Wood grain finishes for homes: Warmth of wood, durability of aluminum

RA360-TableCherry--courtesy-of-Haas-Door-webOctober is Energy Awareness Month, aluminum garage doors are extremely durable and one of the most energy-efficient doors available.

Home builders, owners and residents want a house that looks great year-round, doesn’t require seasonal maintenance, and can withstand brutal winter weather or sizzling summer temperatures.

Exterior wood trim and building materials present a warm, welcoming, upscale appearance. However, as time passes, wood can rot, swell, warp and attract insects. Its finish can fade and flake. Continuous exposure to direct sunlight, humidity, rain, snow and other natural elements can cause damage and degradation.

When wood is installed in a highly visible, frequently used part of the home – such as a garage door, it also must contend with daily bumps, scrapes, car exhaust and road salts.

RA360-ColonyMaple--courtesy-of-Haas-Door-webHomeowners and builders no longer need to choose between the look of wood and the durable, low maintenance of metal. Now, they can have both with Linetec’s wood grain painted finishes for architectural aluminum building products. Textured wood grain finish options mimic not just the look, but also the feel of natural wood.

Typically, Linetec also can offer the preferred appearance of wood at less cost than real wood. Working with residential product manufacturers, Linetec uses a heat transfer sublimation process, starting with a high-performance powder coat paint to finish the aluminum in a choice of wood grain patterns and colors.

Haas Door also reminds homeowners that “the garage door is often the single most used door in a home on a daily basis. Having a newer garage door makes it a more pleasant way to exit and re-enter your home each day. Plus, a newer door can be more reliable and safer than an older door that has its best years of service behind it.”

When considering home remodeling and improvement projects, remember that wood grain finishes for aluminum building products can offer a good return on investment. According to Remodeling magazine’s “Cost vs. Value” 2018 report, common remodeling projects that have a high return vs. investment cost for a homeowner include:

  • an upscale garage door replacement, returning 98.3 percent;
  • a midrange deck addition, returning 82.8 percent; and
  • an upscale window replacement, returning 69.5 percent.

Whether selecting wood grain finishes for a new garage door, deck, railings, or window and door framing, Linetec has the pattern to meet the desired aesthetic and required performance.

RA360-National-Walnut---courtesy-of-Haas-Door-webLinetec’s Wood Grain Gold Series palette features 14 textured, wood grain finishes that meet the higher performance criteria of AAMA 2604. Additional finishes also are available in more than 50 wood grain patterns. These powder coat painted finishes meet the stringent standards of AAMA 2604 for color uniformity, specular gloss, dry film hardness and adhesion, as well as resistance to impact, chemicals, detergents, scratches, corrosion, salt spray and fading due to ultraviolet light. The coatings also are fire retardant, and resistant to water and humidity.

Supporting environmentally sound practices, Linetec’s wood grain finishes utilize a powder coat process that does not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Wood grain finishes can be specified with recycled aluminum content, and may be recycled after its long product lifespan.

Please contact us for personalized service in selecting the correct finish on your next project and for samples of our wood grain finishes.

Curtain Wall Design Summit Series includes lessons from Linetec – AIA/CES offers up to 6.0 LUs –

SW_CWDSS_Flyer_V4As part of the full-day Curtain Wall Design Summit Series, architects will have the opportunity to learn about building envelope systems and their components, materials and finishes.

The Sherwin-Williams Company (formerly Valspar) hosts this first-ever conference on innovative façade design on Nov. 6, 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., at The Club of Knights in Coral Gables, Florida. Participants can earn up to 6.0 Learning Units (LUs).

As part of the day’s six 1.0 LU educational sessions, Linetec will share “Intro to Coatings: Weathering Performance and Applications.” Presented by Jon Close, Linetec’s vice president of sales and marketing, the course covers PVDF resin-based coatings, baked enamel, powder coat and anodize finishes for architectural aluminum products. Attendees will learn about these finishing processes, specifications, performance requirements and aesthetic options.

AIA CESlogoThese educational courses have been approved by the American Institute of Architects’ Continuing Education System (AIA/CES) for Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW) credit. Architects registered in Florida are required to complete a total of 24.0 LUs, including 22.0 HSW credits, every two years. Dec. 31, 2018 is the Florida State Requirement deadline for this registration cycle.

The courses in this series also may be recognized for CES credits through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and other professional associations.

Space is limited and registration is required. Breakfast and lunch are included. Please click here to reserve your spot.

For those unable to attend the series in Miami, please contact us to schedule an AIA/CES in-person presentation or to take our online education courses.

Learn from Linetec at AIA Colorado, Oct. 11-13

Linetec will be exhibiting in booth #19 and presenting at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Colorado chapter’s annual Practice + Design Conference, Oct. 11-13, at the Keystone Conference Center.

Conference attendees can learn about new products and technologies from exhibitors on Oct. 11, 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and on Oct. 12, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. In Linetec’s booth #19, visitors can see and touch specialty finishing options for aluminum such as:

  • Brushed Stainless Anodize – Helping enhance and protect architectural aluminum products, our Brushed Stainless Anodize finish emulates the clean, bright surface that architects find desirable in stainless steel. Now, a similar look on aluminum can be achieved in a more cost-effective, lightweight option with the same industry-leading durability of our other anodize finishes.
  • Wood Grain Finishes – Offering the beauty of wood without the maintenance, our Gold Series of 14 different wood grain finishes for aluminum also will be on display.

    Unlike natural wood, the finished aluminum will not swell, rot, warp or attract insects. Architects also appreciate the opportunity to convey the softness and warmth of wood in environments where a hard, cleanable surface is still desired, such as in health care and education facilities, or other high-traffic areas.

  • Copper Color Anodize – Many have wished they could have the classic look of copper, without the eventual patina. Our Copper Anodize finish fulfills such designers’ dreams, offering the look of rich, real copper without such shortcomings as salt run-off stains, galvanic corrosion and patina.

As part of the educational activities in the exhibition hall, on Oct. 12, 11 a.m.-noon, Linetec’s regional manager Wendy Taylor will present “Architectural Coatings: Weathering Performance and Application.”

Bitterman_MG_Paulin Residence-courtey of Loewen dark bronze ano-WEB

Private residence in Colorado finished by Linetec in dark bronze anodize. Photo courtesy of Loewen Windows

Whether designing a new project, renovating an existing one or updating a specific area, thoughtfully choosing the finish for a project’s metal building products and surfaces will ensure the longest lifespan. Much more than enhancing appearance, a finish specification can be the difference in creating lasting performance and a lasting impression.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to compare anodize, liquid paint, baked enamel and powder coat finishes to achieve optimal results for their architectural buildings. The course will reference AAMA specifications, weathering performance characteristics, warranty expectations and initial cost considerations.

Architects who attend Linetec’s presentation can earn 1.0 Learning Unit for Health/Safety/Welfare (1.0 LU HSW).

About AIA Colorado and the 2018 Practice + Design Conference

The voice of Colorado architects for more than 125 years, AIA Colorado includes a statewide network of nearly 2,400 members.

This year’s theme, “A state of growth,” focuses on Colorado’s growth and the architects charged with designing its future. Since 2014, Colorado has gained more than 265,000 residents. In addition to helping AIA Colorado members design responsible and sustainable spaces for these residents and their communities, the conference also addresses the growth of its members’ careers, as well as the growth of the organization.

Conference participants will have the opportunity to gain:

  • Ideas for resilient design that will positively contribute to both new and established communities
  • Innovative new approaches to sustainable and energy efficient design
  • Strategies to support equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Tactics for fortifying firms so they are prosperous both now and in the future, and able to responsibly handle and contribute to Colorado’s growth
  • Resources to aid in professional development

Learn more about the conference and register at https://aiacolorado.org/practice-design-conference.

Follow along on social media at:
http://twitter.com/aiacolorado
https://www.facebook.com/aiacoloradopage
https://www.linkedin.com/company/aia-colorado
https://www.youtube.com/user/AIAColorado

About Linetec’s Wendy Taylor

Taylor-webWendy Taylor is a regional manager for Linetec focused on customers in the North Central states. With 10+ years of experience in high-performance paint and anodize finishing, Taylor frequently presents Linetec’s AIA/CES programs at AIA and CSI chapter events. She provides architects, architectural specifiers and others with the knowledge necessary to select the most sustainable and weather-resistant coatings for their projects.

Learn more about Linetec’s continuing education courses in our online Architect Resource Center .

Congratulations to Linetec’s 2018 Lead Training Program Graduates

leadership training

These associates dedicated 26 training hours of time over 10 months, including 2 on-the-job assignments and earn 6 technical college continuing education credits! A few of their classes include Core Values for Leaders, Safety & Injury, Communication, Conflict Resolution, as well as Upstream and Downstream Experiences.

Congratulations to:

  • Tim Bishop
  • Logan Miicke
  • Michael Praschak
  • Ryan Reichenbach
  • Brian Retzlaff
  • Ted Teske
  • Dana Wentworth
  • Caleb Bigelow
  • Cody Blarek
  • David Hanke
  • Mitchell Hintze
  • John Axness
  • Justin Flora
  • Rob Wiltse
  • Corey Krueger
  • Bill Melchiori
  • Dakotah Heldt
  • Dave Dray
  • Shirley Ward

(not all associates were available at time of photo)

 

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

FL-Orlanda-ITF-stretchforming (2)-courtesy of Acurlite

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.

 

Linetec adds three associates to growing team – Brandon Slowiak as continuous improvement manager, Cody Horne as manufacturing engineer, Tad Klabacha as senior technical engineer

Wausau, Wisconsin (May 2018) – Three new associates have joined Linetec to support the company’s continued growth and its customers’ ongoing need for high-quality, high-performance, finished, architectural aluminum products. Brandon Slowiak started his role as a continuous improvement manager, Cody Horne as a manufacturing engineer and Tad Klabacha as a senior technical engineer.

BradonSlowiak

Brandon Slowiak

In his role as continuous improvement manager, Slowiak reports to Linetec’s vice president of operations Andy Joswiak. He is responsible for leading the company’s Lean initiatives and continuous improvement training and activities, inspiring a culture of continuous improvement, and driving results through ongoing process improvements.

Most recently, Slowiak worked as a value stream manager at Parker Hannifin Corporation, a global leader in motion and control technologies. Seven years ago, he began with the company as a process engineer and earned progressively more challenging roles while gaining experience in operations. Certified as a high performance team coach, he has led Lean manufacturing training programs. In addition to his knowledge of Lean, he has a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering with a minor in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He currently lives in Wausau.

Cody Horne-5-2018

Cody Horne

Horne also is a University of Wisconsin graduate and lives in Wausau. He graduated from Marathon County with an associate’s degree and from Platteville with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. His professional engineering experience includes positions at Greenheck Fan Corporation, Neenah Paper, Hydratight and most recently, as a product engineer with custom hydraulic cylinder manufacturer JARP Industries, Inc. At Linetec, he will focus on continually and cost-effectively improving the manufacturing process. He reports to Bob Laduron, Linetec’s quality and process improvement manager.

TadKlabacha

Tad Klabacha

Also reporting to Laduron, Klabacha also will recommend and implement continuous improvements through value-focused manufacturing processes. Drawing from more than a decade of experience in manufacturing, he previously worked at Vista Outdoor’s Federal Cartridge Company as a manufacturing engineering supervisor responsible for managing a 17-person team. He holds several technical certificates including as a Six Sigma Green Belt and for Lean manufacturing. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. He relocated from the Twin Cities to the Wausau area.

Learn more about joining Linetec’s growing team of associates by visiting www.linetec.com and clicking “Employment.”

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).

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Curved, finished and complete – What you should know about architectural stretch forming

Henry Ford Int MI

Henry Ford Museum in Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan, built in 1929, was renovated with large, arched top windows using stretch-formed, finished aluminum framing members 
Credit: Courtesy of Wausau Window and Wall Systems

Stretch forming was invented during the 1940s with the rise of the aerospace industry for the curving of aluminum aircraft parts to reduce weight, and thereby, fuel consumption. It expanded into car components and eventually, into the architectural industry. Architects and designers pursued new opportunities to create curved facades and building components.

The process of stretch forming is more of an art, than a science. It takes years of experience to become a skilled craftsperson that can stretch form consistent, successful, curved aluminum components for architectural projects.

Form-on-maching-WEB

Stretch forming is a metal bending process in which a lineal shape, such as an aluminum extrusion, is stretched and bent simultaneously over a form, called a die.

Stretch forming is a metal bending process in which a lineal shape, such as an aluminum extrusion, is stretched and bent simultaneously over a form, called a die. Each form is built to the required radius. These forms may be customized for a special curvature and used only once, or re-used for more popular, repeating arcs.

Opportunities with stretch forming

Stretch forming capabilities typically include portions of circles, including half-circles and eyebrows, ellipses and arched shapes. These shapes can be formed with straight leg sections at one or both ends of the curve. This method of curving eliminates several conventional fabrication and welding steps.

The variety of shapes and cross-sections that can be stretch-formed is almost unlimited – from muntin bars and panning for windows, cladding and spirals for handrails, large mullions for building envelopes to serpentine shapes for canopies. Stretch forming allows architects, designers and builders to realize forms as graceful as they are sturdy and functional.

In most cases, the stretch-formed aluminum component’s curvature is so highly precise that even intricate multi-components and snap-together curtain wall components can be formed from metal without loss of section properties or original design function.

To achieve this level of precision, the basic stretch-forming machine has two arms or carriage beams that hold multiple-positioning gripping jaws. Both ends of the extrusion are inserted into the gripper jaws and stretched to their yield point. The jaws are attached to hydraulic tension cylinders that stretch the extrusion. The arms swing by rotating on large, machined pins with bearings that allow the extrusion to wrap around and against the form. This produces perfectly contoured products, while limiting or even eliminating wrinkling inside the arc. When the wrapping is completed, the stretch force is released and the gripper jaws are opened.

operator-WEB

It takes years of experience to become a skilled craftsperson that can stretch form consistent, successful, curved aluminum components for architectural projects.

Stretch forming maintains close and consistent tolerances with excellent repeatability, and alignments of complex profiles and compound curves. There should be no visible surface marring, distortion or ripples. These benefits inherent in the stretch forming process yield a smooth and even surface. Each component must meet the project’s specifications and warranty conditions.

Structural vs. non-structural application

Aluminum has proven to be a suitable, reliable material for load-bearing structures for more than 100 years. However, the application of the parts being curved dictates the process used.

PARQ-Vancouver-all-stretchforming-(3WEB

Vancouver’s PARQ Resort and Casino features a 23,000-square-foot façade with curved corners and curtainwall details made possible with stretch-formed aluminum framing members finished in clear anodize.
Credit: Courtesy of Gamma North Corporation

After being pushed through an extrusion press, extrusions are cut and placed into a tempering oven to harden and give them structural integrity. When they are fully hardened to a T5 or T6 temper, they are too hard to curve. If the parts to be curved have been fully tempered, they will need to be annealed before curving. To do this, the part is placed in a large oven and heated to a peak temperature range of 700 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit for two to three hours.

Annealing makes the extrusion soft again—enabling it to be curved. Metal that is annealed cannot be hardened again. Once it is softened, it will remain soft. In applications where the parts are expected to carry a structural load or have another structural application, annealing generally is not an acceptable practice.

PARQ-Vancouver-all-stretchforming-(8WEBFor structural or load-bearing applications, the best practice is to have extrusions tempered to a soft state of T1, T4 or to a T52 state. Material tempered to a T1 or T4 can be bent without annealing, and can be tempered after the curving process to a T5 or T6 that is typical in structural applications. T52 is a very stable temper and can be curved without annealing, and it maintains its properties after curving without the need for additional tempering.

Painted or anodized finishes

Similar to the curving process, the end-use application of the part will determine the best practice for how curved parts should be finished. If an extrusion has been painted or anodized, and has been tempered to a T5 or T6 hardness before being curved, the parts will need to be annealed. The high heat associated with the annealing process likely will cause painted finishes to burn and anodized finishes to discolor or craze. For this reason, when parts require annealing, it is best to finish them after the curving process has been completed.

Orlando-_-ITF-WEB

Orlando International Airport’s new South Intermodal Terminal Facility showcases a segmented barrel vault skylight featuring aluminum framing that has been stretch formed, thermally improved and finished in Bright Silver 70% PVDF architectural coatings.
Credit: Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

For extrusions tempered to a T1, T4 or T52 hardness, parts can be finished before curving. However, some marring or slight damage to the finished surface should be expected due to the parts being stretched across the form’s hard surface during the curving process. Depending on the tightness of the radius, anodic coatings also may craze or discolor as a result of being curved. If the T1 or T4 tempered extrusions require oven-aged tempering after curving, the high heat will likely damage the coating.

complicated-extrusion-curve-WEB

The stretch forming process yields a smooth and even surface with each component meeting the project’s specifications and warranty conditions.

Regardless of the effect the curving process has on the finish, nearly all manufacturer and applicator warranties are voided when extrusions or brake metal are finished prior to curving. To obtain the best finish quality and to keep parts fully warranted, it is best to finish after curving—regardless of the temper of the extrusion. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) publishes industry-accepted specification standards for anodize and paint finishing of architectural aluminum components.

Thermally improved curves

Rolled-TB-Extrusion-web136At least one U.S. finishing and service provider also offers thermal improvement services for curved and radius, finished aluminum extrusions backed with an industry-leading warranty. The thermal improvement processes may be specified as either a full pour-and-debridge of radius material, both structural and non-structural, or a fully crimped thermal strut system. The service provider places no restrictions to the degree of curvature, and finishes may be specified in liquid paint, powder coat or anodize.

Installing the thermal barrier in the metal after it has been curved helps minimize stress on the thermal barrier and ensures performance as specified. Choosing the thermal strut system provides the additional design flexibility of dual finishing, where the interior and exterior surfaces may be finished in different colors and formulations.

Ensure that aluminum products’ thermal improvement options strictly comply with its material suppliers’ standards and AAMA’s quality assurance processing guidelines. For optimal quality and convenience, some finishers provide a single-source solution where stretch forming, thermal improvement and finishing are synchronized and retain the full warranty. When available, utilizing the finisher’s trucks also can reduce material handling and packaging to minimize the opportunity for damage, while saving costs and time.

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The basic stretch-forming machine has two arms or carriage beams that hold multiple-positioning gripping jaws. Photos courtesy of Southern Stretch Forming

 

Look for Linetec at AIA

Linetec will be exhibiting at three upcoming events hosted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA):

  • May 9-10, #B554 at AIA Wisconsin’s Conference & Expo in Madison
  • June 21-22, #361, Level 3, at the national AIA Conference on Architecture held in New York City
  • Oct. 11-13, #B19, at AIA Colorado’s Practice + Design Conference held in Keystone

AIA Wisconsin

WIAIA2018The annual AIA Wisconsin convention and exhibition returns to Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. This year in the Expo Hall, not only will we be showcasing our latest products and services, we’ll also be participating in the in-booth AIA continuing education sessions.

National Accounts Manager Tony Pupp will be offering 15-minute presentations on “Architectural Coatings: Strengths and Performance.” Architects and others who complete this quick course will earn 0.25 Learning Units. This short session will be available throughout the exhibition hours: May 9, 1:30-4:40 p.m. and May 10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Click here to learn more and register for the AIA Wisconsin event.

AIA National in NYC

A18 logoFor the first time in 30 years, the national AIA conference returns to New York City. Called A’18 by those in the know, the Conference on Architecture will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The 2018 theme, “Blueprint for Better Cities,” focuses on creating inspiring, inclusive and resilient cities and communities that are better by design.

This theme continues through the A’18 Architecture Expo halls. The organizers anticipate 800 exhibitors spanning two floors and two days. The show floors will be open on June 21 and 22, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Conference activities extend into June 23.

Be our Guest! Click here for your complimentary admission to the A’18 Architecture Expo. Registration is required for additional events and educational sessions.

LinetecBrushedStainlessAnodize-web3See our Brushed Stainless. Our proprietary Brushed Stainless color anodize finish will be the highlight of our booth. Samples will be shown in full-size and available as pocket-size chips. Helping enhance and protect architectural aluminum products, our new finish emulates the clean, bright surface that architects find desirable in stainless steel. Now, a similar look on aluminum can be achieved in a more cost effective, lightweight option with the same industry-leading durability of our other anodize finishes.

window-corner-detail-190pxWatch for Wood Grain. Offering the beauty of wood without the maintenance, our Gold Series of 14 different Wood Grain Finishes for aluminum also will be on display. Unlike natural wood, the finished aluminum will not swell, rot, warp or attract insects. Architects also appreciate the opportunity to convey the softness and warmth of wood in environments where a hard, cleanable surface is still desired, such as in health care and education facilities, or other high-traffic areas.

Shine with Copper. Many have wished they could have the classic look of copper, without the eventual patina. Our Copper Anodize fulfills such designers’ dreams, offering the look of rich, real copper without such shortcomings as salt run-off stains, galvanic corrosion and patina.

Terra-Cotta-Color-Rings5Touch the Terra Cotta. It looks like terra cotta, it feels like terra cotta, but it’s actually aluminum finished in our textured Terra Cotta Painted Coatings. Made with reliable 70% PVDF resin-based coatings, the faux finish delivers exceptional levels of performance and sustainability in a choice of 17 terra cotta colors.

Combine Form and Function. Don’t pick between curves and thermal performance – choose both. We are one of the only finish and service providers to offer thermal improvement services for curved and radius, finished aluminum extrusions backed with an industry-leading warranty. We also can enhance the thermal performance of simple, straight and rectangular shapes, and help meet building team’s goals for energy efficiency.

Take a Sample. We know that color is critical to your project’s success. Whether matching a corporate identity, team uniform or custom palette, we can supply project-specific color chips for any Linetec-specified order or quote.

AIA Colorado

Watch for more details on the AIA Colorado 2018 Practice + Design Conference. Registration opens soon, and our Linetec representatives already are booked to exhibit on Oct. 11-13 at the Keystone Conference Center.

Meeting face-to-face is ideal, but you also can reach us by phone at 888-717-1472 and email sales@linetec.com. Please contact us whenever we can provide personalized assistance in selecting the finish for your next project.

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Linetec wins Wisconsin Corporate Safety Award

Wisconsin Safety Council 2018

From left to right: Colleen Hruska, R. N., Linetec Occupational Health Coordinator, MacKenzie Lambert, Linetec Safety Coordinator, Brian Stratton, Linetec Safety Manager, and Janet Metzger, WSC’s executive director

Wausau, Wisconsin (April 19, 2018) – Wisconsin Safety Council (WSC) honored Linetec, one of the largest finishing companies of architectural aluminum products in the U.S., with a 2017 Wisconsin Corporate Safety Award. WSC says this award recognizes companies that “value their employees and take pride in ensuring their safety.”

Rick Marshall, Linetec’s president, shared the achievement and his appreciation with the entire company. He says, “We would like to thank each of our employees for earning this honor. We are fortunate to have developed a very safety-focused culture at Linetec, where our employees suggest and implement safety improvements on a daily basis, and even coach and recognize their peers on their safety behaviors.”

Mike Schauls, vice president of operations, adds, “The #1 core value at Linetec is safety. Each and every meeting throughout the hierarchy of our business begins with safety.”

Linetec’s safety manager Brian Stratton, safety coordinator MacKenzie Lambert and occupational health coordinator Colleen Hruska, R.N., accepted the award on April 18 during the 76th Annual Wisconsin Safety & Health Conference.

Stratton elaborates, “Striving for excellence, Linetec is continuously improving our already solid safety program. Our efforts and the commitment of our associates not only allows our company to maintain better than industry average safety performance, but also to achieve a world-class safety level by manufacturing industry standards.”

For metal finishing and coating businesses, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports a three-year industry average injury incident rate of 5.0. Linetec reported an incident rate below 1.0 for the 2017 calendar year.

“The single most important factor to our success is our associates,” says Lambert. “They do an exemplary job of reporting injuries, working with the nurse, and following safety policies and procedures.”

Linetec was one of 12 winners selected by an independent panel of 30 judges including safety, insurance and human resource professionals. Each nomination was evaluated for organizational safety and health leadership, training and implementation programs, employee participation, as well as safety accomplishments and goals.

“This year’s winners embody the success stories that make Wisconsin one of the safest states to work,” said Janet Metzger, WSC’s executive director. “We would like to congratulate the winning companies along with all the finalists as they are true models to businesses across the state of what it means to make the safety of their employees a priority each and every day.”

About Wisconsin Safety Council

WSC_logo_2cWisconsin Safety Council (WSC) is the state’s leading provider of safety training and products, serving members of all sizes and every sector of the economy. WSC provides scheduled training programs across Wisconsin, in addition to private, customized training for your individual company. It is also the number one resource for safety products ranging from first aid training materials to emergency defibrillators. WSC is the official state chapter of the National Safety Council and is a proud program of WMC Foundation.

About Linetec

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).

Wisconsin Safety Council 2018

Faux finish? Check out spattercoat.

Bridgeston Middle School 003Spattercoat finishing can mimic marble, stone, brick and other materials. Linetec offers spattercoat custom finishing with multi-colors, depth and texture. While this technique can be used on metal panel cladding systems, it more commonly is specified for architectural aluminum products, such as window and door frames, coping or soffits, to complement the look of adjacent façade components or interior decor.

At Linetec, our spattercoat is achieved by first painting the entire exposed aluminum surface with your specified under-coat color. On top of this, we apply additional colors of paint using a proprietary spattercoating technique. The paint spatters can be many or few, large or small, thick or thin. This produces the desired three-dimensional, textured effect.

spattercoat-12Spattercoat options are practically endless. In addition to simulating natural, earthy and artificial surfaces, we can help you create a truly unique and personalized building. Working within your prescribed color palette and brand identity guidelines, we can present a one-of-a-kind finished surface for a school, corporation or hospital.

If you’re looking outside of traditional color palettes, we also can match a color from almost any source you bring us. We’ve seen everything from hats to coffee mugs to furniture. Our in-house laboratory’s matching capabilities are unparalleled. Utilizing the latest technologies to analyze and formulate thousands of color variations ensures precise representation of your color selection.

Bridgeston Middle School 002While we understand your first priority in choosing spattercoat is the appearance it creates, we also know that performance is essential. Our spattercoat process utilizes 70 percent PVDF resin-based coatings to meet or exceed the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s high-performance exterior specification, AAMA 2605. These painted finishes exhibit outstanding resistance to humidity, color change, chalk, gloss loss and chemicals, ensuring a long-lasting, durable finish with minimal maintenance.

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