsistencies in the process.
dark bronze range sampeles

Linetec dark bronze anodize range samples

Click here to read the whole Failures column, and please contact us for personalized service in avoiding color variation and selecting the correct finish for your next project.

Feature article in Products Finishing helps in “Choosing the Right Finish”

IMG_0084-webProduct Finishing magazine’s December issue features an educational article on “Choosing the Right Finish for Coastal Projects” by Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder.

As the company’s senior marketing specialist and a LEED Green Associate, Schroeder has authored dozens of educational articles and presentations about painted, anodized and specialized finishes to meet the needs of many climates and geographies.

Click here to read this most recent article describing optimal, durable finishes for aluminum architectural products facing some of the most challenging conditions.

In addition to offering guidance on selecting high-performance finishes and avoiding corrosion, the informative piece also shares steps for proper maintenance to ensure an ideal appearance for years to come.

To learn more about how Linetec can support your next project and fine-tune finishes for its climate, please contact us for personalized service.

Protecting Aluminum Finish During Building Construction

RichmondCtyCourthouse-1In the November issue of Glass Magazine, Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder shares tips on “Protecting Aluminum Finish During Building Construction.”

High-performance paint and anodize finishes for aluminum add durability and color flexibility to meet architectural requirements. To ensure a resilient finish, the article offers 11 points to consider during storage and installation.

Click here to read the full story.

In addition to the 11 tips, Tammy reminds us to extra care to protect finished aluminum material after installation and prior to the building’s final acceptance as most damage to aluminum work will occur during this time.

Significantly reducing the opportunity for damage, Linetec partners with customers from the earliest stages of their projects through final completion. Please contact us for personalized service.

How do you clean anodized aluminum?

CherryAirport09Anodized architectural finishing gives a tough and long-lasting surface to aluminum. This is particularly useful for high-traffic areas of a building, where hardness and abrasion resistance is vital. While anodize is as hard as sapphire (the second hardest substance in the world), it still requires regular maintenance and care.

Although anodized aluminum is exceptionally resistant to corrosion, discoloration and wear, it can be marred by harsh chemicals, abuse or neglect. Periodic maintenance inhibits long-term accumulation of soil, which can accelerate weathering of the finish.

It depends on the weather

The environment of the building will influence the cleaning frequency your anodized surfaces require. Factors such as smog, condensation or low rainfall areas can contribute to a surface needing more frequent cleanings to remove salt and dirt build-up. Areas that have seasonal rainfall to help remove water-soluble deposits and soil will require cleaning less often.

TampaMuseumofArt-close-up-webIt depends on the placement

Regardless of climate, recessed and sheltered areas usually become more heavily soiled because of the lack of rain-washing. Overhangs, bottoms of fascia panels and sheltered column covers are particularly susceptible to soil build-up. If not addressed, this can lead to accelerated weathering of the anodized finish. Integrating this as part of the building’s overall maintenance schedule is the most efficient and economical way to make sure soil and salt build-up is kept in check.

It depends on the build-up

The severity and tenacity of the soil build-up will determine progressively stronger cleaning procedures that can help maintain a building’s anodized surfaces. Be cautious. Experiment on a small area of the building, using stronger methods until you find the one that works.

  • For light soil, flush the surface with water using moderate pressure. Let it air dry and check to see if the build-up still remains.
  • If the build-up remains, move to scrubbing with a brush or sponge while spraying with water.
  • If, and only if, that does not remove the build-up, then add a mild detergent cleaner to the scrubbing.
  • If heavy surface soil persists, add an abrasive cleaning pad to the mild detergent washing. Be sure to always scrub in the direction of the metal grain.
  • If detergent is used, rinse the surface thoroughly, multiple times, with clean water after scrubbing, to avoid detergent residue building up in place of soil.

It depends on the cleaner

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) or similar solvents should only be used to remove oil, wax, polish or similar material from your surface. Extreme care must be exercised to keep MEK from damaging any organic sealants, gaskets and finishes around anodized surfaces. If the anodize is protected with a clear, organic coating, do not use MEK solvent, as it may deteriorate or remove the coating completely. Do not use aggressive alkaline or acid cleaners on or near anodized aluminum.

It depends on deterioration

Even if well maintained, architectural finishes, including anodize, could eventually need repair. There are solutions for both minor and major damage and deterioration of anodize, so plan accordingly. For small scratches and rub marks, minor touch-up paint can be used. The paint should closely match the color of the factory-applied anodize finish. Use caution when applying touch up paint to the damaged area. Be aware that the touch-up paint will not be as hard as the original finish and is not intended for areas larger than a few square inches.

harsh-chemical-damage-webWhen larger anodized areas are damaged beyond what a simple touch-up can fix, it is time to call in a professional. Large, full-service finishing companies often employ field service workers who are able to prepare and apply architectural paint finishes in the field. The coating used should meet the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s AAMA 2605 specification and be tinted to match the existing finish. This can be a difficult goal, particularly if only a portion of the existing surface is being refinished or the finish has already experienced some fade. Be certain to ask for an onsite sample to approve of before the full project begins.

Learn more about anodizing and its care and maintenance by clicking here. For personalized assistance in selecting or repairing anodize finishes for your aluminum building products, please contact Linetec’s regional sales managers, email sales@linetec.com or call 888-717-1472.