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.

TForge_2400-web

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.

 

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.

 

Architectural Color Trends for 2018

2018_color_trends

We rely more heavily on our sight than on any other sense – we are almost always taking information in with our eyes.

So how many colors can the human eye see? 100,000 colors? 500,000 colors? 1,000,000 colors? The average human can see 10 million colors!

The Color Marketing Group (CMG), an international association that identifies the direction of color trends, uses the slogan, “Color sells, and the right color sells better.”

When it comes to color predictions and trends for each new year, everyone is releasing their new “it” color or shade, from the fashion scene to home décor to automotive to the architectural and construction industry. This includes Valspar; they do intense research to create distinct trends and themes for the architectural coatings industry.

Valspar’s color trends closely align with those of the CMG’s International Key Colors for 2018.

Trend One: Subtle metallic and mica sparkle have become the new neutrals. From silver to graphite to blue-tones, these standout hues are more matte metallic and offer refined sparkle. Established in Europe, CMG refers to this sparkle trend as Vapor.

Valspar refers to this color trend as the “Future Lux” trend. The color implications of this trend are derived from earth minerals. These subdued colors lend a feeling of permanence and trust, and when combined with the shimmer and shine of metal, create the unmistakable look of luxury.

fluropon classic II.psd

Trend Two: Gray – sophisticated, conservative and intelligent. As said by CMG, gray advances with a new identity, Evolve, from North America. Standing at 50% black, it feels extremely balanced and is a strong color for design schemes.

Trend Two-4

It creates a subtle effect when paired against deep shades, toning them down. Combining gray with lighter shades adds just the right touch of sophistication.

Valspar includes shades of gray in its “Always On” color trend collection.

Trend Three: Crisp and clean, Re-Value, from Latin America, embraces a healthy green with blue roots. These are welcoming, nurturing color tones that take into account our love of the planet and our love of life.

Trend Three

Valspar’s “Hit Pause” color collection closely resembles CMG’s Re-Value. The color implications of “Hit Pause” are rich tones and healing colors like Newborn’s Eyes and Prussian Blue. These shades help us recharge by ushering in new, positive energy

Trend Four: CMG’s final color trend for 2018 is Enjoy Life. Enjoy Life, from Asia Pacific, is pure and fresh. These are energizing and cheerful tones that symbolize the positivity of sunlight.

Trend Four-1Valspar’s “Life in Flex” colors like Marigold and Golden Bounty are bold, expressive colors that represent newness and light.

Collectively as a society, we all help create color trends, which shape our surroundings. These iconic colors of 2018 can all be provided by Linetec.

Explore Linetec’s Color Select and Spec tool, send us a sample, or contact your regional sales manager for guidance and assistance with your 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.

Is antimicrobial protection the right choice for my project?

microbes

Bacteria cells

When looking through the options available for architectural finishes, it sometimes can be difficult to know if certain choices are appropriate for your project. One such decision may be whether or not to include antimicrobial protection.

What threatens buildings on a microscopic level?

Microbes (or microorganisms) are living cells that are only visible once they have multiplied to the millions. Types of microorganisms include bacteria, algae, fungi and mold. Once microbes have multiplied to a large enough number on a surface, they may begin to cause stains, odors and even deterioration of the metal surface.

Unfortunately, by the time you can see an area of microbe build up, the damage is already underway, so prevention is the best form of protection.

germ-hand-webWhat areas are the most vulnerable?

 Microbes are prevalent in high-traffic areas. Anti-microbial protection may be a smart choice if your project is an office building, hotel, school, retail center, senior living facility, apartment, hospital or clinic.

Antimicrobial finishes can protect high-touch surfaces of metal products, such as doors, windows, curtainwalls, entrances, panels and column covers. The treated finish discourages microorganism build-up, while protecting the metal product beneath from damage and deterioration. This treatment is not meant to replace regular cleaning practices. When standard maintenance is combined with a resistant finish, microbe build-up and damage will be one less worry.

How can a finish stop microbes from causing odors, stains and even deterioration to metal?

Mitigating an invisible, destructive threat requires solutions on a chemical level. Antimicrobial protection begins with the composition of the finish itself. Starting with a 70% PVDF-resin based fluoropolymer coating, an ion exchange mechanism is infused into the coating’s chemistry. This small adjustment allows the finish to protect itself when the conditions are right for microbe build-up.

The most prevalent microbial threats to surfaces – bacteria and mold – need moisture to flourish. The ion exchange mechanism in the antimicrobial finish is activated by the presence of moisture, causing it to release silver cations. The silver disrupts microbes’ metabolism and reproduction. If a microorganism can no longer eat or reproduce, it cannot grow or damage the architectural metal products.

This protection can be added to PVDF-based finishes that meet AAMA 2605 requirements. The protection still allows you to select nearly any color option. Standard and custom colors, mica and metallic coatings are available with antimicrobial protection.

For personalized assistance in selecting and specifying the right coating for your aluminum building products, please contact Linetec’s regional sales managers , email sales@linetec.com or call 888-717-1472.

Whitepaper: Antimicrobial Protection for Public Building Applications

AAMA updates paint specifications to -17

AAMA-proud memberThe American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) regularly reviews and updates its specification documents, including for painted coatings. The association’s Aluminum Material Council’s Finishes Committee has adjusted AAMA 2603, 2604 and 2605. The most current versions are denoted as 2603-17A, 2604-17A and 2605-17A.

What’s changed?

In the updated AAMA specifications, the procedure rating the adhesion of coatings to different substrates (via tape test) has been removed. Those standards are still required to meet AAMA’s guidelines, but now Section 8.4 Peel Adhesion refers the reader to ASTM D3359 to find the details on tape testing. These AAMA specifications also reference ASTM D3359-17 for the new requirements for tapes used in adhesion testing.

Section 8.4.1 now clarifies that all tests shall be performed in the sequence they appear in the document. Connected to this, the order of testing has been changed in the specifications. References to subsections of 8.4 also have been updated in Section 5.5.

What’s remains the same?

As a member of AAMA, Linetec stays up to date on these stringent industry standards and documents. We are committed to ensuring our customers’ finishing specifications are met on every project.

For a quick refresher, here’s what to remember about AAMA 2603, 2604 and 2605:

AAMA 2603 – typical for interior specifications

Required to show only “slight” fade and chalking after one year, AAMA 2603 has no specifications for gloss retention and erosion resistance. Baked enamel (acrylic/polyester) paints should meet AAMA 2603. These painted finishes are less expensive than fluoropolymer resin-based coatings, but have poor resistance to color fading and chalking. Baked enamel coatings are harder than fluoropolymer and can be used for interior application where color retention is not required.

AAMA 2604 – an “intermediate” specification

AAMA 2604 specifications are more demanding. If a finish qualifies, then five years after its application the color must have faded no more than 5 Delta E, the chalking no greater than 8, the finish still retain 30% of its gloss and no more than 10% of it has eroded. This finish will provide good color and gloss retention. It also will provide good hardness and abrasion resistance. Painted finishes meeting this specification typically are a 50% fluoropolymer resin-based coatings and are commonly applied on aluminum storefront framing, entrances or other high-traffic areas.

AAMA 2605 – the specification for high-performance exteriors

Ten years after it has been applied, an AAMA 2605 paint will have faded no more than 5 Delta E, the chalking will be no higher than 8, 50% of its gloss will still be retained and only 10% of the film will have eroded. These finishes exhibit outstanding resistance to humidity, color change, chalk, gloss loss and chemicals. Painted finishes meeting this specification typically are a 70% fluoropolymer resin-based coatings and are commonly applied on aluminum framing and systems for monumental architectural projects.

For personalized assistance in selecting and specifying the right coating for your aluminum building products, please contact Linetec’s regional sales managers , email sales@linetec.com or call 888-717-1472.

To download the latest version of these, or any, AAMA documents, visit the AAMA Publication Store